Tennessee Bill of Sale

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In Tennessee, a bill of sale functions as an official proof of purchase for a vehicle. A bill of sale is not required during private transactions but is necessary for residents importing a car outside the country.
A bill of sale cannot transfer the ownership of a vehicle—that’s up to the title—but it can prove the purchase and outline a few key elements of the agreement. Though not required, a bill of sale can be a great addition to your records—for its ability to cement a purchase and protect you from legal obstacles down the line.
However you plan on completing this document, the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has everything you need to know about bills of sale in Tennessee. 

What is a bill of sale? 

A bill of sale is what officially records the transfer of a vehicle. It functions much like a receipt—demonstrating the purchase price and signatures from the buyer and seller.
Along with basic information about the transaction, a bill of sale will also give a brief overview of the vehicle’s make, model, years, VIN, and current odometer reading. This information is included to provide an accurate description of the transaction.

Is a bill of sale required in Tennessee? 

In most states, the seller must complete a bill of sale before transferring a vehicle—but Tennessee doesn’t force this upon residents during the private transfer of vehicles, nor does it provide an official form.
Imports make up the only exception to this rule. Here, the Tennessee Department of Revenue mandates that any vehicle purchased from outside the country be accompanied by a valid bill of sale before registration.

What is required in a Tennessee bill of sale? 

Tennessee does not offer its residents an official bill of sale form; instead, you’ll need to draft your own. Luckily, this process is relatively simple to complete.
To make your bill of sale official, you’ll need to include the following. 
  • Name, address, and signature of the previous owner
  • Name and address of the new owner
  • Year, make, model, and VIN of the vehicle
  • Date of sale
  • Signature of a public notary

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

Once you’ve completed a bill of sale, your next step will likely be to initiate a title transfer. A title transfer will officially transfer the ownership of a vehicle to the seller—removing the ownership from the previous owner.
If you are the new owner, you’ll also need to register the car at your local DMV before you can legally begin driving the vehicle. The registration fee is $21.50.
While a bill of sale will only record the transfer, it is a valuable tool for accurate record keeping. If problems arise with payment or if there are any troubles with the law, a bill of sale can protect the previous owner, demonstrating the exact conditions in which a vehicle was sold.

How to find affordable car insurance

In Tennessee, there’s nothing more straightforward than the state’s motto: America at its best. And when it comes to finding you the best rates on car insurance, Jerry makes things simple.
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