Selling or buying things in American states usually requires the completion of certain legal forms. A bill of sale is one such form; it demonstrates deal conditions and protects both parties of sales transactions.
What is a Bill of Sale in California?
You may create a California bill of sale form for any item you sell (or purchase). Whether the sales transaction object is a car, a laptop, a firearm, or any other thing, the bill of sale form will reveal:
- The data about the one who is selling and the one who is purchasing
- The features of the sold piece and its price
- The date of sale and signatures of the parties (or one party — depends on the state’s regulations).
California Bill of Sale Types
It is typical to sign a bill of sale when you sell (or purchase) the following goods in California:
- Vehicles (Vehicle bill of sale)
It is essential to complete the form when transferring a vehicle. Sometimes the document is required for the registration. Another name for it in California is “REG 135”.
- Vessels (Boat bill of sale)
The same applies to boats that are bought and sold in California. The form is needed to register a vessel in this state. For transactions related to boats, you may fill out the mentioned template, “REG 135”.
- Firearms (Firearm bill of sale)
In California, you are obliged to register only specific firearms. But a bill of sale ensures the transfer of ownership, so it is worth creating.
Although we have mentioned only three items, do not avoid this form when selling (or purchasing) any other thing: a general bill of sale might be used for such deals.
Why Do I Need a Bill of Sale?
This document has three key purposes:
- Demonstrating the fact of the deal and the price of sale
- Helping the new owner complete the registration process (this applies to certain items)
- Getting proof of the rights’ transfer between the former owner and the new owner.
Without a doubt, it is important to prove that the thing does not belong to you anymore. Imagine the situation where you have sold a car, and the one who bought it used it to commit a crime. You will probably need to prove that the car is not yours, and a bill of sale will help.
California Laws and Requirements
General bills of sale in California may have an arbitrary format. However, the documents described above are regulated by the public authorities (for example, the local Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV).
You are required to notarize the form in some states. In California, notarization is not mandatory, as stated in the Department’s rules).
Do I need to Have a Bill of Sale to Register a Vehicle, Watercraft, or Firearm in California?
Sometimes you should provide the document when registering a vehicle in California. It is vital if the title certificate from the previous owner does not state his or her name.
If you register a boat, you will need a bill of sale.
Registration of firearms should be completed only for specific sales transactions in California, and there is another form that you have to submit, not a bill of sale.
Creating a Bill of Sale in California
If you want to create a valid California bill of sale form, you may see our instructions below.
- Information about the sides of the transaction
You should insert the names and addresses of those who take part in the deal. Some sellers and purchases prefer to leave their phone numbers or email addresses in addition.
- Item’s features
When completing this section, do not forget to include the basic details that describe the item. Usually, parties add the brand and the item’s model, the year when it was produced, and the unique serial number (VIN, Hull ID, or other numbers).
Apart from these details, you may add the item’s style, color, length (for vessels), caliber (for guns), and other relevant features.
Remember to include the price of the item in US dollars.
- Parties’ signatures and the date
When you finish the form’s creation, add the date when the deal happened and both parties’ signatures. In some states, only the one who is selling the item should sign. Also, some bills of sale have to be notarized.