South Dakota Bill of Sale

If you want to transfer ownership of a boat, car, or horse in South Dakota, you need a bill of sale. The document provides legal protection whenever you buy or sell any high-value items. Learn more about what a bill of sale is and how to draft one that will work.

South Dakota Bill of Sale Forms by Type

Important Terms for a Bill of Sale

  • Seller: The person selling the item is called the primary seller. Bills of sale should include the seller’s contact information, as well as those of any additional sellers.
  • Buyer: The person taking ownership of 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 note how much sales tax should be paid and whether or not the tax is included in the price. 
  • Property: The item that’s being transferred is the “property.” The bill of sale should list the date of transfer 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. The witness can be a notary or a third party.
  • As-is: If a bill of sale lists the item as being sold “as-is,” then the buyer agrees to buy the item in its current state with no holds on the seller. 
  • Gift: For particularly large or expensive presents, a gift bill of sale can help parties involved file taxes properly later on.
  • Certification/Signature: All parties involved must sign a bill of sale in order for it to be legally binding. Physical signatures are always valid. Digital signatures are valid if they are received through a certified digital signature provider such as PandaDoc.

1. South Dakota Bill of Sale Requirements

A bill of sale is legally required in some cases, but it’s always a good idea to insist on one for ownership transfers of high-value items. In South Dakota, a bill of sale is needed if you’re purchasing a boat or a motor vehicle. You can use an online bill of sale form provided by the state of South Dakota or you can draft your own. 

Should you choose to do the latter, be aware that there are several requirements the bill of sale needs to satisfy in the State of South Dakota.

Why Use a Bill of Sale?

Outside of legal requirements, a bill of sale has several benefits. Bills of sale can protect sellers from liability concerns and can offer buyers proof of ownership. Keeping this document on hand is helpful in avoiding legal disputes for both parties.

Additional Considerations

Language Requirements

You can write a bill of sale in any language. However, the government of South Dakota only provides these documents in English. You can work with a state-certified interpreter to get your bill of sale officially translated. 

The state of South Dakota provides a list of certified translators in this online directory

Number of Copies

Having a bill of sale to give the titling agency is important if you’re buying a boat or motor vehicle. These transactions should involve three copies of the bill of sale so the buyer and seller can also have copies. 

For all other transactions, two copies are usually enough: one for the buyer and another for the seller.

Junk Vehicles

When a car is damaged in excess of $5000, the owner must fill out a Uniform Damage Disclosure Statement and pass the document along to any future buyers with the bill of sale. This protects buyers from potentially purchasing a vehicle that is dangerous to drive or uninsurable.

After Purchasing a Vehicle

You need more than a bill of sale to transfer ownership of a car in South Dakota. Whether you’re selling or buying, you’ll need to provide several other documents in order to make the transaction official.

If You’re the Seller

In South Dakota, anyone selling a car 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. If the title is lost or destroyed, the seller can request a new one from the South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division. The seller must also present a seller’s permit and an odometer disclosure form. 

After selling the car, the seller should fill out a Report of Sale form to notify the state of the sale.

If You’re the Buyer

Buyers have 45 days to title and register new vehicles in South Dakota before facing late fees. To complete the registration process, buyers must provide:

  • Vehicle title
  • Owner’s identification
  • Title and registration application form
  • 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. South Dakota Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale 

In South Dakota, it’s required for a car transfer to include a bill of sale. A motor vehicle bill of sale completed for a transaction must include:

  • Buyer and seller’s names and addresses
  • Date of sale
  • Make
  • Model
  • Year of production
  • Title number
  • Sale price
  • Vehicle serial number

3. South Dakota Boat Bill of Sale

Any boat powered by a motor or greater than 12 feet long is required to have a title in South Dakota. In order to get the boat’s title transferred to a new person, a bill of sale is required by the state. 

The South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division provides a bill of sale. If you choose to draft your own bill of sale, it should include:

  • Seller’s name and addresses
  • Date of sale
  • Make
  • Model
  • Year of production
  • Title number
  • Sale price
  • Hull ID number

4. South Dakota Firearm Bill of Sale

In South Dakota, firearms are not required to be registered. However, a bill of sale can provide important liability protection for both the buyer and the seller. 

For example, it is illegal to sell any firearm to minors or to anyone legally barred from owning one. A bill of sale modeled after the federal Firearms Transaction Record protects all parties because it provides a detailed record of ownership and includes several questions confirming whether the buyer can legally purchase the weapon. 

5. South Dakota Horse or Livestock Bill of Sale

Horse bills of sale in South Dakota should include information about the horse, such as:

  • Age
  • Name (if applicable)
  • Breed
  • Gender
  • Brands, marks, or descriptions
  • Registration number (if applicable)

Bills of sale for large numbers of livestock should include the number of animals as well. Sales transactions involving animals intended for consumption should go through more rigorous documentation. 

6. South Dakota General Bill of Sale  

A general bill of sale provides proof of the transfer of any non-regulated item.

The information required for general bills of sale in South Dakota is often the bare minimum needed:

  • Purchase price
  • Date
  • Contact information
  • Signatures

FAQ: About the South Dakota 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. 

How does a bill of sale benefit the buyer? 

Even after purchasing an asset through official channels, a buyer may run into legal issues. The seller may make a fraudulent claim or a third party may try to place a lien on the item. In either case, a bill of sale helps prove the buyer’s ownership. 

Additionally, a bill of sale is may required to register the asset with the state.

How do I get a bill of sale? 

Anyone can write a bill of sale in South Dakota. As long as the bill of sale has been signed by all involved parties, it can be legally binding. Getting a bill of sale notarized can help it hold up in court. 

In general, a bill of sale is not a complicated legal document. You can use online services, such as PandaDoc, to create a perfectly usable bill of sale. You can draft one on your own, too. For 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?

Certain items should include specific information. For example, vehicle bills of sale require the VIN. 

Otherwise, bills of sale generally include some or all of the following: 

  • Date of purchase
  • Buyer and seller’s contact information
  • Purchase price
  • 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

Bill of Sale Forms by State

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