Bill of Sale Signing Requirements and Notarization
A bill of sale is useful when a private sale takes place, providing necessary details, which could include personal information about the buyer and seller and information on the item involved. It is considered a legal document but only if it is completed and signed under the laws in the state of the purchase. Before filling out or signing any forms, all parties involved should check their local legislation to determine the relevant recommendations and requirements.
Bill of Sale: Purpose
The purpose of a bill of sale form is to draw out and document the details of a transaction taking place between two parties. It is most commonly used in a private sale, providing information about both the buyer and seller and including details about the item in question. Items most typically documented in such a way include motor vehicles, jewelry, clothing, and appliances.
When both parties have a copy of their bill of sale, they can use it to:
- Show proof of purchase
- Protect themselves from fraud
- Show the change in ownership
- Prepare their annual taxes
- Pay sales tax on the total amount paid for the item
Signing Requirements in the Majority of States
Each state has its own set of laws when dealing with the creation of a bill of sale. While these laws should be double-checked beforehand, many states have the same set of legal recommendations when creating documentation for buying or selling any items. Some states allow signing to take place in the presence of witnesses. Other states require the signatures in front of a notary public. Most attorneys recommend that both parties still notarize the document for added effectiveness, even if only witnesses are needed.
Why Notarize a Bill of Sale?
Notarizing a bill of sale is beneficial for many reasons. Even when it is not required, buyers should consider notarization for the following reasons.
- It protects both parties from frauds
In this case, a notary public’s role is to certify that the transaction that took place was done lawfully. They add their seal to the document, which defines the sale as legally binding. Records are kept amongst the parties involved in the transaction and with the local notary’s office if needed.
- Some sales require a bill of sale
This one varies by state. Some local governments require the bill of sale to be acknowledged by a notary public. This is why it is essential to check the local and state laws regarding private sale cases.
- It is needed for the transfer of titles and vehicle registration
The new owner of a vehicle must obtain the title and register their vehicle under their name. To do so, they will need some proof of their purchase and a document that certifies ownership has changed. A bill of sale comes in handy here, used as proof of purchase, and certifies the legal exchange of ownership.
How to Notarize a Bill of Sale?
The notarization of any document that takes on legal stature is an easy process. The notary public will act as a witness, observing the signatures at the time of signing to certify that they were done legally. To start, both parties involved in the sale must be present when the notary public is present. Then, the notary will check the identifications of both parties to make sure all information checks out. After a glance over the bill of sale to understand the terms at hand, the notary will ask that both parties sign the document if they agree to its contents.
The process ends with the notary public adding their signature and seal. They are required to do so in close proximation to their signature and obtain a copy for themselves that is helpful at the local notary’s office. In adding a notary seal to a document, it is dually noted as a legally binding document. It can be used for several purposes, certifying that the sale was made lawfully and all information included is correct and confirmed by the parties involved.
Where to Get Bill of Sale Forms?
Many websites similar to FormsPal offer legal forms for all purposes, including a bill of sale. You can find a PDF form of the document on our website that you can download or fill out and print online. These templates include blank spaces for all information needed to create the document, guiding you through the process properly. Though you can quickly fill out all areas on the form with the necessary information, it is advised to first check your local legislation before signing, making sure to leave that for the notary public if needed.
Once all parties understand and agree to terms, they just need to fill out the document and sign according to their state laws.