Iowa Bill of Sale

When you need to buy or sell high-value items like a vehicle in Iowa, a bill of sale can give you an added layer of legal protection. Learn more about the rules in Iowa regarding bills of sale and how to complete these documents.

Iowa Bill of Sale Forms by Type

Important Terms for a Bill of Sale

  • Property location: This section lists the location of property when the bill of sale is completed.
  • Seller: This section includes the seller’s personal contact information, including name and address. It’s also common to include a driver’s license or state ID number.
  • Buyer: This includes the buyer’s personal contact information, including name and address. It’s also common to include a driver’s license or state ID number.
  • Sales tax: This section indicates the amount of sales tax that applies to the transaction.
  • Property: This section describes the property and special conditions that may apply. This is where you’ll list make, model, year, VIN, odometer reading, and other identifying information.
  • Witness information: This section includes contact information for any witnesses to the signing. 
  • As-is: When a buyer agrees to purchase an item “as-is,” they are agreeing to purchase the item in its current state at the time of sale.
  • Gift: If the property is a gift from the seller, there can be tax implications in the following year. This rule mostly applies to vehicles and large purchases.
  • Certification/Signature: The buyer and seller must sign the bill of sale to finalize the transaction. Signatures can be made in person or digitally through a certified digital signature provider. PandaDoc documents allow users to gather legal digital signatures.

1. Iowa Bill of Sale Requirements

When selling or buying a vehicle in Iowa, it’s important to check with your local county treasurer’s office to determine if you’ll need a bill of sale. As of January 1, 2020, most Iowa counties require a bill of sale to transfer titles between private parties.

Why Use One?

Even if you find you aren’t required to submit a bill of sale by the state, it’s still a good idea to use one. The bill of sale can serve as a receipt and prove ownership of the listed property. Completing this document can give both the buyer and seller more peace of mind about the transaction. 

Additional Considerations

Language Requirements

Iowa does not provide bills of sale in languages other than English. The state does not provide residents with translators, so you’ll need to find your own interpreter if you are not fluent in English. 

Buyers and sellers can complete a bill of sale in a language other than English as long as both parties agree and understand their copy of the document. 

Number of Copies

In circumstances where you are required to provide a bill of sale, you must provide a notarized copy to the state of Iowa. It’s also a good practice to create copies of bills of sales for buyers and sellers to keep with their records. 

Junk Vehicles

In a transaction involving the transfer of a junk vehicle that will never be driven again, the buyer will need to take the title and registration to their county treasurer to obtain a junking certificate

In cases where a junked or salvage vehicle has been restored, you will need to obtain a prior salvage title to register and drive it in Iowa. A vehicle with a current salvage title cannot be driven on the roads or registered. You’ll also need to pass a Salvage Theft Examination

After Purchasing a Vehicle

Once the sale is complete, the seller will need to transfer the title and the buyer will need to register the vehicle in their name. 

For Sellers

In Iowa, the seller can complete and file form 411107 (Notice of Sale of vehicle and Delivery of Title) with the county treasurer of the county where the vehicle is registered. This notice certifies the sale or transfer or ownership and assigns delivery of the title to the buyer.

The seller will need to sign over the title to the buyer by filling in the back of the title and signing it. They also need to give the buyer the bill of sale, the completed odometer statement, and a damage disclosure statement. 

For Buyers

Buyers have 30 days to register vehicles in Iowa. You’ll need to provide several items and pieces of information to complete your registration:

  • A completed bill of sale
  • Proof of an active Iowa auto insurance policy
  • The completed vehicle title, signed by the previous owner with odometer reading and purchase price
  • A copy of the current vehicle registration
  • Odometer reading
  • Fees for registration, title, and sales tax

2. Iowa Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale

Each county in Iowa has its own regulations regarding vehicle bills of sale, but as of January 1, 2020, most counties do require one. The state provides a printable bill of sale form online. 

Even if you don’t need a bill of sale to comply with local county law, you should still fill in a bill of sale to create a receipt. A bill of sale establishes proof that the transaction has taken place and that the vehicle has been transferred from a specific seller to a specific buyer. 

When you fill out Iowa’s official bill of sale, you’ll need to include basic information about the buyer and seller, as well as information about the vehicle:

  • Vehicle make (manufacturer)
  • Model
  • Year
  • VIN
  • Odometer reading
  • Sales price

You might also choose to have the bill of sale witnessed and stamped by a notary even when it is not a requirement. This step can provide additional peace of mind for both the buyer and the seller. 

3. Iowa Vessel (Boat) Bill of Sale

Iowa requires boat owners to register their vessel with the Department of Natural Resources and to carry the registration certificate on board. To register your boat, you will need to supply proof of ownership or a bill of sale.

The state does not provide an official form that can be used for both vehicle and boat sales. When you want to document a boat sale on a bill of sale, you should include:

  • Buyer and seller contact information
  • Make or manufacturer
  • Year
  • Hull ID number
  • Registration number (if previously registered)
  • Odometer (hours)
  • Description of any included trailers or motors, including years, makes and the motor’s horsepower

4. Iowa Firearm Bill of Sale

The state of Iowa does not register firearms or require that private sales include a bill of sale. Still, when buying or selling a gun in Iowa, it is a good idea to include a bill of sale and have it notarized if possible. The bill of sale can prove ownership of the firearm later, should the need arise. A firearm bill of sale should include several pieces of information about the property and the sale:

  • Buyer and seller contact information, including driver’s license or state ID numbers
  • Caliber
  • Make
  • Model
  • Serial number
  • Any defects present
  • Purchase price
  • Description of any included accessories 

5. Iowa Horse or Livestock Bill of Sale

Iowa does not require a bill of sale when private parties sell or buy horses or livestock. However, you should use a bill of sale to document these transactions to protect buyers and sellers in the event of issues after the sale. A horse or livestock bill of sale should include information like:

  • Buyer and seller contact details
  • Horse’s name
  • Breed
  • Registration number
  • Description of the horse or livestock
  • Information about accessories or supplies sold along with the horse or livestock

6. Iowa Aircraft Bill of Sale

Iowa does not provide official bills of sale for aircraft. However, aircraft sales in the US must comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. You will need to complete the  FAA aircraft bill of sale to document a private aircraft sale.

7. Iowa General Bill of Sale  

You can use a template for a general bill of sale in Iowa to record private sales transactions. The state of Iowa does not provide an official general bill of sale.

On a general bill of sale, you’ll need to include contact details for the buyer and seller. You should also describe the property on the form. Other information you may want to list on a general bill of sale includes:

  • Serial or model number
  • Color
  • Size
  • Physical description
  • Condition of the property
  • Whether the property is a gift

You can also include the purchase price or briefly list the details of a trade agreement between the parties. If money is still owed to the seller after the property changes hands, the bill of sale should list the due date.

FAQ: About the Iowa Bill of Sale

What Is a Bill of Sale?

A bill of sale documents the sale or transfer of property from one party to another. These forms can provide legal proof of ownership and serve as a receipt. Bills of sale typically include the following information:

  • Date of purchase
  • Buyer and seller contact information
  • Description of property
  • Sales price
  • Information about liens that are still owed
  • Terms and conditions
  • Signatures of buyer(s), seller(s), and witness(es)

You can also choose to have your bill of sale notarized — in some states, this is a requirement to complete a vehicle transfer. Going through the notary process can give both parties more peace of mind.

How Does a Bill of Sale Benefit the Buyer?

A bill of sale serves as proof that the buyer now owns the listed property. If the buyer finds damage after the sale, the bill of sale can serve as proof that the seller didn’t disclose this information.

How Do I Get an Iowa Bill of Sale?

You can download an Iowa bill of sale, create your own document, or download a template from PandaDoc.

What Information Do I Need for the Bill of Sale?

You’ll typically need to list contact information for you and the other party, including full names, addresses, and driver’s license or state ID numbers. You’ll also need to detail information about the property, such as physical condition, the sales price, and identifying information like a serial number.

If you would like to have the bill of sale notarized, you should also plan to have a licensed notary present at the time of signature.

Bill of Sale Forms by State

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