Ohio Bill of Sale

If you want to buy or sell a car or boat in Ohio, you need a bill of sale. A bill of sale provides legal protection whenever you buy or sell any high-value item. Learn more about what a bill of sale is and how to make one that can help protect your interests.

Ohio Bill of Sale Forms by Type

Important Terms for a Bill of Sale

  • Seller: The person selling the item is the primary seller. This section includes the primary seller’s information, such as name and address, along with information for any additional sellers.
  • Buyer: The person paying for the item is the buyer. The bill of sale includes the primary buyer’s name and address along with information for any additional buyers.
  • Property: The item that’s being sold is the property. A bill of sale includes the date of sale and a description of the property. Conditions such as “as-is” or any warranties on the property will be listed along with VIN, plate number, and odometer readings for vehicles.
  • Property location: Where the sold item is located. The property location is important if the item is in another state.
  • As-is: If a bill of sale lists the item as being sold “as-is,” then the buyer is agreeing to purchase the item in its current state with no holds on the seller. 
  • Gift: If someone is transferring property without a purchase price, a gift bill of sale is useful for filing taxes on the transfer during the next year. 
  • Trade-in: If a property transfer involves swapping two assets, a trade-in bill of sale indicates that both items were of equal value or what the additional payment was. 

1. Ohio Bill of Sale Requirements

It’s always a good idea to draft a bill of sale whenever you’re buying or selling an expensive item. In Ohio, a bill of sale is recommended to transfer ownership of a motor vehicle or boat. You can use a template provided by the State of Ohio or you can draft your own. 

If you decide to write your own bill of sale, you should understand the requirements you must meet in Ohio.

Why Use a Bill of Sale?

In some cases, a bill of sale is legally required. In other scenarios, a bill of sale can provide legal protections for both buyer and seller. The bill of sale provides the buyer with a document that proves their ownership of the asset, while it gives the seller a record that they no longer possess the item or are responsible for it. This can help you avoid legal disputes about the asset in the future. 

Additional Considerations

Language Requirements

Ohio doesn’t have any language requirements for a bill of sale, but the state only offers documents in English. You can work with a state-certified translator to get your bill of sale officially translated. 

Number of Copies

If you’re buying or selling a boat, it’s important to have a copy of the bill of sale to give to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Since the buyer and the seller should also have their own copies, boat sales should involve three copies of the bill of sale. For other sales, only the buyer and seller need a copy. 

Junk Vehicles

If a vehicle registered in Ohio is totaled, the owner must convert its title to “salvage” within 30 days. If a person sells a salvage vehicle in Ohio, the seller must inform the buyer of its title in writing. The buyer and seller must also sign a bill of sale and have it notarized. This is to protect buyers from unknowingly buying a vehicle that is unlikely to be fully insurable and may be dangerous.

After Purchasing a Vehicle

In order to fully transfer ownership of a vehicle in Ohio, you will need to submit several documents.

If You’re the Seller

It’s simpler to sell a car than it is to buy one. In order to sell a car in Ohio, the seller must fill out the back of the title with the buyer’s correct information and have the title notarized. Both the seller and buyer must sign the title. If your car’s title is lost or damaged, you can request a new one from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. 

Next, provide the buyer with an odometer disclosure statement (Form BMV 3724) and have them sign it. If the car has a lien, you must get the lien released and get a clean title.

Finally, in Summit, Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Geauga, Medina, and Portage counties, most automobiles that are less than 25 years old must go through emissions testing. A clean emissions test certificate must be given to the buyer. 

If You’re the Buyer

Buyers have 30 days to title and register new vehicles in Ohio or face late fees. To complete the registration process, buyers must provide:

  • Vehicle title
  • Owner’s identification
  • An Application for Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle (Form BMV 3774)
  • VIN inspection (out-of-state titles only)
  • Registration and titling fees

The buyer must also pay the sales tax on the purchase price of the vehicle. 

2. Ohio Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale

Whether you’re buying or selling a car in Ohio, getting a bill of sale can help protect you in the case of legal difficulties. The State of Ohio provides a summary of your responsibilities for the transaction, whether you’re the seller or the buyer. 

You can draft your own bill of sale or use PandaDoc’s templates. A vehicle bill of sale should include:

  • Purchase price
  • Date of sale
  • Description of vehicle make, model, color, and condition
  • Odometer reading
  • VIN
  • Contact information for buyer and seller
  • Signatures of buyer and seller

A bill of sale does not actually transfer ownership of the vehicle; that’s the title transfer’s purpose. However, a bill of sale is useful for filing your taxes, resolving legal disputes, and protecting you from liability if the vehicle is involved in an accident while not in your possession.

3. Ohio Boat Bill of Sale

In Ohio, any watercraft that is at least 14 feet long orhas a motor with at least 10 horsepower is required to have a title. In order to transfer one of these types of watercraft, you’ll need proof of ownership, such as a bill of sale provided by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Sellers will need to fill out a change of ownership notice that includes:

  • Make
  • Ohio watercraft number
  • Hull identification number
  • Buyer contact information
  • Seller contact information

4. Ohio Firearm Bill of Sale

Ohio requires no firearm registration. As a result, getting a bill of sale isn’t legally necessary, but it’s helpful. A bill of sale provides a clear record of ownership for a weapon and documents when ownership was transferred. According to federal law, it is illegal for Ohio residents to sell a firearm outside of their own state. 

It is also illegal to sell a rifle or shotgun to someone who is under age 18, and handguns to anyone under age 21. Furthermore, it’s illegal to sell any firearm to anyone who is legally barred from owning a firearm. A bill of sale can protect firearm sellers by including a statement by the buyer that they are legally allowed to purchase a firearm. 

5. Ohio General Bill of Sale 

General bills of sale can be used to document the transfer of any item. A general bill of sale doesn’t need to be as in-depth as bills of sale for regulated assets. Instead, they can just include all pertinent information, such as:

  • Item description
  • Any registration or serial numbers
  • Purchase price
  • Date of sale
  • Contact information for buyer and seller
  • Signatures of buyer and seller

FAQ: About the Ohio Bill of Sale

What is a bill of sale? 

A bill of sale outlines the terms of the transfer of a piece of property. It also acts as a proof of sale for both buyer and seller. The seller most frequently drafts the bill of sale, but anyone involved in a transaction can draft the document. Bills of sale can be used for any transaction, but are generally most useful for expensive items or items for which you could be held liable for any accident or injury they cause.

How do I get a bill of sale template? 

Anyone can write a bill of sale in Ohio. In general, bills of sale are not complicated documents. You can work with an online professional service like PandaDoc to create a streamlined, professional bill of sale, or you can draft your own. A professional service may be the better option for assets like vehicles and boats to ensure that all relevant information has been included.

What information do I need for a bill of sale?

Bills of sale generally include some or all of the following information: 

  • Date of purchase
  • Buyer and seller’s contact information
  • Purchase price
  • Description of the sold item
  • Identifying registration or serial numbers for the item
  • Any liens or claims on the item
  • Ongoing terms, such as warranties
  • Signatures of buyer and seller
  • Signature of a notary public, if warranted

Professional services that generate bills of sale for you will include places for the information you need to provide.

Bill of Sale Forms by State

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