Montana Bill of Sale

Use Montana bills of sale to document the transfer of ownership of a car, boat, firearm, or other personal property from a seller to a buyer.

Montana Bill of Sale Forms by Type

Important Terms for a Bill of Sale

  • Property location: This specifies the location of the item being sold. This can be especially important if the item for purchase is in a different state.
  • Seller: This includes the seller’s personal information, including name and address. This section can also list any additional sellers.
  • Buyer: This section specifies the buyer’s information and can list any additional buyers.
  • Sales tax: If sales tax is included in the transaction, it is specified here, along with the amount of the sales tax and whether it is included in the price.
  • Property: This section includes the date of the property transfer as well as any special conditions to the sale, such as “under warranty” or “as-is.” The VIN, plate number, and odometer reading for vehicles are listed here. 
  • Witness information: If a witness is present to sign the bill of sale, their full name, address, and other contact information will be listed in this section. Depending on the state requirements, the witness can be either a public notary or a party agreed upon by the buyer and seller.
  • As-is: This term means that the buyer is agreeing to purchase the item in its current state at the time of sale. By signing a bill of sale agreeing to purchase something as-is, the buyer is agreeing that they’ve had the opportunity to inspect the item and found it to their satisfaction.
  • Gift: If the item is being sold as a gift to the recipient, it is noted in this section. This becomes important for tax purposes the following year. 
  • Trade-In: If one item is being traded for another, this section will verify that the two items are equal in value. 
  • Certification/Signature: The signature of the seller and/or buyer, depending on the form, finalizes the transfer. In-person signatures are always valid, but digital signatures require a certified digital signature provider to be deemed valid. PandaDoc documents offer the option for legal digital signatures. 

1. Montana Bill of Sale Requirements

Drafting a bill of sale is good standard practice for the purchase of many big-ticket items, and is required for the purchase of boats or motor vehicles in the state of Montana. You can use the form the state of Montana provides (Form MV24), or you can draft your own. 

If you do decide to draft your own bill of sale, be aware that there are a number of requirements you need to satisfy in the state of Montana.

Why Use a Bill of Sale?

Besides satisfying state legal requirements, a bill of sale can prove useful for several other reasons. It provides proof of ownership for the buyer, which can help avoid legal disputes. If you are the seller, a bill of sale can protect you from liability concerns over how an item is used after the sale.

Additional Considerations

Language Requirements

You may create your own bill of sale in any language you choose, but bill of sale forms from the Montana government are only provided in English. You may have these forms translated by an interpreter, but the interpreter must be certified by the state. Certified translations will be accepted to meet Montana’s legal requirements.

If you have trouble finding the right state-certified translator for your bill of sale, Montana maintains an online directory of approved translators.

Number of Copies

It’s a legal requirement to provide a copy of the bill of sale for a motor vehicle transaction to the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The buyer and seller will also want to retain a copy, so a total of three copies would be required in these cases.

For all other transactions, it’s enough for the buyer and the seller to each keep a copy.

Junk Vehicles

In the state of Montana, vehicles receive salvage titles when they’re badly damaged or otherwise dilapidated. Sellers of vehicles with salvage titles must provide written notice of the salvage title to the buyer and provide an before the sale. If, upon reinspection, the vehicle passes, it is retitled with “rebuilt salvage” on the title.

After Purchasing a Vehicle

The bill of sale is not enough to complete a vehicle transfer in Montana. Several additional documents are required before the transaction is official.

If You’re the Seller

Sellers have comparatively few things to do to complete a vehicle transfer. They must sign the title over to the buyer and apply for a duplicate title if the original title has been lost. 

If You’re the Buyer

Buyers have 40 days to title and register their new vehicles in Montana. To complete the registration process, buyers must provide a:

  • Vehicle title
  • Bill of sale
  • Proof of insurance
  • Registration and titling fees

Buyers in Montana do not pay sales tax on motor vehicles. 

