California Bill of Sale Form

California bill of sale is a legal agreement between the buyer and seller for the sale or transfer of ownership of a vehicle, a boat, or any other sort of personal property. This document, which contains all of the details regarding a vehicle and its new owner, is required for transportation registration.

We propose different templates that contain bills of sale in the state of California for different types of transactions. You can create your own document or choose an already existing one, depending on your needs. There is no requirement to witness or notarize the document you accomplish at the time of purchase.


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Document Details

Document Name California Vehicle Bill of Sale Form
Other Names California Car Bill of Sale, California Automobile Bill of Sale
DMV California Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Registration Fee Varies depending on vehicle type, purchase price, city/county, dates etc.
Bill of Sale Required? No
Avg. Time to Fill Out 7 minutes
# of Fillable Fields 28

California Bill of Sale Forms by Type

You can choose different types of bills of sale for any type of personal property transfer you make in California. The specific template usually contains all the needed information for the private agreement.

California motor vehicle bill of sale template

Use a California vehicle bill of sale to sell or buy motor vehicles to another private owner. This document will be needed for the registration of a new vehicle in the California DMV. If you buy a new vehicle or move to the state of California, you will have 20 days to register your vehicle. The application can be made online or in person.

Alternative Name Car Bill of Sale
Seller’s Signature Required
Buyer’s Signature Required
Notarization Optional
Download PDF Template
California boat bill of sale template

California bill of sale form for a boat is a legal document proving the private ownership transfer between two owners. Every new boat should be registered in the local DMV and have its own title. If you buy a new boat outside the California state or move to California with your vessel, you will have 120 days to register it in the new state. All the registrations are valid for two years.

Alternative Name Vessel Bill of Sale
Seller’s Signature Required
Buyer’s Signature Required
Notarization Optional
Download PDF Template
California firearm bill of sale template

This California firearm bill of sale serves as a contract to sell and purchase a gun between two private entities. The guns can be bought from a licensed dealer or private owners. California allows buying and carrying of a gun to every person who doesn’t have a record.

Alternative Name Gun Bill of Sale
Seller’s Signature Required
Buyer’s Signature Optional
Notarization Optional
Download PDF Template
California general bill of sale template

Use a general bill of sale for any type of transaction in the state of California. However, the form contains only common information and not specific details regarding a vehicle, or other personal property to be sold.

Alternative Name Generic Bill of Sale
Seller’s Signature Required
Buyer’s Signature Optional
Notarization Optional
Download PDF Template

How to Write a CA Vehicle Bill of Sale

In California, for any vehicle transactions, you can use the official California bill of sale for a vehicle, known as Form REG 135. Scroll down to see a detailed explanatory guide on the parts this bill of sale consists of and how to fill them out correctly.

Step 1: Describe the vehicle

In the vehicle description section, you need to type in the factual information regarding the vehicle being sold. The required details are:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Year of the model
  • Vehicle make
  • License plate (CF #)
  • Motorcycle engine

The vehicle's description section of California car bill of sale

Step 2: Specify all the transaction details

In the next section, you need to write down the information regarding the transaction, including:

  • Purchaser’s name
  • Seller’s name
  • Date of the transfer
  • Selling price

If the vehicle is transferred as a gift, you need to clarify the relationship between the parties (e.g., parents, spouse, child, etc.) and enter the gift value.
Part for descriptive details of transaction of California motor vehicle bill of sale

Step 3: Add the seller’s certification

The seller must certify that the written information is correct and sign the document. Be sure to write a print name (all caps), and provide a dealer ID number. And the date of signing the agreement.

Part for the seller's certification of California motor vehicle bill of sale

Step 4: Fill out the seller’s details

The seller needs to provide their contact details, including:

  • Mailing address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip code
  • Daytime phone number

Make sure all the information is listed without errors and is valid.
Part for descriptive details of the seller of California motor vehicle bill of sale

Step 5: Specify contact details of the purchaser

First, type in the buyer’s name in all capital letters. Then, the form requires you to provide the viable mailing address, city, state, zip code, and phone number.

