How to Write a Used Car Bill of Sale

By M. C. English - Updated April 11, 2017
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Writing a used car bill of sale need not be complicated. Just use the information from your motor vehicle title and follow some simple steps. Make sure you describe the vehicle being sold and the terms of the contract. Both buyer and seller should sign the document to avoid confusion.

Consult Your Local DMV

Most states have a Department of Motor Vehicles website that lists requirements for writing a bill of sale. Some sites have free forms available. For example, the State of California offers a free, downloadable bill of sale. Other states such as Georgia provide online forms as well. See the directory linked in References for the DMV website for your state.

Provide Basic Documentation

Use the downloadable form for your state, if available, or simply write a document entitled, “Bill of Sale." Indicate the date of sale. Make sure to use the date the bill of sale is actually signed.

State the intent to transfer title to the vehicle in exchange for the price to be paid. Do this by writing: “I, (name of seller), in consideration of payment of the sum of (price) from (name of buyer), do hereby sell and transfer all right, and title and ownership of the motor vehicle described below.

Add a separate line or paragraph describing the vehicle being sold. Use the information found on the vehicle title. Include the vehicle year, make, model and color. Note other distinguishing characteristics, for example, if the vehicle is a convertible or has four-wheel drive.

Identify the buyer and the seller. Include a line stating the name, address and other contact information for the seller. Do the same for the buyer.

Make Necessary Disclosures

Indicate these in a separate paragraph. For example, if the vehicle is being sold “as is,” say so. Specific representations as to conditions or repairs should be included. Warranties or guarantees, if any, should be expressly noted. State the mileage of the vehicle. If the vehicle is exempted from state mileage disclosure laws the document should make that clear.

The bill of sale must include a statement that the seller has good title to the vehicle and that it is free and clear of all liens, security agreements or other encumbrances.

Sign and Verify

Include separate signature lines for the buyer and the seller. Leave room under each signature line for verification of signature by a notary public.

About the Author

M.C. English has a J.D. in law, a B.A. in journalism and minors in marketing and English. She has published in the Omaha World Herald, regional magazines, legal journals and most recently the Journal of South Texas. She has worked as a staff writer, editor, lawyer, college professor and investigator.

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