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Get It in Writing #1: Bills of Sale

Write a bill of sale — or use my free template here — in all transactions where you buy or sell a vehicle.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a car, boat, motorcycle or jet ski  — all should have a written Bill of Sale along with the title transfer.

Signing over the title is NOT enough.

First of all, many problems can arise with titles, including falsification, unreported liens, and failure to deliver. To prevent yourself from falling prey to such traps, or to prevent yourself from being accused, ALWAYS write up a bill of sale clearly stating the terms of the deal: the parties’ names, addresses, the make/model/VIN number of the vehicle, the sale price, payment method, title status (clear of liens or not), and delivery terms.  Both parties must sign the bill of sale.

Finally, having the bill of sale is essential to protecting your rights if anything should go wrong with the deal. The very act of insisting on a written bill of sale will usually prevent deals from going sour — or prevent bad deals from going through at all.

I’ve posted a free template Virginia Bill of Sale on our website for you to use. You can view and download it here: