Other Bill of Sale FAQs

We have gathered a handful of questions sent to us via email and related to bills of sale and answered them here.

How can I revoke a bill of sale for a vehicle that was written as a donation?

I wrote my Bill of Sale as a donation, thinking that I could write it off as a tax deduction, then I found out that the donation has to be made to an organization that has a taxpayer ID. Now the guy doesn’t want to pay for it. Is there a legal way I can retake possession of the vehicle? Can I take the plates off the vehicle and visit the DMV and get them to help me?

Answer
If you gave him the title, you can’t do anything. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows the IRS needs proof that the vehicle was donated to a 501 (C) 3 charity. You don’t get that when just giving it to someone. The DMV won’t and can’t do anything to help you.

What exactly is a seller registration number when it comes to the bill of sale?

I am giving my car to my husband and filling out the bill of sale for Kentucky on the DMV.org website. It asks for a seller registration #. Is that my drivers’ license number, or the license plate number that’s on the car now? We have moved from MA to KY.

Answer
I would say that it is the license plate number but check if they have a help section.

How do I sell my car with just a bill of sale and the title from the old owner?

My grandma sold me a truck in January but I never registered it due to all the DMV fees and whatnot. I have the bill of sale from then and the transfer of title that she signed, but now I need to sell it. Can I do it with just the two?

Answer
In California, you just need the signed title and smog certificate. The title acts as the bill of sale. So throw out your bill of sale.
If you filled out the back as the buyer already, then get a REG 256 Statement of facts and say “buyer never took possession of the vehicle and filled out a title in error” and sell the car with just your grandma as the seller. Now you need an additional paper for the new buyer to fill out - REG 101 Statement of Erasure or Error. Have the new buyer fill this out AND give him the title with grandma's signature.

It’s the seller’s responsibility to get the car smogged. Don’t let grandma forget to sign a Release of Liability and turn it to the DMV or AAA within 5 days of the sale.

Do I need a bill of sale to register a car?

I bought a car through a private sale. Will I need a bill of sale to register this in NY? I have the title signed over to my name and my insurance card. In the back of the title we wrote the amount of what I paid for the car. Will I need a bill of sale or can I still register it without a bill of sale?
The bill of sale won’t be needed, correct? Because the amount paid for the car is on the back of the title.

Answer
What you need to register is the title and proof of insurance. You will be transferring the title into your name. The price paid for the car is usually on the title the previous owner signed over to you. This is used for taxes.

Is a bill of sale required to title and register a motorcycle in Florida?

I’m getting a used motorcycle from a private seller and was wondering if I absolutely need to provide a bill of sale when I go to title and register my bike. Or does the “transfer of title by seller” section of the title provide the same information as a bill of sale?

Answer
As long as it’s filled out and signed by the seller and the signature has to match the pink slip, so you should be good.

How do I get a vehicle title with only a bill of sale?

I bought an SUV in spring and was trailering it to go wheeling, but now I sold my car, and my truck is a gas hog, so I was looking to get my car on the road. when I bought it, it was said to be a salvaged vehicle and the title was lost at the salvage yard, so I got a bill of sale. If anyone knows how to possibly get a title from a bill of sale or if it is even possible. I don’t know if it’s any different in other places, but I’m in Pennsylvania currently.

Answer
There is a process to do this, your local DMV will give you the appropriate paperwork for this. It takes a bit of time, but it can be done. Each state is a bit different. In California, there is a rather large stack of forms to complete. It is done to make sure, no previous owner has claims on the vehicle, hope this helps.

Can a Bill of sale price be different from the actual cost of the car?

I want to pay less for taxes and tags. The seller has agreed to make the bill of sale price less than the price I’m paying for the car so that I don’t have to pay a lot for taxes and tags. Can this be done? Is it legal?

Answer
You can, but if you commit to this, just don’t get caught.
I did that when I bought a car from my brother. I gave him $1000, and he wrote a bill of sale for $100.
I think as long as you don’t do anything stupid, you should be ok.
Depending on the local sales tax and the actual price of the car, you can save quite a lot of money. If the actual price is $5000 and the bill of sale says $1000, providing the sales tax is 7%, that saves $280. But, you should understand the risks, too. This article explains the downsides of indicating a lower price in your bill of sale.

Can I get a replacement title for a 1930 Ford model A in California with a bill of sale?

I’ve heard that some states allow you to get a replacement title for antique cars with a bill of sale. Is California one of those states?

Answer
If the seller can’t get you a good clear title, just don’t buy the car.

I could write you a bill of sale, but it wouldn’t get you a title.

That being said, if you use a title service you might be able to get a title generated, but it’s going to cost you between $150 and $300 to do so.

