Important Terms for a Bill of Sale
- Property location: This specifies the location of the item being sold, which can be especially important if the item is in a different state.
- Seller: This includes the seller’s information, such as name and address. This section can also list any additional sellers.
- Buyer: This specifies the buyer’s information. This section can list any additional sellers.
- Sales tax: This specifies whether sales tax will be included, how much it will be, and whether or not it is included in the price.
- Property: This section includes the date of the property transfer as well as any special conditions to the sale like “under warranty” or “as-is.” The VIN, plate number, and odometer reading for vehicles are listed here.
- Witness information: If a witness is present to sign the bill of sale, their full name, address and other contact information will be listed here. The witness can be either a public notary or a party agreed upon by the buyer and seller.
- As-is: This term means that the buyer is agreeing to purchase the item in its current state at the time of sale. By signing a bill of sale agreeing to purchase something as-is, the buyer is agreeing that they’ve had the opportunity to inspect the item and found it to their satisfaction.
- Gift: This identifies whether the item is being sold as a gift to the recipient, which will be important for tax purposes the following year.
- Trade-In: In the event that one item is being traded for another, this section of the bill of sale will verify that the two items are equal in value.
- Certification/Signature: The signature of the seller and/or buyer, depending on the form, finalizes the transfer. In-person signatures are always valid. Digital signatures are valid if they are done through a certified digital signature provider. PandaDoc documents offer the option for legal digital signatures.
- Vehicle Identification Number: This is the unique code associated with a particular vehicle. The VIN tells you where and in what year the car was built. The easiest place to find the VIN is on the bottom left corner of the dashboard. It is usually printed in other places as well. Your manual will tell you where to look.
1. Missouri Bill of Sale Requirements
A bill of sale is required in the state of Missouri to verify your purchase of major transactions like a car, a boat, or a firearm. Bills of sale create an official record that you bought that item.
For items like motor vehicles, the creation of a bill of sale is required by Missouri law. Vehicle sales must be reported to the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) within 30 days. You can use forms provided by the DOR, or you can create your own. Bills of sale are helpful for other types of purchases, but they are not required.
Why Use a Bill of Sale?
Any bill of sale will show when an item was bought and who bought it, creating a record that can protect a seller from liability. It also gives the buyer-specific information about an item, such as a vehicle identification number (VIN), that they can check against other official records.
There is no requirement that any bills of sale in Missouri other than those for motor vehicles must be in a particular language. However, the DOR does not provide forms in any language other than English. You may translate a bill of sale into any language you like, but copies provided to the state must be submitted in English.
Number of Copies
For motor vehicle sales, three copies of a bill of sale must be made: one for the buyer, one for the seller, and one for the State of Missouri. In all other cases, copies for both the buyer and the seller will suffice.
Missouri offers a specific form for the sale of junk vehicles (Form 5423) for when a vehicle is ten years or older, inoperable, and has no title. This bill of sale must be submitted to the Missouri DOR.
Sellers must provide the year, make, model, and VIN of the vehicle along with a statement that the vehicle is either being remanded for parts or destroyed.
Buyers of junk vehicles greater than 10 but less than 20 years old must have access to the Missouri DOR’s online records access system to ensure the vehicle does not have any outstanding liens. Should a lien be recorded, it must be satisfied prior to submitting the bill of sale to the state.
After Purchasing a Vehicle
You need more than just a bill of sale to complete the transfer of a vehicle in Missouri. You also need to complete the registration and titling process, and if you’re the buyer, you also need to pay sales tax.
If You’re the Seller
Sellers need to provide a number of documents to the buyer of a vehicle in Missouri. They include:
- A signed title certificate with the buyer’s name, the vehicle’s odometer reading, and the date of sale
- A safety inspection certificate less than 60 days old
- An emissions certificate less than 60 days old: only required for sales in the city of St. Louis or the counties of Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, or St. Louis
- A notarized lien release (Form 4809) if applicable
The seller must remove the plates from the vehicle prior to sale, and if gifting the vehicle, the seller must submit a General Affidavit (Form 768) to certify the transaction.
If You’re the Buyer
Buyers of vehicles must go to their local license office to title and register their purchase. The paperwork required to complete this process includes:
- Proof of sale signed by the seller
- A safety inspection certificate (must be less than 60 days old; not applicable if the vehicle is less than 5 years old)
- Proof of residence, insurance, and ownership
- An emissions certificate if applicable
- A personal property tax receipt
Additionally, the buyer is responsible for paying all state and local sales taxes prior to applying for a title. There are also registration and license plate fees as well as title and registration processing fees. If a buyer completes this process after 30 days from the time of sale, they will also owe a late penalty fee.
