Important Terms for a Bill of Sale
- Property location: This specifies the location of the item for sale.
- Seller: This includes the seller’s information, including name and address, as well as any additional sellers.
- Buyer: This details the information of all buyers.
- Property: This section includes the date of the property transfer as well as any special conditions to the sale like “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 here. The witness can be either a public notary or a party agreed upon by the buyer and seller.
- Certification/Signature: The signature of the seller and/or buyer, depending on the form, finalizes the transfer. In-person signatures are always valid. Digital signatures are valid if they are done through a certified digital signature provider. PandaDoc offers the option for legal digital signatures.
1. New Mexico Bill of Sale Requirements
While drafting a bill of sale is good standard practice for the purchase of many big-ticket items, they are not required for the purchase of boats or motor vehicles in the state of New Mexico unless the title is missing. You can use the form the state of New Mexico provides (MVD 10009), 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 New Mexico.
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. For the seller, a bill of sale offers protection from liability concerns over how an item is used after the sale.
You may create your own bill of sale in any language you choose, but bill of sale forms from the New Mexico government are only provided in English.
Number of Copies
It’s a legal requirement to provide a copy of a 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.
In the state of New Mexico, when a vehicle is totaled, it is unlawful to sell unless the title is “branded.”
Sellers of vehicles with branded titles must provide written notice of the brand to the buyer before the sale. If a branded vehicle is being sold at a dealership, the dealer must also display a notice on the car’s windshield. Cars with branded titles often do not qualify for full insurance, so potential buyers should consider carefully whether or not they want to make this kind of transaction.
After Purchasing a Vehicle
The bill of sale is not enough to complete a vehicle transfer in New Mexico. 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 provide the original title to the vehicle along with an Odometer Disclosure Statement.
If You’re the Buyer
To complete the vehicle registration process, buyers must provide a:
- Vehicle title
- Bill of sale (if Assignment of Title or Dealer Assignment is not on the back of the title)
- Application for New Mexico Title (MVD 10002)
- Odometer Disclosure Statement
- Proof of insurance
- Registration and titling fees
Residents of Bernalillo County will also need to provide an Emission Certificate of Inspection.
Buyers must pay sales tax on their vehicles before the transfer is complete. Sales tax is based on the amount shown on the bill of sale as well as the current fair market value for the vehicle.
2. New Mexico Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale
It’s important to get or give a bill of sale when buying or selling an automobile in New Mexico to avoid being defrauded during the process.
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 or dealing with legal recourse and civil matters. You can find the official template for a motor vehicle bill of sale here.
3. New Mexico Boat Bill of Sale
The category of “vessel” includes motorboats, sailboats, and jet skis. In New Mexico, vessels under 10 feet must be registered but not titled. 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 include statements from the seller about the vessel’s condition, details about the machine specifics of the vessel, and personal information for both the buyer and seller.
4. New Mexico Firearm Bill of Sale
In New Mexico, firearm bills of sale require more personal information about the buyer and seller than some other types of bills of sale. Both the buyer and seller will have to provide their driver’s license numbers in addition to names and addresses in order for the state to maintain a record of firearm sales.
It is highly recommended that all firearm transactions produce a bill of sale to have an accurate record of where and when the firearm was purchased. It is illegal under federal law for New Mexico residents to sell firearms outside of the State of New Mexico.
Firearm bills of sale 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. New Mexico Horse or Livestock Bill of Sale
The sale of livestock in New Mexico requires recording the brand with the New Mexico Livestock Board. A brand registration certificate confers on the person to whom it is issued the right to use the recorded brand on an animal at a given location (left hip, right hip, left rib, etc.) until the registration expires, is transferred, or is forfeited. New Mexico recorded brands may be used statewide.
Transferring a brand carries a $100 fee, and a form is required for the brand transfer.
6. New Mexico Aircraft Bill of Sale
Aircraft bills of sale in New Mexico include the make, model, and year of the aircraft as well as registration and serial numbers. Although New Mexico does not have its own bill of sale form for aircraft, the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) has a form that covers sales of aircraft in the state (Form AC 8050-2).
7. New Mexico 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 bare minimum information that is required in any bill of sale:
- Purchase price
- Contact information
FAQ: About the New Mexico 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. While some states require bills of sale to be witnessed by a notary public, in New Mexico, two private parties can sign a valid bill of sale on their own.
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 identifying information for that specific item, 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.