Call the DMV and ask about it.

Why do I need to provide a bill of sale to the buyer’s financial advisor before receipt of payment?

I’m selling my vehicle to my bro-in-law. He is not allowed to get a large amount of money without the “go-ahead” from his financial advisor. But the financial advisor is asking me for a bill of Sale. To me, the bill of sale (especially signed) would be fraudulent because it would not actually be sold until the transaction of money and pink slip between my bro-in-law and me.

Am I overthinking this?

Answer
It is safer to issue a Contract-to-Sell (CTS) agreement stating therein all relevant details about the sale including the amount due for payment, the dates when it becomes due, and the seller’s right to rescind the contract in case of buyer’s default. It sounds like you agreed to sell and your brother-in-law agreed to buy but you have not been paid yet. So, a CTS is more appropriate at this stage until the amount due is paid in full. You can state in the CTS that upon full payment, the seller (you) will issue to the buyer a Bill of Sale for him to proceed with the transfer of ownership.

As far as his financial advisor is concerned, a CTS should be sufficient proof of the agreement that his client entered into.

When purchasing an auto from a private party do you need the bill of sale notarized in Alabama?

If I norize it, can the bill of sale be used to register the car and pay for the taxes? Or does the bill of sale just have to be signed by both the seller and purchaser to make the sale final?

Answer
Nope. You don’t need it notarized to take it to the bank.

When signing a bill of sale on a car, what happens with the registration and the plates?

I am awaiting the title in the mail and I have a buyer. What do I need to do exactly to sell the car? When signing a bill of sale, do I take my plates and registration? How does a bill of sale work and what happens with plates and registration when they buy the car from me? Thanks.

Answer
You take plates and registration, the buyer takes the bill of sale to the DMV and re-registers the vehicle. You can register your existing plates to another vehicle, recycle them, or toss them in the trash.

In Texas, can you get a motorcycle you bought insured and inspected with only a bill of sale?

In other words, you have purchased a bike with no title. (I know the dangers of this already, thanks). But the seller gave you a bill of sale. Can you get it insured and inspected with only a bill of sale? How about registration?

Answer
You will need to go to your DMV with the bill of sale. They can run a check on the bike and make sure it's not stolen or anything like that. The seller may have to sign some forms, but you should be able to get a title. Baring any problems with ownership and signatures, once the bike is in your name, you can get it insured.

What to do if the Bill of Sale is missing in NC in order to register a vehicle?

I just moved back to North Carolina and went to register a car. I had the title of the car but misplaced the bill of sale. The dealership was taken over a few years ago and I am still hunting down records. The car was paid off in 2002. Can I sell it (car) to my spouse for a dollar?

Answer
Here is the thing, you do not need the bill of sale. Contact the finance company that financed the car originally and request a duplicate lien release form from them, then go to NC DMV and get an MVR 4 form and complete it. Use the section that says reassignment of title by the registered owner to sign the vehicle over to your spouse. North Carolina no longer calculates the amount of road tax you will pay based on the sale price of the vehicle they got wise to that old trick, but if you sign your MVR 1 form stating you are giving the vehicle to a spouse or child, then you will not be charged highway use tax - you will only be charged the $35.00 tittle transfer fee the $5.00 notary fee and the $28.00 license plate fee. And you will be able to get tags no problem

How do I write a bill of sale for a mobile home in a rented lot?

I have to write myself a bill of sale as I am a personal representative for my mom’s estate. The only way to transfer the deed is to do this? Please tell me what to include in this bill of sale so I don’t look like an idiot?
I have already consulted with probate as well as the town office. They are the ones who told me to write the bill of sale to myself. What I need is an example of a bill of sale. Can I type it or should it be handwritten? I am in Maine.

Answer
The wording is easy, your name goes in as a buyer and then “your name as an administrator of the estate of _______” as a seller. You’re acting in 2 separate capacities. As far as what info to include, mobile Homes have VIN just like cars and that is a MUST to include. Attach a certified copy of your letters of administration to the bill of sale. It will probably be required anyway to show you have authority to act on behalf of the estate.

Check with a mobile home dealer and they may be nice enough to assist you.

Always type a legal document, less room for misinterpretations and I don’t see a handwritten one getting accepted! Don’t feel like an idiot, you’re making the bill of sale to yourself but it’s coming from the estate so what they are asking you to do makes sense. Here's a template you could use.

Where can I find a bill of sale for a scooter?

I am selling my scooter and I want to draft up a bill of sale. Where can I find one or get a sample document?

Answer
If you’re just selling it privately, you can just write it out on a piece of paper. Your name, their name, the date of sale, and the amount should be fine. But if you're looking for a more formal document, you can use this form.

