When buying or selling vehicles in California, the sides should utilize a vehicle bill of sale to record the transaction. Although a California motor vehicle bill of sale is not necessarily required to sell or purchase a vehicle, it’s strongly recommended to use it. These documents can significantly simplify the process of transition of ownership and help the sides avoid legal disputes.
Why Use Bills of Sale to Trade Motor Vehicles in California?
Signing a bill of sale signifies the transition of liability for the item being sold from one party to another. Besides, bills of sale prevent disputes over the rights of ownership since both sides confirm their acknowledgment of the deal’s conditions. A California motor vehicle bill of sale is also among the documents required to register a newly obtained automobile or boat.
In addition to the above advantages, bills of sale aren’t that complicated to create and complete. These documents include only the most important information about the sides and the vehicle itself. A physical copy of a bill of sale is available from your local Department of Motor Vehicles, while a digital template can be found online. Consider checking out our library if you need a printable PDF form. We also offer a free form builder, which can be used to create a customized document.
How to Register a New Vehicle in California?
Mind that using a bill of sale isn’t always necessary to register a vehicle. If you purchase a car or boat from a person whose name is on the vehicle’s title, a bill is not required. In California, bills of sale require notarization to obtain legal value, so make sure to invite a public notary to sign your document. The registration must be completed within 30 days from the date of purchase. Other documents needed to register a vehicle include the following:
- Taxes and fees. Taxes may vary depending on the type of the vehicle, its age, and specific exemptions.
- Vehicle title or a Registration form. Form Reg 343 can be used instead of the title.
- Motor vehicle bill of sale. Remember that this document must be notarized and signed by all involved parties.
- Insurance. To register a vehicle in California, you must insure it with a local company.
- Odometer reading. This number is commonly included in the title.
- Smog certificate. Your vehicle must go through a smog inspection performed by the state