Buying and selling any vehicle in the USA may be regulated in a certain way depending on the state. A motorcycle bill of sale may be one of the documents that the purchaser will have to provide for proper vehicle registration and title. It must include some essential information allowing determining the parties, the vehicle, and other matters related to the deal. Read this article to find comprehensive information on this document, how to prepare it, and in what cases you will need to use it for registration.
What Is a Bill of Sale?
A bill of sale is a legal document that serves as a receipt. It is used in transferring ownership of different types of property. When buying or selling a motorcycle, both the seller and the buyer need to have the document proving the change in ownership. A bill of sale can be used in this case. It is a short document that includes only the most important details of the transaction.
If you wish to have a document consisting of multiple clauses and describing various terms of ownership transfer, then you need to prepare a contract of sale or a similar document, allowing adding as many sections as you need.
Why Should Use a Bill of Sale to Buy or Sell a Motorcycle?
A bill of sale provides you with necessary guarantees in case of disputes and other problematic situations. For example, as the seller of the motorcycle, you do not want to be liable for it any longer. If someone has been injured using the vehicle or it has been used for committing another type of crime, such as robbery, you want to prove that the motorcycle does not belong to you any longer and you have nothing to deal with it. It is essential that you have a document proving the transfer of ownership from the very first second you sell your motorcycle.
The same applies to the buyer. If you purchase a motorcycle, you want to get a document proving that you have paid all the money for it. Also, you do not want to have possible problems due to the unlawful actions of the previous owner related to the use of the motorcycle that you bought.
Another reason to get a bill of sale is for tax purposes as it may be required by the Department of Revenue (DOR) in your state. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to use a bill of sale for transferring ownership of a motorcycle.
Does a Purchaser Have to Provide a Bill of Sale to Register a Motorcycle?
The registration and title requirements for motorcycles vary drastically, depending on the state. In most cases, you will need to go through the registration procedure. In this case, you will have to show some documents proving that you are the current owner of the motorcycle.
Some of the documents that can be used for this purpose include:
- A bill of sale
- Certificate of origin
A bill of sale is usually required if you have purchased a motorcycle that does not have any title or if it is a used vehicle. Also, you will need to obtain a license for your vehicle.
For example, in the State of Connecticut, you will need to provide different documents to register your vehicle, depending on the following:
- Whether the vehicle is titled in Connecticut or a different state
- Whether your motorcycle has a lien
- Whether your motorcycle is leased
In case you are required to title your motorcycle before the registration, you will need to bring a filled-out title application along with other documents, such as a motorcycle bill of sale.
How to Register Your Motorcycle?
First of all, you need to learn the requirements regarding the registration of motorcycles in your state. This information can be found on the official website of The Department of Motor Vehicles and the DOR in your state. In particular, you will need to find out what documents are required to register, title, and license your motorcycle.
The easiest ways to complete the registration and other required procedures to legally operate your motorcycle are as follows:
- Purchase a new motorcycle
- Buy a used motorcycle that has previously been properly registered and titled in your state
Please note that you will have to submit all the necessary documents within a certain timeframe, which depends on the requirements existing in your state. If you fail to do so, you will likely have to pay a fine.
Another thing to be aware of is that you will need to pay certain fees. They depend on which services you opt for. For instance, if you only need to register your motorcycle, it will be a registration fee. If titling is also required, then you may have to pay for that separately.
Please keep in mind that over some time you will need to renew your registration. The information on the frequency of such procedures can be found on the official website of the DMV in your state.
How to Fill Out a Bill of Sale?
If a bill of sale is required for registration and title of your motorcycle in your state, you will likely be able to find a free template of this form on the website of the registration body in your state. Usually, it is available in a PDF printable format.
If you cannot find such a form on the official websites of the DMV or DOR, you can search for it on our site. You will likely find a wide choice of such templates on the web. Make sure that you pick the one suitable for a vehicle, and in particular, motorcycle sale or purchase.
The essential fields that must be included in this document are as follows:
- The name of the seller
- The name of the buyer
- Description of a motorcycle (year, make, model, and others)
- The sale of the transaction
- The price of the vehicle
You can check out the template of a bill of sale provided by the State of Maine.
On some official websites of the relevant registration bodies, you may also find information on what exactly must be included in the bill of sale. In this case, you can find a template that fully matches those requirements.
If you use a document in a PDF or Word format, you can fill it out using your computer. Just navigate from field to field using your mouse cursor or the tab key.
Once all the fields have been filled out and you have printed the document, both parties of the deal must add their signatures. Such a document should be notarized to be legal. Another option that you can opt for is witnessing the deal by two individuals. Each state has its own requirements regarding the notarization of a bill of sale. Even if it is not required in your state, it may be required in another. Therefore, it is recommended to notarize the document to make sure that it could be sold to a resident of a different state without problems.
Both the seller and the buyer should have a copy of the document, which they will keep for their own records. When registering a motorcycle, the purchaser may be required to provide an original bill of sale.