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Bill of Sale Invoice Template

A 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 type of personal property or goods sold.

Table of Contents

What is a Bill of Sale?

A bill of sale is a record of a transaction that occurred between a buyer and a seller for property, most commonly a motor vehicle. The document does not transfer the title but rather shows proof that a transaction took place. By law, some states require the document to be signed and notarized. It’s all the little things that need to happen after a vehicle sells is that make the bill of sale so helpful to have. Not only does it show a legal transaction but it helps the new owner obtain registration. 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

How to Write a Bill of Sale

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word

Once both parties have a verbal agreement and are ready to make a transaction, a bill of sale should be written. The buyer will be required to keep an original copy of the bill of sale after it has been signed and the transaction is complete. A bill of sale is required to be used when registering a vehicle or boat afterward.

Location of Sale

It’s important to write the bill of sale in accordance with the state in which the item is being bought/sold. Due to each state having 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 will be paid by the buyer when they register the vehicle in their state.

The Parties

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.

Item Description

Any legal descriptions of the item being sold must be entered into the bill of sale (Make, Model, Color, Year). ID, VIN, registration, and all identifying descriptions need to be inscribed as well.


Finally, once all the 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.