Bill of Sale

What is a Bill of Sale?


When you win a car through online auto auctions, you’ll have to face some paperwork. Here, we’re clarifying why you’re obligated to sign a Bill of Sale.

After you’ve won your vehicle at a salvage car auction, you’ll have to sign a Bill of Sale (BOS). It is a document that proves the sale of goods or possessions from one party to another. In most states, a BOS is necessary, except Alaska, Illinois, Michigan and Tennessee. You can find your Bill of Sale under the “Documents and IDs” tab under your account on Salvagebid, where you can e-sign it as well.

Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska and West Virginia stick to the rule that the Bill of Sale should be notarized to acquire its juridical power. In other states that isn’t necessary, but you can find a notary service to witness the act of chattel transfer if you want to be on the safe side.

Is there a single kind of Bill of Sale?

There is no unified sample of a Bill of Sale. Some states recommend getting a template from the local state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and others let you create an example of your own as long it meets your state requirements. Keep in mind that just a Bill of Sale is not enough to prove that the buyer is the new owner of the vehicle. Only transferring the original title of the car guarantees that you can claim ownership. The Bill of Sale is the evidence that chattel transfer between two parties has occurred. Salvagebid provides you with the opportunity to sign your Bill Of Sale electronically. If you forget, you will get a reminder to sign your BOS to complete your sale.

What information needs to be in the Bill of Sale?

There are eight sections to pay attention to. In each of them, you can provide as much significant information about the car as possible. Primarily, these sections are as follows: 

  • The location of the sale (if the buyer and the seller from different countries, the seller has to put down the county, state or place where the car is) 
  • Purchase price
  • Names of both parties involved
  • Vehicle location and description (take into account that legislation of some states like California doesn’t allow to pick up of the car for immediate delivery directly within the state from an auction)
  • Vehicle odometer reading
  • Sellers’ guarantee that they own the vehicle
  • Warranty stating the car is sold “as is”
  • Signatures of all parties involved

What information in the Bill of Sale requires more attention?

The vehicle’s description, signatures, and odometer reading. These are the most important fields in the Bill of Sale form. Providing the correct names and addresses of both parties is also essential. The description of the car has to be as precise as possible, including: 

  • color 
  • body type
  • VIN 
  • both license plate and registration numbers 
  • manufacture date as well. 

Make sure you check the mileage, especially on cars that have 5-digit odometers.

What information can be added to the Bill of Sale?

The seller can include the car’s specifications if necessary, like the color of interior wood trims or any other distinguishing features. Both parties also can include the method of payment with mutual consent, preferred vehicle delivery options, inspection dates, and other details about the title transfer. 

Generally, there are no legal restrictions on the amount of information related to the car on its Bill of Sale. That is why parties are able to include even additional terms of sale, such as insurance cancellation and so on.

What should the parties do after signing the Bill of Sale?

Both the buyer and the seller have to sign separate copies of the Bill of Sale, one for each party. Once the parties put their signatures down, the seller has to:

  • Bring the BOS to the local tax office where it will be recorded
  • As soon as the sale is done, the seller has to inform their local DMV about the transaction to release ownership of the vehicle. This will protect the seller from charges in the event of an accident during and after the vehicle possession transfer 
  • Both the seller and the buyer should send copies of the Bill of Sale to their state DMVs to complete the title transfer.

What does a “Bill of Sale” Title mean?

Except for the form, “Bill of Sale” can also be the sole document available with a vehicle. This implies that a car has been sold without documents and isn’t exportable to foreign countries. If you want to read about different title types on salvage car auctions, check out this article. You can also read about the documents needed to export the vehicle from the USA, in case the buyer is from another country.

Final words from Salvagebid

As Salvagebid is a trusted IAA partner, you can be sure that buying with us runs smoothly and we take care of the required documentation for exportable vehicles for customers worldwide. If you want to buy a salvage car online, it only takes a few simple steps to start bidding on salvage auto auction. The first is simple, just register with us and upload a copy of your government-issued ID or passport. Set your bidding power by placing your refundable security deposit, and start bidding! Don’t hesitate to contact us online or give us a call at +1 (360) 347-1300 from Monday to Friday, from 6:00 AM to 3:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, and we’ll do our best to help you find your dream car!

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