Washington Bill of Sale

Use the official Washington bill of sale templates to document ownership transfers of personal property such as cars, boats, horses, firearms, or and other high-value items.

Washington Bill of Sale Forms by Type

Important Terms for a Bill of Sale

  • Seller: The person or party that is releasing the property. 
  • Buyer: The person or party that is taking possession of the property. 
  • Date of sale: The date that marks when the transaction took place. 
  • Purchase price: The price paid for the property. 
  • Sales tax: Indicates whether or not sales tax was collected. 
  • Description: A description of the property being sold. Information that can be found here includes item-specific identifiers, like the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of a car. 
  • As-is: Indicates that the item was sold without any warranties and with any faults or problems known to the buyer.
  • Signature/Certification: Bills of sale must include the signatures of all involved parties. In-person signatures are always valid, but you can draft a bill of sale as a PandaDoc document to have it accept legal digital signatures. 

1. Washington Bill of Sale Requirements

While having a bill of sale is always advantageous when you buy or sell a big-ticket item, sometimes it’s also a legal requirement. 

A bill of sale is needed to transfer ownership of many types of vehicles in Washington. In this case, you can fill out and use Washington’s Vehicle Report of Sale (Form TD-420-062), or you can create your own. 

If you decide to draft your own bill of sale, make sure to include all the information required by the state. 

Why Use a Bill of Sale?

In addition to satisfying any legal requirements, it’s a good idea to have a bill of sale when transferring property for several reasons. 

A bill of sale documents a transaction and provides proof of the sale for legal purposes. Both buyers and sellers can avoid liability by presenting a bill of sale as official documentation. A bill of sale can also be used to keep records for financial or tax-reporting purposes. 

Additional Considerations

Language Requirements

You can translate all Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) document requirements into any language you choose. However, the state-provided bill of sale form only comes in English and must be submitted in English. 

Number of Copies

Because the state of Washington requires a bill of sale to register a vehicle or vessel, you should fill out the document in triplicate: one each for the buyer, the seller, and the DOL. Otherwise, one copy for the buyer and one copy for the seller should be sufficient.

Junk Vehicles

To qualify as a “junk” vehicle in Washington, a vehicle must meet three of the following conditions:

  • It must be at least three years old.
  • It must be inoperable.
  • It must have extensive damage.
  • Its fair market value is equal to the approximate value of the vehicle’s scrap.

If a junk or salvaged vehicle has been repaired, it will need a certified inspection before being re-registered with the state. All other rules with regards to vehicle sales and titles will still apply.

After Purchasing a Vehicle

In addition to having a completed bill of sale, you’ll need to take other steps to register and title a vehicle after purchase in Washington. 

If you purchased your vehicle from a dealer, the dealership will often take care of titling and registration paperwork. Once it is complete, you’ll receive the documents in the mail. 

For private sales, buyers must complete several steps:

  • Depending on your county, you may need to bring your vehicle for emissions testing. For example, this is required in Spokane, Snohomish, Pierce, King, and Clark counties. 
  • You can title and register your new vehicle at a local licensing office or through the mail. If you choose the latter option, all of your documents must be notarized.
  • If the vehicle is less than 10 years old, you should fill out the Odometer Disclosure section on the title. If no title is available, you can get an Odometer Disclosure form from the DOL. 
  • Complete a Vehicle Title Application (Form TD-420-001), signing it either in front of the licensing agent at the DOL or a notary public. 
  • You will need to pay sales tax and registration fees, which will vary based on the type of vehicle and your location. 
  • You must register your vehicle within 15 days after the purchase or you will be subject to a $50 penalty.

2. Washington Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale

Washington requires a bill of sale to transfer a car title and register the vehicle after it’s been bought and sold. You can use the state-provided form or create your own. You don’t need to have the form notarized. 

Should draft your own bill of sale or use an online template, such as one provided by PandaDoc, make sure the document includes the following:

  • Names, contact information, and signatures of the buyer and seller
  • Year, make, and model of the vehicle
  • The odometer reading of the vehicle
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Registration and license plate number
  • Sales date and purchase price

3. Washington Boat Bill of Sale

When registering a vessel in Washington, you’ll go through a similar process to that of registering a motor vehicle. You can use the same state-provided bill of sale form or another boat bill of sale template. 

A boat bill of sale must contain:

  • Names, contact information, and signatures of the buyer and seller
  • Sales date and purchase price
  • Year, make, and model of the vessel
  • Hull Identification Number (Hull ID or HIN) and registration number

All vessels in Washington must be registered and titled except for:

  • Kayaks, canoes, and any boat that is human-propelled
  • Boats under 16 feet in length with a motor of under 10 horsepower
  • Boats registered in another state or country that operate in state waters for 60 days or less

If you buy a vessel from a dealer, that company will take care of the registration and title paperwork for you. If you buy a vessel from a private party, you must have a bill of sale along with the original title to register and title your vessel. You have 60 days after purchase to complete this process.

4. Washington Firearm Bill of Sale

There is no legal requirement to register a firearm in Washington. However, there are other reasons to use a bill of sale when transferring ownership of a firearm. 

The seller should have the bill of sale on hand to protect from liability in case the weapon is used to commit a crime. The buyer should also keep the bill of sale in their records to prove legal ownership of the firearm.

Before purchasing a firearm in Washington, the state requires that buyers submit an application, undergo a background check, and adhere to a five-day waiting period. The application should include:

  • Buyer’s name, address, driver’s license number, date of birth, gender, and race
  • Model, type, caliber, and serial number of the firearm
  • A statement that the buyer is eligible to possess a firearm in Washington

5. Washington Horse Bill of Sale

You aren’t required to register the sale or ownership of a horse in Washington. However, it’s still a good idea to secure a bill of sale when dealing with horse selling and purchasing. 

Horses are expensive. Both parties should have proof of the sale for ownership and insurance purposes. To be valid, a horse bill of sale should include the following:

  • Names and contact information of the buyer and seller
  • Name, breed, gender, color, date of birth (DOB), and a description of the horse
  • Sales date and purchase price
  • Signatures of both parties

6. Washington General Bill of Sale

A general bill of sale in Washington is useful to document the sale or purchase of any big-ticket or non-regulated item. You can list as much information as you like on your bill of sale but, at the minimum, you’ll want to include:

  • Date of sale
  • Purchase price
  • Item description
  • Buyer and seller names and contact information
  • Signatures

FAQ: About the Washington Bill of Sale

Is a bill of sale required in Washington?

Yes, for certain items. A bill of sale is required to purchase, sell, or register a vehicle or vessel in Washington. The Washington Department of Licensing provides an official bill of sale form, but you can also use a template from a service like PandaDoc or create your own. 

What does a typical Washington bill of sale look like?

If you decide to use an online bill of sale form or create your own, the resulting document should include all the required information. These include the names of the buyer and seller, a description of the property being transferred, the purchase price, and the date of the sale.

Does a Washington bill of sale have to be notarized?

A bill of sale in Washington does not require notarization if you plan to register your vehicle or vessel in person. If you plan to register by mail, the bill of sale must be notarized.

Can I get a title without a bill of sale in Washington?

Washington requires that you have a title to sell a vehicle or vessel. Before completing a purchase, the original owner should obtain a replacement title from the DOL.

Bill of Sale Forms by State

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