Important Terms for a Bill of Sale
- Seller: The person selling the item is called the primary seller. The bill of sale should include their information, such as name and address. It may also list additional sellers.
- Buyer: The person paying for the item is the buyer. The bill of sale should include their name and address, along with information about any additional buyers.
- Sales tax: If the sold item is subject to sales tax, the bill of sale should explain how much sales tax should be paid and whether the tax is included in the price.
- Property: The item that’s being sold is the “property.” The bill of sale will list the date of sale and a description of the property.
- Property location: This is where the property is located, such as county or state.
- Witness information: Some bills of sale must be witnessed to be legally binding. A witness can be a third party or a notary public.
- As-is: If a bill of sale lists the item as being sold “as-is,” then the buyer agrees to purchase the item in its current state with no holds on the seller.
- Gift: A gift bill of sale is useful for filing taxes on the transfer during the next year if someone is giving another person a large gift.
- Certification/Signature: For a bill of sale to be valid, all parties need to sign it. Physical signatures are always accepted. Digital signatures are acceptable if they are received through a certified digital signature provider such as PandaDoc.
1. New Jersey Bill of Sale Requirements
It’s always a good idea to get a bill of sale for expensive items. Sometimes, using one is a legal requirement. In New Jersey, a bill of sale is required if you’re buying a motor vehicle or boat. You can use a template provided by a professional document management service like PandaDoc or you can draft your own.
If you decide to draft a bill of sale for your use, you should understand the requirements this document must meet in the state of New Jersey.
Why Use a Bill of Sale?
In some cases, a bill of sale is legally required to get a title for an asset. A bill of sale can also provide legal protections and help avoid legal disputes. The bill of sale serves as an official record demonstrating that the seller is no longer responsible for the asset. It also provides the buyer with proof of ownership.
There are no language requirements for a bill of sale in New Jersey. However, the state only offers documents in English. You can work with a state-certified interpreter to get your bill of sale officially translated.
Number of Copies
If you’re buying or selling a motor vehicle or a boat, it’s important to have a copy of the bill of sale to give to the titling agency. Therefore, boat and motor vehicle sales should involve three copies of the bill of sale, so the buyer and seller can also keep copies.
For other sales, only two copies are required: one for the buyer and one for the seller.
When a car is totaled, the owner must get a “salvage” title if they wish to keep the vehicle, whether or not they choose to repair it.
If a person sells a salvage vehicle in New Jersey, the buyer and seller must sign a bill of sale that acknowledges the salvage title. This is to protect buyers from potentially buying a vehicle that is dangerous to drive or uninsurable.
After Purchasing a Vehicle
To transfer ownership of a motor vehicle in New Jersey, you need more than just a bill of sale. Whether you’re selling or buying, you’ll need to provide several other documents to make the transaction official.
If You’re the Seller
In New Jersey, anyone selling a motor vehicle must fill out the back of the title with the buyer’s information, then give the title to the buyer along with the bill of sale. The bill of sale must include an odometer reading.
If the title is lost or destroyed, the seller can request a new one from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. The seller must also either transfer their plates to a new vehicle or surrender them to a motor vehicle agency.
If You’re the Buyer
Buyers have 60 days to title and register their new vehicles in New Jersey or face late fees. To complete the registration process, buyers must provide:
- Vehicle title
- Owner’s identification
- Proof of insurance
- Lienholder information
- Financing statements (if applicable)
- Registration and titling fees
The buyer must also pay sales tax based on the purchase price of the vehicle.
2. New Jersey Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale
Getting a bill of sale in New Jersey can help car buyers and sellers avoid legal complications. The state of New Jersey provides a summary of official responsibilities for both the buyer and seller during a transfer of motor vehicle ownership.
A New Jersey motor vehicle bill of sale must include:
- Buyer’s name and address
- Date of sale
- Mileage odometer reading
- Sale price
Useful types of vehicle information to include are:
- Year of production
- Plate number
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
3. New Jersey Boat Bill of Sale
In New Jersey, with only a few exceptions, any boat that is powered by a motor or greater than 12 feet long is required to have a title.
If a boat does not already have a title, you will need a bill of sale to prove that you own it. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission recommends using the official US Coast Guard Bill of Sale, particularly to register a documented vessel. The bill of sale should include the boat’s hull ID number and vessel name.
4. New Jersey Firearm Bill of Sale
You are required to register most firearms in New Jersey. The process of registering handgun ownership involves completing the State of New Jersey Certificate of Eligibility, which also acts as a bill of sale. The transfer must be completed at a licensed New Jersey firearms dealer, where a NICS check will be done on the buyer.
It is illegal to sell any firearm to anyone who is legally barred from owning a firearm. The certificate of eligibility protects both the buyer and the seller because it provides a detailed record of ownership.
5. New Jersey Horse or Livestock Bill of Sale
Horse bills of sale in New Jersey should include information about the horse, such as:
- Name (if applicable)
- Brands, marks, or descriptions
- Registration number (if applicable)
Bills of sale for large numbers of livestock will include the number of animals, as well. Animals that are intended for consumption require more rigorous documentation during the sale process.
6. New Jersey General Bill of Sale
A bill of sale can help prove ownership even when one is not legally required. A general bill of sale can be more basic than similar legal documents for boats or firearms. The essential parts of a bill of sale include:
- Item description
- Purchase price
- Date of sale
- Contact information