Washington Bill of Sale

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A Washington bill of sale should include the date of sale, sale price, vehicle information, license plate and registration number, and the buyer and seller’s contact information plus their signatures. Washington legally requires you to fill out a bill of sale.
A bill of sale is an important document to fill out when you’re participating in a private vehicle sale. While you’re not required by law to draft a bill of sale in every state, it’s still a good idea to complete one as a record of the transaction. 
Car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry wants to make filling out a bill of sale as easy as possible. Here’s what to expect when filling out a Washington bill of sale.  

What is a bill of sale?

A bill of sale is like a receipt for the private sale of a car. It includes important information about the car that is being sold, including the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the odometer reading, and the purchase price. The bill of sale should also include information about the buyer and seller, along with their signatures. 
A bill of sale does not legally transfer ownership of a vehicle—you’ll need a certificate of title for that. A certificate of title is a document that certifies legal ownership of the car, while a bill of sale simply states the terms of your agreement in a private vehicle sale. 

Is a bill of sale required in Washington? 

Yes, completing a bill of sale is legally required in Washington. In order to apply for a new title, the buyer must present a bill of sale that has been signed by the seller. The buyer will also need the bill of sale to pay any required fees or taxes on the car. 

What is required in a Washington bill of sale? 

You can find the Washington State Department of Licensing’s Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale form here
A completed bill of sale must include the following information: 
  • The vehicle’s make, model, year, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • License plate and registration number
  • Date of sale
  • Sale price
  • The names, addresses, and signatures of buyers and sellers

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

After you complete the bill of sale, you’ll need to complete a title transfer to legally transfer ownership of the car from the seller to the buyer. 
Bear in mind that a bill of sale merely acts as a receipt of the transaction; it does not legally transfer ownership
Make sure you follow Washington’s laws carefully, as there are several steps required to legally transfer vehicle ownership. You may be required, for instance, to turn in your old license plates at the DMV to have them terminated or demolished.
Keep a copy of the bill of sale for your records. You never know if you’ll run into legal trouble down the road. You’ll want a copy of the bill of sale to have proof of the terms of the agreement you made. 

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