Bill of sale forms are used to transfer ownership of personal property from one person to another. The specific details included in each bill of sale form are dependent on the type of item being sold.

In the sample below, we use a car as an example to illustrate the information typically included in a car bill of sale form. Note that a car bill of sale is a little different than a regular bill of sale, as it contains provisions for VIN numbers and odometer readings.

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What’s included in a bill of sale

All bill of sale forms include buyer and seller information, payment information, signatures and witness information.
Bill of sale forms also include a property description. The property description is unique to the type of property you are selling (a car vs. a computer, for example). The description is also the most detailed part of a bill of sale and distinguishes the property you are selling from similar items of its kind. In the case of our sample bill of sale form below, we document the type of car we are selling by including details about the year, make and model.

Buyer and Seller

The buyer and seller’s name and contact information should be included for any type of product sold.

  • Seller(s): List the names and addresses of all property sellers, including street address, city, state and zip code.
  • Buyer(s): List the names and addresses of all property buyers, including street address, city, state and zip code.

Property Description

Think of the property description as the fingerprint of your product. In our car bill of sale form we would include:
  • Year: The year the car was made.
  • Make: The name of the car manufacturer (e.g., Honda, Ford, Toyota).
  • Model: The car model. For example, Honda makes the Accord, Civic, and Fit, among many others.
  • Body Type: Common body types include: sedan, convertible and hatchbacks. You can also include the number of doors the vehicle contains.
  • Odometer Reading: An accurate odometer reading is important because it speaks to the condition of the vehicle and its value. If the odometer has been altered, there is no way to know the actual number of miles it has traveled and the amount of wear and tear it has endured. The seller must indicate the odometer mileage, and the buyer must sign a section on the bill of sale acknowledging the odometer reading.
  • VIN: A vehicle identification number, commonly referred to as a VIN, is a 17-digit unique identifier assigned to every vehicle manufactured. You can typically find a car’s VIN on the driver's side of the car on the dashboard.  Take a look at your owner’s manual to see where your VIN is located.

Payment Amount, Method and Conditions

Your bill of sale must include the price, payment method and condition of the item being sold. The below applies to just about any type of property being sold:
  • Sale Price: Indicate the sale price of the car in numerical format, including the type of currency (e.g., Sale Price: $4,400).
  • Form of Payment:  List the method of payment, which may include cash, money order, personal check, promissory note or a combination of these methods.
  • Sales Tax: Sales tax varies by locality. Check with your local governing agency to determine if you must include sales tax and how to indicate it on the bill of sale. You may be required to list it separately or include it in the sales price.
  • Warranty: Indicate whether the car is being sold in as-is condition without a warranty. This is common when purchasing a car from an individual. A limited warranty in a used car purchase usually refers to a used car dealer agreeing to make repairs free of charge for a specified period of time on particular car parts or systems. 

Signatures and Witnesses

Once all details are in place, signatures are needed to finalize the deal. The below applies to just about anything you may sell, not just a car. 
  • Seller’s Signature: The seller must sign the bill of sale at the bottom of the document.
  • Buyer’s Signature: The buyer signs near the odometer reading and once again at the bottom of the document. 
  • Date of Sale: Indicate the date that ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer.
  • Witness: In the case of complicated transactions, there may be a witness to the sale, such as a lawyer or other third party. If so, the witness must sign the document. 

Car Bill of Sale Considerations

Actual ownership transfer takes place once the car's Certificate of Title has been transferred. If you are the seller, be sure to sign over the title to the buyer at the time of sale.

Additional bill of sale resources: 

Get started Start Your Bill of Sale Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get started Start Your Bill of Sale Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.