California Bill of Sale

Essential Documentation for Vehicle Transactions

When buying or selling a vehicle in California, a bill of sale is a crucial document that records the transaction details. It serves as proof of transfer and can protect both the buyer and seller in case of future disputes.

What is a Bill of Sale?

A bill of sale for a vehicle is a written agreement that transfers ownership from the seller to the buyer. It's an important part of the paperwork required by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for private sales.

  • Details the sale price and date of the transaction
  • