Whenever making a large purchase or sale it is always prudent to get evidence of the transaction. Usually this is in the form of a receipt which documents the goods purchased, the price and date. When the purchase is atypical or from a private seller, a receipt may not be available so you must look to a California Bill of Sale in order to document the transaction.
The most common items which require a bill of sale are cars, boats, motorcycles, and trailers however the list is virtually endless when you consider all of the items that we buy and sell everyday. Other less common items includes ATVs, dirt bikes, UTVs, golf carts, snowmobiles, moped, lawnmowers, and even farm animals. When buying or selling any of these items a California Bill of Sale helps document the time, price and details of the transaction, but also stipulates the condition, mileage, hours, type, and warranties of the item. It can also protect you from future liabilities involving this vehicle and from persons making a claim of ownership.
What Does a Bill of Sale Need to be Valid?
A bill of sale acts as a contract between the buyer and seller of the car. Each state has different rules for what they consider a valid bill of sale, but a contract itself must abide by the following general rules:
Offer: The agreement to exchange the vehicle for an amount of money. May also include conditions of the sale for the buyer and the seller.
Consideration: The amount of money being exchanged. Usually in a numeric and written form.
Acceptance: Signatures of both parties on the bill of sale.
Competent Parties and Legal Intent: Both parties entering the contract must be competent (age, mental capacity, and not impaired or forced). The contract is also valid only if it is lawful. A contract to complete an illegal act is not binding.
What Should the Buyer do with the Bill of Sale?
After you have made a purchase and received an executed bill of sale the first thing you should do is put it in a secured location. If lost, you won’t be able to apply for registration, won’t be able to prove ownership if someone claims the vehicle is theirs, and you may have some difficulty selling the item. We always suggest locking up your bill of sale in a filing cabinet or safe, where a combination or key is needed to access, and also making a digital copy.
Does the Seller Need a Copy?
It is also a good idea that the seller keep a copy of the Bill of Sale, and the buyer keep the original. This will ensure the seller can document the sale of their vehicle if property is damaged or someone is injured during its use.
California Bill of Sale Templates
California Car Bill of Sale Template
California Motorcycle Bill of Sale Template
California Trailer Bill of Sale Template
California Golf Cart Bill of Sale Template
California ATV Bill of Sale Template
California Dirt Bike Bill of Sale Template
California UTV Bill of Sale Template
California Snowmobile Bill of Sale Template
California Moped Bill of Sale Template
California Lawnmower Bill of Sale Template
California Horse Bill of Sale Template