Important Terms for a Bill of Sale
- Seller: The person or party that is releasing the property.
- Buyers: The person or party that is taking possession of the property in exchange for consideration.
- Date of sale: The date that the sale took place.
- Price: The price paid for the property.
- Sales tax: Indicates whether or not sales tax was collected.
- Description: A description of the property being sold, including make, model, year, and VIN.
- As-is: Indicates that the item was sold as-is and without any warranties.
- Signature/Certification: The signature of the seller and/or buyer. In-person signatures are always valid, but you can also use PandaDoc to obtain a legal digital signature.
1. Colorado Bill of Sale Requirements
A Colorado bill of a sale is a document that memorializes the exchange of ownership of a piece of personal property.
While not required by law, a bill of sale might be essential to safeguard your interests and keep your records straight. Here’s what you need to know:
Why Use One?
While a bill of sale isn’t a legal requirement to buy and sell property in Colorado, it’s a good idea for buyers and sellers to create one.
Many items, such as vehicles, require a title in Colorado. After closing the deal on a sale, it’s the seller’s responsibility to transfer the title to the new owner. The buyer is responsible for registering the property with the proper agency.
A bill of sale can help prove the transfer of ownership if there is no title available or if you purchase a vehicle from another state. Bills of sale are also excellent tools for recordkeeping that you can pull out when it’s time to pay taxes, get insurance, or resell the property.
Finally, a bill of sale gives both the buyer and seller a level of peace of mind and protection. The buyer has a legal document stating that they’ve agreed on a purchase with the seller and its terms. The seller can show that they transferred ownership of the property, and when that took place. This is useful in the event the property is abandoned or involved in an accident, where someone will be looking for financial compensation from a responsible party.
You can create your bill of sale in any language, but most downloadable forms in Colorado are in English.
If you’re going to write a bill of sale in Colorado, you should include the price of the item, the date of the sale, the year, make, model, vehicle identification number (VIN) of the vehicle or another description of the property, and the name and contact information of both the buyer and seller. It should also be signed by both parties.
Number of Copies
You don’t need a bill of sale in Colorado. But, if you choose to use one, it’s a good idea to have two copies — one for each party.
If you’re buying or selling a vehicle in Colorado that is totaled, salvaged, or untitled, the bill of sale should specify the condition of the vehicle.
After Purchasing a Vehicle
As long as the buyer is in possession of a valid bill of sale, they can lawfully operate a motor vehicle purchased in a private sale for up to 36 hours before registering it. According to Colorado law, the operation of the vehicle is only legal if the following conditions are met:
- The buyer can show proof of insurance
- The vehicle is being driven from the location where the seller stored the vehicle to the location where the buyer intends to store it
- The vehicle was purchased during a time that the DMV offices were not open
- The buyer possesses a valid bill of sale listing the date and time of the transaction
You must register a vehicle in Colorado within 60 days after purchase or within 90 days of becoming a state resident. To complete your registration, you need:
- A valid title
- Proof of insurance
- Proof of Colorado Vehicle Emissions compliance
2. Colorado Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale
While not legally required, using a bill of sale when buying or selling vehicles is fairly common in Colorado. For example, if you are buying a vehicle through a dealership, you will have a secure bill of sale.
With a private sale, you can use a generic bill of sale form or one that is posted by your local DMV. For example, the Denver DMV provides a Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale that would be acceptable throughout the state. The information you would list on this form includes:
- The purchase price of the vehicle
- The name and address of the buyer
- Vehicle information (year, make, body style, model, VIN)
- Date and time of purchase
- Seller and buyer’s printed names and signatures
3. Colorado Boat Bill of Sale
If you are a Colorado resident and own a boat, snowmobile, or off-highway vehicle (OHV) in Colorado, the state requires that you carry a valid registration on or inside the vehicle at all times.
Non-residents can operate a vessel in Colorado for up to 60 days as long as they have a current registration from their state. If you are a non-resident that owns a snowmobile or OHV in Colorado, you don’t have to register it, but are still able to as long as you can provide proof of ownership.
