How to Write a Bill of Sale for a Car

If your state doesn’t provide a bill of sale, you can write one with key information about the vehicle and sale.
Philip Reed
By Philip Reed 
Edited by Samantha Allen
How to Write a Bill of Sale for a Car

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A bill of sale is a document that verifies you’ve sold your car and provides basic information about the vehicle and the terms of the sale. Not all states require them, but it’s a good idea to create one — it can prevent misunderstandings between you and the buyer.

If you're ready to sell your car, find out if your state provides a bill of sale form. If not, you can write your own with the information provided below.

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Finding your state’s bill of sale form

Your state’s motor vehicle department website might have a bill of sale form you can download and fill in. You can also search online for the following: “automobile bill of sale [name of state].” Carefully scan the results and select one that comes from your state’s motor vehicle department. The website will probably end in “.gov.”

For example, the web address for California's Department of Motor Vehicles is and it provides a bill of sale that you can download.

While you’re on the department’s site, check your state’s bill of sale requirements. A few states require that the bill of sale is notarized (stamped by a notary public as additional legal proof of its accuracy).

Writing a bill of sale for a car

Even if your state doesn’t offer a downloadable vehicle bill of sale form, you might be able to find a free template online — or you can easily write one yourself.

A bill of sale for a car should include:

1. The date of the sale.

2. A description of the car, including its:

  • Year, make and model

  • Vehicle identification number

  • Current mileage

  • License plate number

3. The selling price of the car. If the car is a gift or partial gift, you should still create a bill of sale. Indicate that the car is a gift or a partial gift and state the reduced price, if any money changed hands.

4. Warranty information. Most private party sales are assumed to be “as is,” meaning that there's no warranty. But if you have a different agreement, put it in the bill of sale.

5. The full names, addresses and signatures of the buyer and seller. Above the signature there's language stating that the information is accurate. Generally, it reads something like this: “I declare under penalty of perjury that the statements herein contained are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.”

Once you complete the document or fill in the blanks, the buyer and seller should each receive a copy.