The bill of sale invoice is a document that includes a legal contract as well as an amount due by the buyer. The invoice is mainly used for vehicles but may be written for any property or good that is sold.
Table of Contents
- What is a Bill of Sale
- How to Write a Bill of Sale
A bill of sale is a document that is commonly used when transferring vehicles of transport (cars, boats, motorcycles, trailers) from one party to another. The document does not transfer title but rather shows proof that a transaction took place. By law, some states require the bill of sale to be signed and notarized.
A bill of sale is instrumental for processes that happen after a vehicle sells. It demonstrates that a legal transaction has occurred and enables the new owner to register the vehicle in their name. The document allows third parties to see that the new owner is, in fact, the owner of the vehicle.
The following basic information is required in a bill of sale when transferring ownership of a vehicle:
- Odometer reading
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Attach the Title and Registration
- Names, addresses, and signatures of the buyer and seller
The following information should be included when buying or selling a boat (watercraft):
- Make and Year of the Vessel
- Make and Year of the Boat’s Engine
- Registration/Hull ID Number
- Signature of Buyer and Seller
- Date Signed
Once both parties agree to terms and are ready to make a transaction, a bill of sale should be made. Since the buyer is the party that needs the bill of sale, they should be diligent in making sure the document is filled out with the correct information and signatures.
It’s important that the bill of sale complies with the requirements in the state in which the item is bought/sold. Because each state has its own laws regarding the use of a bill of sale in a transaction, the location (county, city, and state) should be stated. Sales tax should not be included in the sale as it is paid by the buyer when they register the vehicle in their state.
The legal names and mailing addresses of the buyer and seller should be clearly stated in the bill of sale. This is to help ensure that both parties are who they say they are, and it also creates a point of contact if problems are to arise in the future.
Any legal descriptions of the item being sold must be entered into the bill of sale (Make, Model, Color, Year). ID, VIN, and registration. All identifying descriptions need to be inscribed as well.
Finally, once all information is entered into the bill of sale, all that is left is the transfer of money and signatures to finalize the sale. A vehicle can transfer via a cash payment, a trade-in, or by an act of giving (gift). Whichever method is used should be stated in the bill of sale.