A bill of sale is a document that transfers ownership of goods from one person to another. It is used in situations where the former owner retains possession of the goods. Bills of sale may be used in a wide variety of transactions: people can sell their goods, exchange them, give them as gifts or mortgage them to get a loan.
They can only be used:
- to transfer ownership of goods that people already own;
- to transfer ownership of movable tangible goods; and
- by individuals and unincorporated businesses.
Depending on the state you live in, your state’s motor vehicle department may require you to obtain a bill of sale. Regardless of it being required or not, a bill of sale can be an important part of any vehicle transaction for both the buyer and the seller.
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Whether you are the seller or the buyer of the vehicle, you should never walk away from the transaction without a copy of the bill of sale. If you do not get a copy signed by both parties at the time of the sale, you leave yourself open to legal issues or other problems down the line.
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Your bill of sale will generally include information about the transaction, including:
- A description of the vehicle and its vehicle identification number (VIN).
- Any warranty that may have been agreed upon.
- The final sale price of the vehicle.
- The name of the buyer and the seller.
- The county and state in which the vehicle was sold.
As a buyer, you should NEVER go into a sale without educating yourself about your potential purchase. If you neglect to learn about a vehicle’s history prior to buying, you could get stuck with a lemon that will drain your money and time for years.
Vehicle history reports reveal information about a vehicle’s past, including details about:
- Previous owners.
- Previous states where it was registered.
- Past accidents and damages.
Before you even consider signing a bill of sale, you must make sure your purchase will be a good one.
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If your state does not require or offer a bill of sale form, feel free to use our generic form, either to present to the state or to keep for your own records.