2. Missouri Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale
When writing the bill of sale for a motor vehicle, including the:
- Title number
Missouri’s bills of sale for automobiles can be notarized, but it isn’t legally required. The seller is, however, required to fill out an odometer disclosure statement form. A bill of sale is required to register a vehicle in Missouri, and the seller also needs to fill out a Notice of Sale (Form 5049).
3. Missouri Boat Bill of Sale
Any bill of sale for a boat should include:
- Year the boat was built
- Hull ID
- Registration ID
- Odometer reading
- Title number
Odometer readings can be given in hours, knots, miles, or kilometers. If an item like a trailer or motor is included in the sale, it’s good practice to include it. For trailers, the bill of sale should list the make and year. For motors, the make and year should be listed. Sellers also have to fill out an Application for Missouri Boat/Vessel or an Outboard Motor Title and Registration (Form 93).
A bill of sale is required in order to register a boat in the state of Missouri. You’ll also need a manufacturer’s statement of origin and a title or a copy of Form 93.
4. Missouri Firearm Bill of Sale
For bills of sale transferring ownership of a gun, the document should have the gun’s:
- Serial number
Bills of sale for guns are not required to be notarized in Missouri. Both buyer and seller are encouraged to keep a copy for their records. Bills of sale are not required to register a gun. In Missouri, no permit is required for handguns or shotguns.
5. Missouri General Bills of Sale
Almost any other purchase you may need or want to have a record of can have a bill of sale. General bills of sale are commonly used for:
They are not, however, limited to these items.
If writing your own bill of sale, be sure to include all standard information that should be included in any bill of sale. You must include not only the date of payment but also the date the bill of sale was signed by each party.
Make sure you’re familiar with the common legal terms used in bills of sale and how they apply to you and the buyer. Double-check everything to be sure that all the information on the form is correct, especially the buyer’s information, seller’s information, product description, and price.
FAQ: About the Missouri Bill of Sale
What is a bill of sale?
A bill of sale is a legal document signed by a buyer and seller to record a significant purchase. It records the date the item was transferred, the purchase price of the item, and any important details about the item itself, such as age, color, origin, or other characteristics.
Anyone involved in the purchase of an asset like a vehicle should walk away from the transaction with a bill of sale. It protects both the seller and buyer from legal repercussions down the line and in some cases are required by law.
How does a bill of sale benefit the buyer?
It’s in a buyer’s best interest to get a bill of sale for any large purchase, as it allows them to prove their ownership of an item if necessary. In some instances, a bill of sale is also used to determine the tax an individual will owe at the end of the year.
Buyers should be aware that a bill of sale in and of itself does not transfer legal ownership of an item with a title like a motor vehicle. You’ll also need the owner to sign over the title of that item to you. In the case of motor vehicles, it is illegal to not sign over the title to a car upon accepting payment for the vehicle and completing the delivery.
How do I get a bill of sale?
Missouri will allow buyers and sellers to create their own bills of sale for most items. Templates for a bill of sale are easy to find online, or you can write one yourself. They are also available at your local department of motor vehicles or county tax assessor’s office.
Missouri also offers a general bill of sale form, Form 1957. Motor vehicles, boats, and trailers can also be listed on this form.
What information do I need for the bill of sale?
Some bills of sale need information specific to an item being sold. This may include the VIN number of a car or the hull identification of a boat. But there are items that every bill of sale should include, no matter what is being purchased.
Items to include in any bill of sale are:
- The buyer’s name and address
- The seller’s name and address
- A description of the item being sold, which should include serial numbers, identification numbers, make, model, size, color, design, distinguishing marks, features, and any faults with the item
- Special conditions to the sale, such as if the item is sold “as-is” or with a warranty
- The date of the transaction
- Who the previous owner of the item was before the seller, if applicable
- The amount paid for the item, in both words and numerals
- The method of payment, e.g. cash, check, or direct deposit, and whether the total was paid in full or in installments
- Any agreements regarding due dates for pending payment, late payments, and interest rates
Buyers should check any bill of sale they receive for legibility and be sure that all the proper forms are correctly filled in. The bill of sale should be signed clearly by both parties, and both should have copies of the document for their records. For motor vehicle sales in the state of Missouri, a copy of the bill of sale must also be submitted to the DOR.