A bill of sale is effectively a receipt that proves a transaction occurred. When you sell your car, you’ll need to write a bill of sale for the buyer in order to certify the nature of the transaction. If you’re able to create a bill of sale properly, then both you and the buyer of the car will be in a better position in the future should any issues surrounding the sale of the car arise.
Writing a bill of sale
Step 1: Provide the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). One of the most important details to include on the bill of sale is the Vehicle Identification Number.
The VIN is basically the equivalent of a car’s Social Security Number, and it tells the history of where it has been registered and what sort of accidents and damages have been associated with the car.
A seller should provide this information to the buyer so the buyer can view the history of the car and know exactly what they are buying.
Step 2: Provide a description of the vehicle. You should provide the basic facts about the car that are generally used to differentiate one car from another.
You should provide the year, make, and model, and you should also include information about the trim, mileage and color. You don’t have to go into excruciating detail, but having more information is better than not enough, and any identifying features should certainly be noted.
Step 3: Record any warranties or other special agreements. If you and the buyer have agreed upon a warranty of some sort, then this should be noted on the bill of sale.
Even if you both have perfect confidence that any verbal agreements would be upheld, having these explicitly recorded in writing guarantees there is no misunderstanding and you both have a common resource to draw upon in case there is confusion in the future.
Step 4: Add a statement of sale. A statement of sale should include the buyer’s and your own personal information, the price of the vehicle, and the location where the sale took place.
Step 5: Create an oath in the document. This will be a written expression attesting to your own belief that you have not deliberately provided any false information or been misleading.
This is an important part of the document in that it basically is your way of putting your word and reputation on the line.
Step 6: Create a place to sign. You should make space for both you and the buyer to sign, generally underneath the oath.
It may be wise to have a notary public present during the signing of the document. This adds extra credibility to the document.
You should recognize at this point that you are swearing an oath before the law, so it would not only be immoral if you lied about some fact of the car, but you would bear the penalty of perjury as well.
Step 7: Allow the buyer to review the document ahead of time. The buyer should be given a chance to review the bill of sale so that any errors or misunderstandings can be cleared up.
The will help you both avoid unneeded issues in the future.
Step 8: Make the necessary changes and sign the document. If there are any discrepancies, clear them up and fill in and sign the document.
Once the bill of sale has been completed, you are well on your way to selling the the vehicle. The transfer of ownership is not complete, however, until the title has been transferred as well, so don’t forget to do this crucial step.