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- What is a bill of sale?
- Is a bill of sale required in Alabama?
- What is required in an Alabama bill of sale?
- What should I do after I get a bill of sale?
- How to find affordable car insurance
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If you need a bill of sale in Alabama, it should contain information about the vehicle—like the VIN, make, model, and year—as well as the names, addresses, and signatures of the seller and buyer. The purchase price and date of purchase should also be listed.
Completing a bill of sale is a key step in the private sale of a vehicle. Even though they aren’t required in every state, it’s always the safest option to complete one so you have a physical record of the transaction.
Whether you’re buying or selling a vehicle in Alabama, car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about completing an Alabama bill of sale.
What is a bill of sale?
A bill of sale is basically an official receipt for the private sale of a vehicle. The bill of sale generally contains basic information about the transaction and vehicle, including:
- Date of purchase
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Description of the vehicle
- Amount paid
- Names, addresses, and signatures of the seller and buyer
The bill of sale in Alabama doesn’t necessarily transfer ownership—that's what a title transfer is for. The title certificate is the official document that declares the car’s owner. A bill of sale is what denotes all of the terms of agreement of your transaction with the other party in a private vehicle sale.
Is a bill of sale required in Alabama?
Alabama does not require a bill of sale for private vehicle sales, but certain counties in Alabama do require them. You’ll also need a bill of sale if you are selling a vehicle that doesn’t have a title, so you can legally transfer ownership.
Even when it’s not required, filling out a bill of sale when you buy or sell a vehicle is usually the safest option. The bill of sale document proves the transaction took place, which could be helpful to keep in your records.
What is required in an Alabama bill of sale?
If your county requires a bill of sale, you can use an official service or draft your own. Counties that mandate a bill of sale, like Baldwin County, usually provide a template on their websites. If you do choose to draft your own bill of sale, make sure to include the following information for it to be valid:
- Name of purchaser
- Physical address of purchaser
- Date of sale or acquisition
- Complete vehicle description, including the VIN, make, model, year, and body type
- Name of seller
- Address of seller
- Signature of buyer and seller, or authorized representatives of each
- Purchase price of the vehicle
If the seller of the vehicle is a licensed retail dealer, you’ll also need to include the following:
- The purchase price upon which any state, county, or municipal sales tax was paid, and the amount and rate of sales or gross receipts tax collected at the time of purchase for the state, municipality, and county where the sale was made
- Designated agent or dealer license number of dealer
- The following phrase, in bold, on the bill of sale: Penalty of fifteen dollars ($15) due if vehicle is not registered in the name of the new owner within 20 calendar days
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What should I do after I get a bill of sale?
Since the bill of sale is only a receipt, it doesn’t actually transfer the ownership of the car. You’ll likely have to complete a title transfer to certify the process of switching ownership.
The state of Alabama doesn’t require a bill of sale for a title transfer across the board, but you may need one depending on which county you live in. Alabama requires both parties to fill out the transfer of ownership on the title. They’ll also have to fill out the Application for Replacement Title and follow the instructions listed on the form.
Be sure to keep a copy of your bill of sale for your records. Having your bill of sale on hand can potentially protect you from any legal disputes in the future, since the bill of sale serves as proof of your agreement with the buyer or seller.
How to find affordable car insurance
After you’ve completed your bill of sale and switched over the title and registration, the next task on your list is to find car insurance. This often requires a fair amount of grunt work, but downloading the Jerry app makes shopping for quotes painless.
With Jerry, you can find competitive rates from over 50 companies in just a couple of minutes—all with the tap of your thumb. Jerry can sign you up for a new policy or help you cancel your old one if you decide to switch. Plus, the average Jerry user saves $879 a year on insurance!
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