Important Terms for a Bill of Sale
- Property location: This section lists the location of the property listed on the bill of sale.
- Seller: This includes the seller or sellers’ identifying information like name and address.
- Buyer: This includes the buyer or buyers’ identifying information like name and address.
- Sales tax: This section indicates the amount of sales tax included in the transaction, if any.
- Property: This section lists descriptive information about the property and any special conditions that apply. For vehicles, this is where the VIN, odometer reading, and other identifying information is listed.
- Witness information: This section includes information about witnesses to the signing of the bill of sale, if any. The witness can be either a public notary or two parties agreed upon by the buyer and seller.
- As-is: When a buyer agrees to purchase an item “as-is,” they are agreeing to purchase the property in its current state at the time of sale.
- Gift: When the property is given to the buyer for free, there can be tax implications in the following year. This mostly applies to vehicles and large purchases.
- Certification/Signature: The buyer and seller must sign the bill of sale to finalize the agreement. Signatures can be made in person or digitally, through a certified digital signature provider. PandaDoc documents allow users to gather legal digital signatures.
1. Alabama Bill of Sale Requirements
In the state of Alabama, bill of sale requirements will depend on the type of property being sold.
In general, you may not need a bill of sale when selling a vehicle. However, bills of sale are required by the Department of Revenue (DOR) when you are selling a vehicle with no title. You’ll also need to use a bill of sale when registering a vessel, or boat. When bills of sale are required, they must be notarized or have two witness signatures.
Alabama does not have an official bill of sale form. Instead, each county maintains its own form or has established a set of criteria for what to include on a bill of sale that you can draft on your own.
Why Use One?
When you use a bill of sale, you and the other party can feel confident in your sales agreement details. You’ll need to take time to fill in the form and consider each element of the transaction and then agree to those elements. This can make for a more transparent, smoother sales transaction.
A bill of sale can also serve as legal proof that you and the other party agreed to the sale.
The DOR and individual counties do not provide bills of sale or any other forms in languages other than English. The state does not provide translators — if you are not a fluent English speaker, you may need to work with your own interpreter.
The buyer and seller can agree to a bill of sale in any other language, as long as each party understands their copy of the document.
Number of Copies
When bills of sale are required for a transaction, a copy must be provided to the state of Alabama. Otherwise, you can create a copy for each party to keep with their personal records.
You can use a bill of sale in Alabama to document the sale of junked or salvage vehicles, as long as the seller lists the vehicle they are selling as salvage or junk on the form.
After Purchasing a Vehicle
To register a vehicle in Alabama, you’ll need to produce certain paperwork in addition to the bill of sale.
The seller must sign the title over to the new owner by filling in fields on the back of the title. In cases where there is no title and vehicle is over 35 years old, a bill of sale is mandatory to register the vehicle in the new owner’s name.
The signed title and bill of sale are processed by the buyer’s county licensing office.
If you have misplaced the vehicle title, you can request a duplicate title through your county’s licensing office.
Buyers have 20 days to register their new vehicles in Alabama, or 30 days if they are new to the state. To complete registration, buyers must appear in person at their county licensing office with:
- The completed title, filled out by previous owner with odometer reading, sales price, and valid seller’s signature
- Proof of residence and insurance
- Current registration
- Odometer disclosure, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old and 16,000 pounds
- Fees for registration, title, and sales tax
2. Alabama Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale
Each county in Alabama has its own set of requirements for the information listed on a motor vehicle bill of sale. You may be able to locate a blank vehicle bill of sale form on your county’s license commission website.
You can expect that any county’s form will require basic identifying information, such as full names, addresses, and driver’s license numbers for both buyer and seller. Most likely, you’ll need to include the following details about the vehicle as well:
- Odometer reading
Alabama does not require a bill of sale to register vehicles unless they are over 35 years old and you don’t have the title.
3. Alabama Boat (Vessel) Bill of Sale
In Alabama, a boat bill of sale must include identifying information like the names, addresses, and driver’s license or state ID numbers for the buyer and seller. To register the boat, the bill of sale must include the following details:
- Hull ID number
- Registration number
- Odometer (hours)
- Title number
You will also need to indicate whether a trailer is included in the transfer. If so, you’ll need to supply the number of outboard motors, as well as their make, year, and horsepower.
4. Alabama Firearm Bill of Sale
Alabama does not require a bill of sale to buy or sell a firearm. However, it is a good idea to fill one out to establish ownership and to free the seller from liability.
In addition to basic identifying information for the buyer and seller, you will need to list the following information on a firearm bill of sale in Alabama:
- Serial number
- Any defects present
- Purchase price
If the seller does not collect the entire purchase amount at the time of the transaction, the bill of sale should list the due date and any down payment that the buyer makes.
To add more authenticity to an Alabama firearm bill of sale between a buyer and seller, you can have the signing witnessed and notarized.
5. Alabama Horse or Livestock Bill of Sale
The state of Alabama does not require a bill of sale to complete a horse or livestock sale. However, as a good business practice, you may want to use a generic horse or livestock bill of sale to verify payment and purchase terms.
6. Alabama Aircraft Bill of Sale
The state of Alabama does not offer statewide or countywide aircraft bills of sale. Aircraft sales in the US must comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. The standard FAA aircraft bill of sale can be found on the FAA website.
7. Alabama General Bill of Sale
In Alabama, you can use an existing template for a general bill of sale to document almost any personal property sale.
When you fill in an Alabama general bill of sale, you’ll need to include identifying information for the buyer and seller. You should also describe the property you are selling. Examples of the type of information that you could list on the bill of sale include:
- Serial or model number
- Physical description
- Condition of the property
- Whether the property is a gift
You can also include the sale price or information about a trade agreement that you and the seller make. If money needs to change hands after the property is transferred between the parties, the bill of sale should list the due date.
8. Alabama Abandoned Vehicle Bill of Sale
Alabama residents must fulfill specific requirements to sell an abandoned vehicle, which include drafting a bill of sale.
For an Alabama abandoned vehicle bill of sale, you’ll need to include the VIN, year, make, model, and date the vehicle was abandoned — state law requires at least 30 days notice to the owner. You’ll also need to include the date and location of the sale.
You must also include the dates that you published a notice of the sale in a newspaper or court system and the name of the newspaper or courthouse. You’ll need to notify any lienholder on the vehicle by certified mail.
An Alabama abandoned vehicle bill of sale must include:
- The sale price of the abandoned vehicle
- Repair costs
- Towing expenses
- Storage expenses
- Other expenses to be deducted from the sale price
Before you begin the process of buying or selling an abandoned vehicle, it’s a good idea to consult with your local DMV to make sure you meet all the requirements.