Massachusetts Bill of Sale

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A Massachusetts bill of sale should include the car’s make, model, year, and VIN, information about the buyer and seller, and more. The bill of sale should also state the selling price.
A bill of sale is an essential aspect of every private car transaction but only legally required in some states. In Massachusetts, you are only required to fill one out if the car is exempt from titling.
Even if that case doesn’t apply to you, it's always a good idea to fill out a bill of sale as a record of the transaction.
The car insurance broker and comparison app Jerry explains everything you need to know about completing a Massachusetts bill of sale here.

What is a bill of sale?

The bill of sale is like a receipt for a private car sale. It contains information about the vehicle to be sold and the buyer and seller—including the VIN, odometer reading, purchase price, and signatures. 
Completing a bill of sale is not the equivalent of a legal transfer of ownership—only a title transfer does that. 
A certificate of title is a legal document that confirms the ownership of a vehicle. On the other hand, a bill of sale describes the terms of your agreement to buy or sell the car.

Is a bill of sale required in Massachusetts?

A bill of sale is not required in Massachusetts when transferring ownership via a private sale unless the car is exempt from titling.
This means that you'll need to fill out a bill of sale for vehicles from model year 1980 and older that were purchased before 1990.
This exemption also applies to trailers that weigh 3,000 pounds or less.
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What is required in a Massachusetts bill of sale?

If you need or choose to fill out a bill of sale, make sure to include the following information:
  • Vehicle make, model, and year
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Name, address, and signature of buyer and seller
  • Date of purchase
  • Purchase price
You can either make your own or use this bill of sale form on the Massachusetts government website.
If you’re filing a bill of sale for a title-exempt car, you’ll also need to present the registration card so the new buyer can register the vehicle.

What should I do after I get a bill of sale?

To officially validate the change of ownership, you need to complete a title transfer.
If you're selling the car, you may need to contact the DMV and turn in or transfer the previous license plates. If you’re buying the car, you must register it with the DMV and obtain new license plates.
Make a copy of the bill of sale and keep it in a safe place for future use. This shields you from potential legal ramifications and is a great point of reference if any disputes come up. 

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