Part for descriptive details of the buyer of California motor vehicle bill of sale

You need to make two identical copies of each party’s bill of sale form to have the original document. Make sure that the seller signs both copies.

As notarization is not required for this form, you are free to print the form and call it a day. Use the bill of sale for title transfer or registration of your car at local authorities.

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Registering a Motor Vehicle in California

After completing the sale, the buyer must proceed to the registration process. You will need to contact the Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) office to book an appointment to register your vehicle. Note that you have to conclude the registration process before the lapse of 30 days after the purchase. Ensure that you start the paperwork in time to avoid last-minute inconveniences. If you buy your car from a local dealer, the vehicle owner will have to process the registration papers for you. However, if you buy it from a private party, you will have to collect documents yourself  for presentation at the DMV.

First, you will need to complete a vehicle  bill of sale to prove the transfer of ownership and obtain the original title for the car with an odometer reading. If you do not have the title, you must file an Application for Title or Registration (Form REG 343).

In California, smog certification is crucial when you want to register your car. It is typically a requirement if the car is below ten years old. However, if the seller has a smog certificate with two-year renewal validity within the last ninety days, you can still present it at the DMV. If you need more information about the smog certification, you can visit the website. Here, you can search the information with your zip code to find out your local station and if the county you reside in conducts smog inspections.

You will have to also produce proof of identification and the insurance agency. It is vital to ensure that you are the legitimate purchaser of the vehicle. As a buyer, you need to foot the costs of the title, CHP, registration, plus any other valid taxes that arise from the process.

It is imperative to note that all of these safety inspections mentioned above are not necessary if you are registering a new vehicle.

The buyer, on the other hand, must get a copy of the Release of Liability (Form REG 138) and fill out all of the information. It is a legit document informing the State of California that the buyer is no longer liable for the vehicle after the sale.

Another vital document for new California residents is an approved residency document from the website. You must submit proof of residency among the other documents.

Once you gather all of the above paperwork, please submit it to the DMV office and register your car.

Relevant Official Forms

(Vehicle) Form REG 135
(Vehicle) Form REG 343
(Vehicle) Form REG 227
(Vehicle) Form REG 156
(Boat) Form BOAT 101
(Boat) Form REG 227
(Boat) Form REG 256
(Firearm) Form BOF 4542A
(Firearm) Form BOF 030

Official bill of sale for a vehicle/vessel transactions.

(Vehicle) Form REG 135

Application for Title or Registration/Verification of Vehicle.

(Vehicle) Form REG 343

Application for Replacement or Transfer of Title.

(Vehicle) Form REG 227

Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents is a form used to get new documents or plates due to a vehicle being lost, destroyed, or stolen.

(Vehicle) Form REG 156

Official Application for Vessel Certificate of Number – is a form you can use to register your vessel and get a certificate of ownership.

(Boat) Form BOAT 101

Application for Replacement or Transfer Title is used when the title owner wants to release a lien on a vehicle.

(Boat) Form REG 227

Use Statement of Facts form if there is no bill of sale of a vessel.

(Boat) Form REG 256
Download Form REG 256

Firearm Ownership Report must be submitted after the gun purchase.

(Firearm) Form BOF 4542A

Dangerous Weapons License/Permit(s) Application and Live Scan Request Form.

(Firearm) Form BOF 030

Short California Bill of Sale Video Guide

seal of california state

Other Bill of Sale Forms by State

Published: Apr 14, 2022
Mara Erlach
Mara Erlach
Writer & Attorney
Mara has been practicing estate planning and trust law in California since 2003, taking pride in helping clients of all backgrounds and asset profiles form a complete and customized estate plan. Her specialties are: estate planning, wills and trusts, trust and probate administration.