How do I write a bill of sale with payments?

I am moving to FL and leaving all of my furniture with my current roommate. She is buying it from me but paying monthly. Our agreement is saving me the hassle and cost of moving everything, but I am worried that after a while she might stop sending payments. What terms and information would I need in a bill of sale to make it hold up in small claims court if needed?

Answer
You need to have the agreement clearly stated and signed by both parties in front of a notary. Here is a template for furniture that has the option you need.

Is a Bill of Sale necessary when trading my car for someone else’s, for even money?

If a bill of sale is necessary, how do you word the bill of sale, and are there any examples?

Answer
It’s always best to fill out 2 copies. 1 for yourself, and the other for the buyer, both of which would have signatures.

If you are trading even, you should still have some kind of written agreement in addition to the signed title. Although it is not a requirement, a bill of sale is a precautionary measure in the event you lose the title and have to ask the previous owner to apply for a duplicate. If you have a signed bill of sale, you have proof that the transaction took place. Form 1957 is an example of such a bill of sale.

Would a bill of sale for a handgun be illegal?

I have never been charged with a felony, no domestic stuff either, but I was denied when I tried to purchase a handgun. I have some battery charges, but nothing involving weapons. If somebody sells me a handgun and gives me a bill of sale, would that person be guilty of anything illegal? In case it matters, I live in GA and I am 30 years old.

Answer
If you have no felonies and no other charges related to crimes committed while in possession of a firearm, and you’re over 18, your purchase of a firearm wouldn’t violate any Georgia laws that I’m aware of.

It is COMPLETELY false that only federally licensed dealers can sell firearms. There is no such law and there could never BE such a law. If I legally own something I can sell it to anyone legally authorized to purchase and possess it, including a handgun. If it crosses state lines that’s another story.

You do not need a permit to purchase a handgun, registration of any handgun, or a license to carry unless you’re going to carry a handgun (concealed or openly) outside of your own property, other than in a private motor vehicle (in plain sight or in the glove compartment) or openly carrying for hunting or fishing (with written landowner permission if you’re on someone else’s property).

When buying a grade horse, should I get a bill of sale, or is a personal check enough?

The other grade horses I’ve bought through the years were from friends and people I knew, so we didn’t bother with it.

This weekend I am going to look at some, and I called the guy and they are at his aunt’s house, he says some are his and some are his brother’s, he doesn’t know which ones his brother wants to keep. I have to be there when he says, don’t sound too eager to sell anything even though he had an ad out. Something just doesn’t feel right.

If you think I need a bill of sale, what should it include?

Answer

Absolutely get a bill of sale! And another safe thing to do is to write the information on the memo line of your check too. On the bill of sale just have the age, color, sex, and any markings, brands, and scars, if any. This template will do.

Make sure he signs the bill of sale also. It does sound fishy though. Is there any way you can request that his brother be there too? That way this guy doesn’t sell a horse he isn’t supposed to. Another thing, make sure he puts the address that you purchased them at. And proof of his identification. Sounds bad, but that way you have something to compare his signature to and if some asked me for proof of identification on selling the horse, I would provide it. Also, save the ad that brought these horses to your attention. That way if something bad does happen, you will be able to show the judge that ad.

I helped a friend out by buying a horse from her, and when I wrote her the check, I put the information there too even though she gave me the bill of sale. Better safe than sorry.

Can you void a Bill of Sale on a Car within 24 hours?

Basically, my bf bought a p.o.s. car. We got in a fight cause I didn’t want him to buy the car, so he now wants to return the car. He signed a bill of sale and paid a private party for the car in cash last night. Is there a way to void the bill of sale and try to get the money back?

Answer

No, no return on cars bought from the dealer or via private party sales. It’s yours to do with what you want. Sell it, trade it in, or drive it.

How do I make a bill of sale?

I am selling a 1992 honda accord for $900. I just don’t have the title because it’s tied up in a loan. I need to make a bill of sale for the guy who’s going to buy it so that he’ll have something saying he bought it until I get the title. I just need to know how to make a bill of sale.

Answer

It just has to have your name, his name, the car’s make, year, and model with the VIN # and mileage, and the statement, SOLD AS IS.

Sign it and date it. You can find a free template and a tool to customzie your document here - https://formspal.com/bill-of-sale-templates/motor-vehicle-bill-of-sale/.

How do I get a title for my bike with a bill of sale and a title?

I recently bought a 600cc sportbike from a private seller, I have the bill of sale and the title in hand. How do I make it officially mine? And if I have to go to the DMV, do I have to have insurance? Because I don’t have insurance yet. Can I just go get registered at the DMV without the insurance?