2. Montana Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale  

It’s important to get or give a bill of sale when buying or selling an automobile in Montana to avoid being defrauded during the process. The State of Montana provides an official summary of the buyer and seller responsibilities, as well as some risks, during motor vehicle transactions. 

While the bill of sale doesn’t constitute ownership on its own — only the title can do that — it does provide proof of transfer of the title. This proof is helpful for your records and important for resolving tax issues, should they arise, or even when dealing with legal recourse and civil matters at the DMV. You can find the official template for a motor vehicle bill of sale here

3. Montana Boat Bill of Sale

The process for completing a boat or vessel transaction in the state of Montana is similar to the process for transferring ownership of other types of vehicles. The category of “vessel” includes motorboats, sailboats, and jet skis. While dealers will often take care of the paperwork for you, private sales will require you to assemble some forms on your own. 

Vessel bills of sale are required to be notarized by a notary public and include statements from the seller about the vessel’s condition.

4. Montana Firearm Bill of Sale

In Montana, a bill of sale is not required to register the purchase of a firearm. However, it is highly recommended that all firearm transactions produce a bill of sale to provide an accurate record of where and when the firearm was purchased. It is illegal under federal law for Montana residents to sell firearms outside the State of Montana. 

A firearm bill of sale should include personal information about the buyer and seller, including driver’s license numbers, names, and addresses. They should also require the buyer to assert that they do not meet one of the disqualifiers for owning a firearm, such as a history of violence, a criminal record, or certain records of mental health disorders. 

5. Montana Livestock Bill of Sale

Livestock dealers in Montana must be licensed by the state. For livestock bought and sold by farmers and ranchers in the course of day-to-day business, a bill of sale is required to show the transfer of ownership. 

The bill of sale must be signed by the seller and describe the livestock for sale. It should be presented to the state’s livestock inspector and then submitted to the Montana Department of Livestock with the inspection certificate and required fees. 

6. Montana Aircraft Bill of Sale

Aircraft bills of sale in Montana include the make, model, and year of the aircraft as well as registration and serial numbers. The FAA provides an aircraft bill of sale form (Form AC 8050-2) that applies to all US states.

7. Montana General Bill of Sale 

A general bill of sale is used to prove the purchase of any non-regulated item. The information required is often the general and bare minimum information that is required in any bill of sale: 

  • Purchase price
  • Date
  • Contact information
  • Signatures

FAQ: About the Montana Bill of Sale

What is a bill of sale? 

A bill of sale establishes the terms of a transfer of property and provides proof of the transaction. Bills of sale are almost always drafted by the seller. 

Most bills of sale include some or all of the following information: 

  • Date of purchase
  • Contact information of buyer and seller
  • Purchase amount
  • Description of the sold item
  • Guarantee that the asset is cleared of any liens or claims
  • Ongoing terms, such as warranties
  • Signatures of buyer and seller
  • Signature of a notary public

How does a bill of sale benefit the buyer?

In some cases, contests and liabilities may arise even after purchase. Someone may have taken out a lien against the property being transferred, or the seller may try to make false claims after the fact. A bill of sale gives the buyer recourse against being held responsible for undisclosed or fabricated information.

Bills of sale often become relevant during aspects of government compliance, including vehicle registration or taxation.

How do I get a bill of sale? 

Anyone can create and present a bill of sale. In Montana, bills of sale must be witnessed by a notary public. 

In general, a bill of sale is not a complicated legal document. You can use online services to create a perfectly usable bill of sale or draft one yourself. For more sensitive assets, such as firearms, professional services can make sure you aren’t missing important information. 

What information do I need for a bill of sale?

If you’re buying or selling a general item that requires no licensing, you won’t need anything beyond the basic information common to all bills of sale. Items like automobiles or appliances will often only require the standard documentation plus a description and identifying information for that specific vehicle, such as registration or serial number. 

However, regulated items like livestock or firearms will require more specific information. Most professional services that generate the bill of sale forms will tell you specifically what information is relevant to your situation. 

Bill of Sale Forms by State

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