Selling and buying transactions of recreational vehicle (RV) must be conducted in accordance with legal requirements existing in the state of the buyer. An RV bill of sale may be required along with other documents to register and title the vehicle. Without proper registration of your vehicle, you may not be able to use it, and you may even be fined for any delays with registering it. Find out more helpful information about this document, including why it is important and how you can fill it out, as well as about the registration and titling procedures that you may need to go through.
What Is a Recreational Vehicle?
A recreational vehicle is a motor vehicle or trailer that has living quarters. Such a vehicle can serve as accommodation. There are various types of RVs, such as motorhomes, campervans, caravans, truck campers, and others.
This kind of vehicle may include special facilities to ensure comfortable living, including a kitchen and a bathroom. It usually comes with at least one sleeping place.
Recreational vehicles can be of the following two types:
The first ones are not self-propelled but towed by a motorized vehicle. Recreational vehicles of the second category are equipped with all the parts necessary for the movement independently from another motorized vehicle.
What Is a Bill of Sale that You Can Use to Sell or Buy an RV?
A bill of sale allows the seller and the buyer to complete the transfer of ownership in a legal and safe way. This document is essential not only for personal records that both parties should maintain but also for proper registration and title of a vehicle if it is required by state law.
It is usually a one-page document that contains all the essential information on the deal and allows determining the following:
- Who the seller is;
- Who the buyer is;
- What recreational vehicle has been sold;
- When the transaction took place;
- What the sale amount is.
Also, a bill of sale may be used for tax purchases if they are applicable in your state. While it is possible to add a few more details to the document, if you want to add lengthy terms for comprehensive legal protection, you should use a contract additionally.
Generally, a bill of sale serves as a receipt. Even if this document is not needed for registration or title of a vehicle by the relevant state bodies, both the seller and the buyer should prepare one for protection and warranties.
Do You Need to Register a Recreational Vehicle?
While the requirements for this procedure differ depending on the state, in most cases, such vehicles must be properly registered within a set timeframe. You will need to do it in the state where you live if you are the owner.
The registration procedure depends on various factors, such as:
- Type of recreational vehicle (motorized or non-motorized)
- Its gross weight
- Current registration
Also, you may be required to re-register a van or trailer that has been converted into an RV. You may also need to obtain a licensed plate for your recreational vehicle. For example, in Alabama, it is required to attach such a plate on a self-propelled recreational vehicle.
However, in most states, you will not have to it this if it is a recreational vehicle whose gross weight is less than 26,000 pounds or if it is a towed vehicle weighing less than 10,000 pounds.
What Are the Registration Requirements?
In most US states, you will be required to register your RV, but the procedure and documents can be quite different. Many registration bodies have implemented the same routine for the registration of recreational vehicles and cars, which allows keeping the process simple and straightforward. Such a vehicle may also be required to be titled depending on its size, weight, and other factors.
For instance, in South Carolina, you will need to title your recreational vehicle first to be eligible to register it.
To title your vehicle in this state, you will need to provide the following documents:
- RV bill of sale
- Previous title
To find out what documents you will need to register or title your recreational vehicle, you will need to figure out where you will be registering it. Usually, you can find all the needed information on the official website of the Department of Motorized Vehicles (DMV) in your state. Also, you can search for relevant information on the official website of the Department of Revenue (DOR) since registration of such a vehicle may be associated with paying taxes. If you have not found enough information, you can contact the representatives of the department for further instructions.
How to Buy an RV Safely?
Before deciding on how to do paperwork, you should find out how to buy a recreational vehicle without problems. Helpful tips on this issue have been provided by Texas DMV. Among the useful recommendations, you will find the following:
- Determine your budget;
- Find a model you like;
- Fully inspect the vehicle before buying;
- Make sure that it comes with full insurance coverage.
Once you have found a good option, you need to figure out how to transfer ownership using a bill of sale.
How to Prepare a Bill of Sale?
Many registration bodies provide their own forms of a bill of sale, which you can find right on their website. Please see the example of a free template of this document provided by New York State DMV.
You should find out whether such a form of a bill of sale is available on the website of the DMV or DOR operating in your state. If it is provided, you will be able to use it easily since it comes in PDF printable format. A form, specially prepared for the registrants living in the state, will include all the necessary fields, and you and the other party will need to fill it out.
It is also possible to find lots of different templates of such a form available on our site. You can use them if there is no special form provided by your state. In this case, it is essential to make sure that the form includes all the required fields. On some DMV or DOR websites, you can find the information on what exactly must be included in the bill of sale for further registration or titling.
Usually, the following information is essential:
- The name of the seller
- The name of the buyer
- The address of the buyer
- The address of the seller
- A full description of the vehicle, including year, make, and other details
- Date of the sale
- Price of a recreational vehicle
The document should be signed by both the buyer and the seller. It may also be required to be witnessed by two people or notarized. Even if there are no such requirements in your state, it is always preferable to opt for notarization because this way, the document will be considered legal in the state where this aspect is required.
Both parties should have a copy of a bill of sale. Please note that, as the owner of a recreational vehicle, you may need to provide an original document for the registration and titling body operating in your state.