How to Write a Simple Bill of Sale [with Sample]

A simple bill of sale is an official form that is required if goods are sold that need to be registered or reported. It is usually used for the transfer of a car, and need not be created by a professional. It serves as a receipt for both buyer and seller and gives details about the car. 

The seller can make a legitimate bill of sale that includes information about the transaction such as:

  • The vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • A description of the vehicle, including make, model and year
  • A warranty that has been agreed upon by the buyer and seller, if applicable
  • The full name of the seller and buyer

Before starting, the seller should research the rules in his or her state that pertain to bills of sale. This can be done at the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) website. Requirements may vary greatly. Both the buyer and seller can fill out the form as proof of purchase and of payment.

Once the requirements are known, the first step the seller must take is to gather the important documents, including a proof of purchase, up-to-date registration certificate, the VIN, mileage and make, model and year. 

The VIN is usually located on the doorjamb or near the steering wheel or under the hood. If it is not in any of these places, it can be found in the car manual.

The buyer and seller must agree on a price for the car and how the payment will be made. The form can be used by both the buyer and seller as evidence for tax purposes of the price paid. 

If there are any stipulations such as a warranty or rules for returning the car, they should be clearly stated. For example, the seller may give the buyer five or 10 days in which to decide not to buy the car.

The form can also be used to prove to an insurance company that the buyer owns the car or that the seller no longer owns the car. It should first state the name and address of the seller and declare that he or she is the lawful owner of the car and has the authority to sell it.

Next, it should state the make, model, description, VIN, registration number, mileage and other information. Once the car is identified, the seller should say he or she hereby sells, conveys and transfers the above-described car to the buyer’s name and address for the price on which they agreed.

After this, the stipulations can be mentioned. If there are no stipulations such as a guarantee or warranty, this can also be mentioned. However, this type of form is best used for the sale of things As Is and expressly disclaim any warranties that may relate to the fitness or condition of the car.

It means the buyer is purchasing the car with any faults or problems, whether they are apparent or not. The As Is phrase protects the seller from having to refund the purchase price to the buyer after the form has been signed and the agreed-upon price paid.

The seller also needs to add a statement of oath in which he or she swears and affirms under penalty of perjury that all of the information given on the form is correct to the best of his or her knowledge.

The seller should include any other statement that is required by the laws in his or her state. In most states, the seller and buyer must sign it. If the form needs to be witnessed by a Notary Public, space should be provided at the bottom of the page.

Bills of sale may also be used for other vehicles such as motorcycles, RVs, trucks as well as for:

  • Tools, appliances and exercise equipment
  • Aircraft
  • Furniture
  • Animals such as horses, dogs and cats
  • Boats and other watercraft
  • Bicycles, clothing and jewelry

Bills of sale are useful when:

  • Purchases are made through websites that buy, sell and trade products
  • Purchasing a used item
  • Purchasing an item through a private sale
  • Purchasing a high-value item such as jewelry, car or boat

If the seller or buyer wants to make payments over time, or there is a guarantee or warranty included with the item for sale, it is better to use a Sales Agreement. This allows for more details about the sale and allows for receiving payments over time.

Below is a sample of a bill of sale. It should be typed on a computer with spaces left for the car information. The information can be handwritten by the seller. The seller should have it checked by a third party to avoid spelling errors and to make sure the handwriting is legible.

Both the buyer and seller should have copies of the form. The sale is not complete until the title of the car is transferred. Until this time, the seller is liable for any fines associated with the car.

Simple Bill Of Sale Template

BILL OF SALE

VEHICLE INFORMATION

Make:_____________ Model:______________ Year:_____________
VIN:________________________ Odometer reading: _______________ Color: _________

I, the undersigned seller, ____________________(name), sell to the undersigned buyer, ________________(name) the above-identified vehicle for the total sum of $ _________ (______________dollars and no cents). The buyer and seller agree that this is the total amount owed and that no further payment is required or The buyer agrees to pay the seller $______ on the date that this form is signed, with the balance owed of $______ to be paid at no greater than 60 days after this form is signed.

The seller affirms that the information concerning this vehicle is accurate to the best of his or her knowledge and belief.

The buyer accepts that the vehicle is sold “as is,” with no warranties or guarantees concerning this vehicle. The buyer further accepts this document as a receipt for this transaction.

Seller’s Name: __________________
Seller’s Signature: ________________
Date: ______________
Seller’s Address: _______________________ Apt. No.: ______
City: __________________ State: ____ Zip: ______
Phone No.: ___________________

Buyer’s Name: __________________
Buyer’s Signature: ________________
Date: ______________
Buyer’s Address: _______________________ Apt. No.: ______
City: __________________ State: ____ Zip: ______
Phone No.: ___________________

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