Important Terms for a Bill of Sale
- Seller: The person or party that is releasing the property.
- Buyer: 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 use PandaDoc to obtain a legal digital signature
1. Connecticut Bill of Sale Requirements
A bill of sale in Connecticut is used to prove the transfer of ownership of a piece of property from one person to another. It is generally used for such things as vehicles, boats, trailers, livestock, and other personal property items of value.
Depending on the type of property you are buying, a bill of sale might be required by law for you to legally transfer ownership and register the item in your name. When you fill out a bill of sale, you’ll include information that identifies both the buyer and seller as well as the property being transferred.
Why Use a Bill of Sale?
A bill of sale form contains information that is valuable to both the buyer and seller for record-keeping purposes. It has contact information for both parties as well as a description of the item being sold, the date of the transaction, and the purchase price. A buyer or seller might need this information for insurance or tax purposes. And the buyer will need a bill of sale to get a registration for most types of property in Connecticut.
A bill of sale also protects both the buyer and seller from any future issues such as mistakes, theft, or fraud. It is a legally binding document of the transaction proving that the purchase was valid.
If the buyer fails to make a promised final payment or register a vehicle in their name, a bill of sale could give the seller protection and recourse. A vehicle or some other item could be towed or involved in an accident. A bill of sale can help the seller prove that they are no longer the owner, and thus not responsible for fines or damages.
You can complete a bill of sale in Connecticut in any language, but the forms available from the state are in English. Whether you use the state’s form or create your own, the following information needs to appear on your vehicle bill of sale:
- Name and address of seller
- Name and address of buyer
- Selling price and date of sale
- Description of the motor vehicle (VIN, make, model, year, color, body style, odometer reading)
- Signature of seller
Number of Copies
Since a bill of sale is required in Connecticut, you should plan to get three copies, one each for the seller, the buyer, and the DMV.
If you are selling a “junk vehicle” in Connecticut, you will need to show the tax assessor a valid bill of sale and a canceled plate receipt to get a credit on motor vehicle property taxes.
After Purchasing a Vehicle
A Connecticut bill of sale is required to transfer ownership of any motorized vehicle that is registered with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Buyers and sellers should complete this form for the legal transfer of property such as cars, trucks, snowmobiles, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
After you purchase a vehicle in Connecticut, you have 30 days to register it with the DMV. The documentation that you need to bring with you includes:
- A valid bill of sale
- A completed registration application (Form H-13B)
- An original title
- Proof of insurance
- An acceptable form of identification
If you buy a vehicle from a dealer, they will take care of the registration for you.
2. Connecticut Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale
The Connecticut DMV website provides an official Bill of Sale Form H-31 that you can download and complete. It is state-specific, and has all of the information you need to prove a legal sale.
The seller should keep a copy of the bill of sale and give the original along with the title to the buyer. The buyer will take the bill of sale and title to the DMV to register the vehicle in their name and apply for a new Certificate of Title.
3. Connecticut Boat Bill of Sale
If you own a vessel with a motor, a personal watercraft, or a sailboat in Connecticut, the state requires that you have it registered if you plan to operate it within or on the state’s coastline. The exception is if you have a U.S. Coast Guard Documented Vessel. You can use an out-of-state vessel on state waterways for up to 60 days without registration.
As the purchaser of one of these vessels, you’ll need to file an official Bill of Sale with your application registration. The form that you’ll use is the same one that is used for a motor vehicle. You simply check “Vessel” at the top.
When you fill out this form, you will complete all of the sections except the one marked “description of motor vehicle,” which is reserved for other types of property. Instead, you’ll complete the “description of vessel” section, which asks for the model year, make, model, hull ID number, length, color, out-of-state vessel number (if applicable), and state (if applicable).
You are not required to have this notarized, but both parties should keep a copy for their records.
4. Connecticut Firearm Bill of Sale
The state of Connecticut has strict firearm laws. In some cases, you will be found in violation of the law if you are in possession of a firearm without a valid permit and registration. As of 2014, you must have one of the following to purchase a firearm or ammunition in the state:
- Eligibility certificate for a firearm
- Pistol permit
The firearm bill of sale is a legal document that shows the transfer of ownership of the item from the seller to the buyer. When you use the state’s provided form, it has identical sections at the top and bottom so that both the buyer and seller can have original copies.
The information you will provide on the form includes:
- The date of sale and sale authorization number
- Firearm information (manufacturer, model, serial number, caliber/gauge, barrel length, description)
- Purchaser information (name, address, date of birth, license or permit #)
- Seller information (name, address, date of birth, license or permit #)
- Signatures of seller and purchaser
If you purchase a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL), they will collect any fees and register your firearm for you.
5. Connecticut Horse Bill of Sale
When buying or selling a horse in Connecticut, you are not under any legal obligation to register the animal or get a bill of sale. That being said, horses are significant investments so it makes sense to get a legal document that records the transaction.
A bill of sale for a horse will document the date of the sale, how much was paid for the animal, and a detailed description of the horse. It might also include any representations made by the buyer or seller. For example, the buyer might promise not to violate any laws with the horse. The seller might represent that the animal is fit for a particular purpose, or state that there are no warranties with respect to health or soundness.
Even though you aren’t required to file your horse bill of sale with the state, it provides protection for both the buyer and seller. You also don’t have to have an equine bill of sale notarized, but you can take this extra step if you wish.
6. Connecticut Trailer/RV Bill of Sale
In Connecticut, a trailer for personal use (like a utility trailer, boat trailer, snowmobile trailer, or towed camper) is registered as a “camp trailer.” Whether it is new or used, the state requires that you file a completed trailer bill of sale with your registration materials.
The bill of sale is the same one that is used for cars and vessels. The identifying information that you’ll need to include about the trailer includes the VIN, year, make, and body style.
Commercial trailers also require the same bill of sale but will be registered according to this classification. If you have a tow dolly, you are not required to register it in Connecticut, but it is still a good idea to complete a bill of sale with any large purchase.
Finally, a driveable recreational vehicle (RV), which would be a Class A, B, or C recreational vehicle, is registered in Connecticut as a motor vehicle. You would follow the instructions for motor vehicle registration and bring your completed bill of sale to the DMV.
FAQ: About the Connecticut Bill of Sale
What is a bill of sale?
A bill of sale is a document that sets the terms of an agreement between a buyer and seller of an item. It also provides proof that their transaction has taken place. Bills of sale are usually provided by the seller.
How does a bill of sale benefit the buyer?
As a buyer, you are adhering to Connecticut’s laws by having a bill of sale. You also get a legal record of your transaction with the seller.
How do I get a bill of sale?
You can download a bill of sale online from the state, or use a handwritten bill of sale as long as it includes all of the required information. But using a bill of sale template and a secure online resource like PandaDoc can save you time.