I live in Houston, TX and the title is clear.

Answer

you need to take the bill of sale and the title to the DMV or in some cities you have to go to the clerk and recorder. You may or may not, depending on where you live, have to get insurance first. I have a motorcycle registered in Montana, and I have never ridden it and therefore it is not insured, but I still got the registration and plates. You might try calling the DMV before actually making the trip.

How do I secure a Title to a Vehicle if all the seller had provided me with was a Bill of Sale?

I purchased a car at a private sale from an individual who had previously bought the vehicle without a title. He had garaged the vehicle and never tried to get a title. All I have is a Bill of Sale. I understand that there is a process called The “Notary Certificate of Dishonor” that would help me secure a title to the vehicle. Anyone with information on how this process works that I might secure a title with would be appreciated.

Answer

You may not be able to obtain a clear title for the vehicle. A bill of sale doesn’t mean the person you bought it from was the legal owner. I recommend contacting the DMV and ask for their help. You should also ask the seller why they did not have a title for it. There may well be a lien against it. Good luck.

Why do banks ask for a bill of sale from a dealer before they give the auto loan?

I am in need of a car and am planning on buying one asap. My bank is asking for a bill of sale from the dealer and VIN number before they can give me the loan. How am I supposed to buy the car and get the bill of sale if I don’t have the money I need from the loan? Do dealers usually allow to purchase the car without me having to pay them? This is a used car by the way.

Answer

You get a purchase order from the dealer and show that to the lender.

You get the loan approved and the dealer probably gets money wired to them from your lender.

Simple.

Do I need a bill of sale for an international auto sale?

I sold my car to a dealership in Australia and I need a bill of sale that is more detailed than the general bill of sale between two parties because it is overseas and it is a classic car.

Answer

Then put whatever detail you’d like into the bill of sale, and give it to the buyer. Use a normal bill of sale as the jumping-off point, and add to it.

Is a bill of sale necessary for a stock transfer?

Can we just use the stock certificates as proof of transfer? Is there a law that states a bill of sale is necessary?

Answer

You have to go through the transfer agent for the company. Or get a signature guarantee from a bank if you have the certificates.

What information needs to be in a bill of sale?

I’m giving my car to my husband for free, but it seems in KY I need to complete a bill of sale. Can I just write it on a piece of paper or should I type it out neatly? What do I need to put on it? Thanks.

Answer
Names, addresses, phone numbers, vehicle description, VIN number, price, taxes paid, condition, color, warranty, milage.

Can you get a bill of sale notarized after it has been signed?

Hi. I bought a truck from a private party and found out afterward that we should have had the bill of sale notarized for vehicle registration purposes. Is there a way I can get it notarized after the fact by, for example, signing it again in front of a notary? Would we both have to sign it again? The other party lives pretty far away.

Answer

As a notary in the state of Iowa, I would say it totally depends on the notary you ask. You would be asked for proof of identity and would have to sign again – either on the bill of sale or on a separate piece of paper to verify the signature. You may be able to get a notary to simply notarize both signatures, however, that’s a good way to lose your notary privileges.

I bought a company and the owner never signed over the bill of sale?

I’m curious can I sue him for not giving me a bill of sale since I have to do taxes and can’t because of no bill of sale. I paid $125,000 and he is still working under my name and I have proof I paid him.

Answer

If he didn’t sign anything, then you didn’t buy anything. Since you paid, a judge will provide equitable relief (assuming you can prove you paid and that it was for the company) in the form of compelling the former owner to give you the bill of sale. Get a lawyer here.

How do you get a bill of sale if you cannot contact the seller?

I just bought a motorcycle from Texas, and I live in Louisiana. I obtained a signed and notarized title but forgot to get a bill of sale when I left. When I went to have the title put into my name, they said I had to have a bill of sale. Is there any way to get around this if I cannot get a bill of sale?

The only thing is it has to be a notarized bill of sale. Will they notarize it if I am the only one signing it if I already have the title?

Answer

You have a problem. The Notary’s job is to certify that the seller’s name, ID, and signature all match. They will need to see this person in person.

Should a bill of sale on a car be handwritten or done on a computer?

So I found out I needed a bill of sale to get plates for a car from a private seller. The only problem is I don’t have his contact information, and he lives in another state. I have his address listed on the title, but that’s not his current address, so my stepdad would do a bill of sale for me since he used to work in the car business. Would a handwritten bill of sale matter, or should it be done on the computer?

Answer

Either is fine. Make sure you make two copies and both of you sign both. It could be written in crayon on toilet paper so long as you both sign it.

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