When buying or selling a vessel, snowmobile, or OHV in Colorado, you aren’t required to have a bill of sale by law. However, it’s in your best interest to get one; most of these vehicles have to be registered with the Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) Department. Even with a title, it will be easier to register your property with a bill of sale. Further, a properly executed bill of sale allows the buyer to operate a vessel/snowmobile/OHV in Colorado for up to 30 days before registering.
The CPW provides a Vessel/OHV/Snowmobile Bill of Sale that you can download and complete. The information you’ll need to provide includes:
- The seller’s name, address, and signature
- The buyer’s name, address, phone number, and signature
- Whether you are exchanging a vessel, OHV, or snowmobile
- Year, make, model, and previous registration of the vehicle
- VIN or HIN
- Date of sale
4. Colorado Firearm Bill of Sale
According to Colorado law, you are not required to register firearms in the state. But that doesn’t mean that buying and selling firearms in Colorado is simple or risk-free.
Anyone who wants to sell a firearm to a non-immediate family member in Colorado must wait for the completion of a background check on the potential buyer. If the buyer doesn’t pass the check, the sale cannot go through.
A firearm bill of sale is a recommended legal document that memorializes your transaction. It can be used for a private party sale or by a firearm dealer. In fact, most firearm dealers are required to complete a bill of sale.
In the event that a firearm is used in an unlawful manner, a bill of sale can be used to prove that the seller is no longer the owner. A buyer can also use a bill of sale to prove ownership for insurance or tax purposes.
The state of Colorado does not provide citizens with an official bill of sale, but you can use a bill of sale template or produce your own. Some of the information you’ll want to list on the document includes:
- Buyer’s name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and concealed weapons license (if any)
- Seller’s name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and concealed weapons license (if any)
- Statement indicating that buyer has passed a background check and is eligible to purchase a firearm in Colorado
- Firearm information (make, model, caliber, serial number, cost)
- Sale date
- Signatures of buyers and sellers
5. Colorado Horse Bill of Sale
Unlike a vehicle or trailer, you aren’t required to register horses in the state of Colorado. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t insist on a bill of sale when buying or selling a horse in the state.
Horses are expensive, so buyers need to protect their investment. If you have a lawful bill of sale, this would prevent anyone from coming forward later and claiming ownership of your horse.
A horse can also be a source of liability. When you sell a horse, a bill of sale can release you from any responsibility with regard to injury, damages, or performance from that point forward.
Your bill of sale is a contract between the two parties involved in the transaction. Some of the information your horse bill of sale should list includes:
- The name and contact information of the seller
- The name and contact information of the buyer
- The date of the sale and purchase price
- Horse information (name, color/markings, sex, date of birth, location, any prior registration numbers)
6. Colorado Trailer/RV Bill of Sale
The state of Colorado requires that owners register all trailers. You don’t need a bill of sale to do this, but having the documentation can protect your rights.
A simple bill of sale form will suffice as long as it lists:
- Name and address of buyer
- Name and address of seller
- Purchase date and price
- Description of the trailer/RV (length, make, model, axles)
When the buyer goes to the DMV to register a new trailer, they need to take the title for the trailer, their identification, and any dealer paperwork if purchased from a dealer. It’s also a good idea for the seller to keep a copy of any bill of sale for their records.
FAQ: About the Colorado Bill of Sale
Do you need a bill of sale in Colorado?
You don’t need a bill of sale to complete a transaction or register a vehicle in Colorado. However, having one is a good idea to protect your rights and help you keep good records.
Can I get a title with a bill of sale in Colorado?
A seller in Colorado must have a title to sell a vehicle, trailer, or vessel and will need to get a duplicate if the title is lost or destroyed. A bill of sale only proves that there was an agreement between the two parties.
Do you need a notary for a Colorado bill of sale?
Bills of sale do not have to be notarized in the state of Colorado.
Can I sign a bill of sale electronically in Colorado?
Yes. Most contracts can now be signed electronically, and this includes a bill of sale. If you wish, you can use a secure and feature-rich service like PandaDoc to complete this process.