Basics of the Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale

When you buy or sell a motor vehicle, you’ll need a bill of sale. This serves as a legal receipt from the buyer to the seller documenting both the change in ownership and the purchase price. Florida has specific requirements about what a bill of sale must contain.

Invoices are not acceptable as a bill of sale. The bill of sale must be a separate document used to transfer the title of the vehicle.

The following information must appear on the bill of sale:
Name of purchaser.
Complete address of purchaser. Must be street address; a P.O. box is not acceptable.
Date of sale.
Complete vehicle description, including vehicle identification number (VIN), make, model, year, series number, and body type.
Lienholder created at time of resale.
Date of lien, if applicable.
Name of seller; if dealer, then seller must be the licensed name.
Complete address of seller; P.O. box is not acceptable.
If seller is a dealer, then dealer’s state and county business license number must be on the document.
If seller is a dealer, the following statement must be stamped or imprinted on the document: “Penalty of $1.50 due if not transferred within 10 days.”
Vehicle odometer reading at time of sale.
Signature of seller or authorized representative.
Notary public seal identifying the seller and his signature.

You’ll usually be provided an appropriate bill of sale if you buy from a dealer. Be sure that you get a bill of sale when you buy a car; you’ll need it before you can title and register the vehicle in your own name.

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