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Massachusetts Bill of Sale

A bill of sale form in Massachusetts is a document that is important to both the seller and buyer of a motor vehicle. A bill of sale contract dates back nearly 200 years to Victorian England and perhaps even further still. A vehicle bill of sale applies to cars, trucks, motorcycles or other types of motorized vehicles. The sale of other personal property such as trailers, boats and jet skis may require this document, as well. The bill of sale provides protection for both the buyer and vendor, and in some cases, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles may request this type of document from the driver at registration.

Why is a bill of sale necessary in Massachusetts?

A bill of sale is proof that a sale of personal property took place. In Massachusetts, a bill of sale for car is necessary any time that there is no vehicle title present. A bill of sale is further required to complete the registration of a car, truck or motorcycle. However, even if a vehicle title is available, both buyers and sellers will want to consider creating a bill of sale document to record the transaction. The bill of sale in MA shows proof the original owner sold the vehicle to the new owner. A DMV bill of sale helps officials calculate potential fees such as taxes.

Even though a bill of sale may not necessary for a specific sale in Massachusetts, it might be in other states. For residents purchasing or selling personal property such as a car or truck, a bill of sale shows proof the original owner sold the vehicle to the new owner. A DMV bill of sale helps officials calculate potential fees such as taxes, as well. Additionally, if the transaction involves a car that is exempt from titling, a bill of sale must be presented, along with the previous vehicle registration form.

Note: Instead of a traditional Massachusetts bill of sale, some motor vehicle agencies use the information on the back of a vehicle title to complete a title transfer. Buyers or sellers may still complete a bill of sale for motorcycle as a way of keeping record of the transaction in their documents.

What information should a bill of sale contain?

A bill of sale for a vehicle serves as proof that the buyer and vendor made a transaction regarding a vehicle. Buyers should keep this document along with the vehicle title and other important information relating to a new vehicle purchase. A car bill of sale has no single, official form to it. A truck bill of sale may look identical to that of a used car bill of sale or any other bill of sale. Each dealer will provide a bill of sale created by them. Regardless, residents purchasing a new vehicle will want a bill of sale that provides the following information:

  • Full names of buyer and seller
  • Address for buyer and seller
  • Date of purchase
  • Final purchase price
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Make, model and year of vehicle
  • Signatures of both parties
  • Odometer reading

In some states, a standard bill of sale will include the signatures of both parties involved in the sale. Some state DMVs will require that a bill of sale be signed in front of an agent by one or both parties. Additionally, the DMV or title agency may request a copy of the vehicle bill of sale to keep in their records. Furthermore, in some instances and states, it may be required that a bill of sale for a vehicle be notarized by a licensed individual.

Note: In Massachusetts, if a bill of sale document is required, it does not need to be notarized.

How to Get a Bill of Sale in Massachusetts

Potential buyers or sellers may find a bill of sale online in a wide range of formats. Residents should keep in mind that using a template bill of sale should still include the information mentioned above. Additionally, potential sellers should print out several copies of the MA bill of sale document in case errors are made while filling out one of the forms. 

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