Important Terms for a Bill of Sale
- Seller(s): The party or person(s) offering property for sale.
- Buyer(s): The person(s) or party acquiring the property in a transaction.
- Payment: The money or barter items exchanged for property.
- As-is: The seller implies no warranty or guarantee of the item with regard to its condition or suitability.
- Gift: Property that is changing hands without payment.
- Sales Price: The final payment amount agreed upon by both parties.
1. Maryland Bill of Sale Requirements
Maryland requires a bill of sale for vehicle transactions if the vehicle is less than seven years old and being sold below book value.
A bill of sale needs to clearly record the details of the sale, with information about the buyer, seller, property, sale price, and date of the transaction. A statement by the seller, indicating that they’ve disclosed all known problems with the property, is usually included.
PandaDoc offers the option for legal digital signatures when both parties can’t be present to sign the bill of sale together.
Why Use a Bill of Sale?
A bill of sale gives the buyer a record of the price paid and proof of ownership. In some cases, you need a bill of sale to transfer registration of property.
The seller can use the bill of sale as evidence that they are no longer liable for damages caused by that property after the date of sale. The bill of sale can also provide a record that a buyer agreed to receive the property in as-is condition.
For the seller, a bill of sale specifies the date you gave up ownership of the item, which can prevent you from being held liable for any accidental damage or injuries that occur after you’ve given up possession of a car, boat, or firearm.
Your bill of sale needs to be understood by both parties who sign it, so use a language that both parties can read and speak or create a bilingual form if necessary. Maryland has language access laws to make government services accessible for people who have difficulty with English.
Number of Copies
The buyer usually retains the original bill of sale, and one copy is created for the seller’s records.
If your bill of sale needs to be registered with the state, such as in some vehicle transactions as noted below, make two copies.
You will need proof of ownership, such as a bill of sale, in order to reinstate a previously salvaged vehicle in Maryland. After repairs are complete, schedule an inspection and bring the bill of sale with you.
After Purchasing a Vehicle
If you buy from a dealer, they will probably handle the restoration and title process for you and give you the bill of sale and plates.
If you buy from a private seller, you’ll need to visit your nearest Motor Vehicle Administration Office (MVA) location. Here’s what to bring:
- Your bill of sale
- Application for Certificate of Title (form VR-005)
- Valid photo ID
- Proof of insurance
- Information about any liens
- Odometer disclosure
- A vehicle safety inspection document
- Cash or check to pay all taxes and registration fees
2. Maryland Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale
You can download a Maryland bill of sale for vehicle transactions as a PDF file. This document is mandatory only if the car is less than seven years old and is being sold for below market value. You can call the MVA’s Customer Service Center at 1-410-768-7000 to verify the vehicle’s book value. Otherwise, it’s an optional document you may choose to execute as a record of the sale.
If you create your own form, make sure you include:
- Vehicle year, make, model, and body style
- VIN number
- Buyer’s full name
- Sale price
- If the vehicle is being sold below book value, state the reason for the low price
- Odometer reading (note whether the miles are in excess of mechanical limits)
Both signatures must be notarized, so wait to sign the document in front of a notary.
3. Maryland Boat Bill of Sale
If you create your own form, you must include:
- The names of the buyer and the seller
- Date of sale
- Seller’s signature
- Vessel description (year, manufacturer, hull identification number, and/or current registration number)
- Selling price
Bills of sale must also include the following statement: “I declare and affirm under penalty of perjury that the facts in this bill of sale are true and correct.” The buyer and seller should each sign the form in front of a notary.
4. Maryland Firearm Bill of Sale
Maryland has a number of state laws governing the sale and registration of different types of firearms. Check with the Maryland State Police to learn what’s required for the type of firearm you are buying or selling. You’ll need to work with a licensed firearm dealer to handle any registration or permitting since the state police no longer handle the procedure directly.
A legal bill of sale for a firearm in Maryland should include:
- Seller’s name, address, and driver’s license number
- Buyer’s name, address, and driver’s license number
- Make, model, caliber, and serial number of the firearm
- Sale price (or indicate if the firearm is a gift)
- Payment date
- Description of any payment terms or trade conditions
- Notarized signatures of buyer, seller, and any witnesses
5. Horse Bill of Sale
A bill of sale tracks the ownership of a horse, which determines who is responsible for its care, feeding, and behavior on a certain date. Although not required by law in Maryland, it’s a very important document in equine transactions.
In your bill of sale, include:
- Buyer’s name and complete address
- Seller’s name and complete address
- The name, breed, dam, and sire of the horse
- Description (age, color, markings, etc.)
- Health and condition of the animal as represented by the seller
- Details of any warranties, or a statement that the horse is being accepted as-is
- Date and results of veterinarian examination or note that both parties have waived an examination
- Selling price (or note if the horse is a gift)
- Date of the transaction
- Signatures (notarization is optional)
6. General Bills of Sale
You can create a bill of sale for any large purchase, such as computers, antiques, art, collectibles, or sporting equipment, even if it’s not required by Maryland law. Include the following details:
- Name and address of buyer
- Name and address of seller
- Detailed description of the item and its condition
- Any defects or damage acknowledged at the time of the sale
- Sale price
- Sale date
- Signatures of all parties