Important Terms for a Bill of Sale
- Buyer: This section provides the name, address, and contact information of the new owner. It may also list any additional buyers.
- Seller/Transferor: This lists the seller’s name and information, including address. It’s also the place to list additional sellers.
- Property/Vehicle Information: This section describes the item being sold and lists any identifying information, such as a Vehicle or Vessel Identification Number.
1. Vermont Bill of Sale Requirements
Any time you buy or sell a car or motorboat in Vermont, the state requires a bill of sale. You can use a state-provided bill of sale form or create your own, as long as the final document has all the information on the buyer, seller, and item.
Using a bill of sale is also good practice for other private sales of high-value items. In these cases, the state does not provide an official form. You can draft your own from scratch or use PandaDoc document templates.
Why Use a Bill of Sale?
In addition to fulfilling legal requirements, a bill of sale can protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller in any private transaction. For the buyer, it offers legal proof that they now own the item. This proof of ownership also benefits the seller, proving that they no longer have any responsibilities surrounding the item’s use.
You can create a bill of sale in any language you choose. However, if you wish to submit it as evidence in a legal proceeding, you’ll need to have it translated into English.
Number of Copies
If you buy or sell a car in Vermont, you’ll need to submit a copy of the bill of sale as part of the registration process. In that case, you’ll need the bill of sale in triplicate: one each for buyer, seller, and the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Otherwise, two copies will suffice.
A junk vehicle, known in Vermont as a salvaged vehicle, is a car that would cost more than its value to repair. Your insurance company may refer to this vehicle as a total loss.
If you have a total loss vehicle and wish to sell it, you have two options:
- Obtain a salvage title, then sell the car to a junkyard or other business that buys junk cars
- Have the vehicle repaired, pass safety and anti-theft inspections, and successfully apply for a rebuilt title
You may sell a car with a rebuilt title, provided you disclose the car’s salvage history to the buyer verbally and in writing. Vermont requires this disclosure to be explicitly printed on the bill of sale.
After Purchasing a Vehicle
A bill of sale is required for private car sales in Vermont. If you buy or sell a car that is more than 15 years old and a title is not available, you can transfer ownership using only a bill of sale. You may use the state-provided Bill of Sale and Odometer Disclosure Statement or draft your own with the same information included.
If You’re the Seller
When you sell your car in a private transaction, you need to:
- Transfer the title by signing as the seller and giving the title to the buyer
- Complete the Bill of Sale and Odometer Disclosure with the buyer
If you have paid off a loan on the car, you also need to submit your Release of Lien to the buyer. You may not sell a car that has a lien on it.
If You’re the Buyer
When you buy a car from a private seller in Vermont, make sure that the seller has completed all of the steps above. Accomplishing these completes the legal transfer of ownership. You can then fill out the Vermont Motor Vehicle Registration/Tax/Title Application and submit all of the required documents, including the bill of sale, to the DMV.
2. Vermont Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale
In Vermont, a bill of sale verifies the transfer of ownership, adding important details like price and odometer reading.
While a bill of sale is required, the transfer of ownership is only officially completed when the seller signs over the title to the buyer, adding important information such as:
- Purchase date
- Purchase price
- Odometer reading at the time of sale
A bill of sale on its own will not transfer ownership unless the car is 15 years old or older.
3. Vermont Boat Bill of Sale
Vermont requires a Certificate of Registration and validation sticker for any motorized boat that will operate on public waters. A bill of sale is required for registration whether or not the boat can be issued a title.
Boat bills of sale in Vermont must include the following:
- Purchase price
- Purchase date
- Hull Identification Number
- Seller’s signature
If you buy a boat that is eligible for titling, you must also submit the original owner’s Certificate of Title, signed by the buyer and seller. Vermont issues titles for motorized boats that are 15 years old or newer, except for manually powered boats enhanced with smaller motors.
You may apply with a certified copy of the most recent Registration Certificate and all subsequent bills of sale if the boat has not been issued a title before.
If the boat you buy is not eligible for titling, you need to submit a bill of sale as well as one of the following:
- An out-of-state Registration Certificate in your name
- The seller’s signature in Section 5B of the state Motorboat Registration Application (Form VD-037)
4. Vermont Firearm Bill of Sale
In Vermont, only licensed dealers can transfer ownership of a firearm. The only exemptions are:
- Transfers by or to law enforcement officers
- Transfers between immediate family members
- Transfers to prevent imminent harm, while the risk of harm is present
Other private sales can only happen with the aid of a licensed dealer, who can complete the required background check. Dealers must keep records of these transactions. Bills of sale can serve this purpose, provided that they include all relevant information about the buyer, seller, and firearm.
Should you have no choice but to transfer ownership in a dealer-exempt situation, you can create your own bill of sale. This is a smart practice because it lets you officially document details like the transfer date, purchase price, and firearm description.
5. Vermont General Bill of Sale
A general bill of sale in Vermont documents ownership transfer of a non-regulated item, such as artwork or farm equipment. As with any bill of sale, it should include the following:
- Purchase price
- Transfer date
- Buyer and seller information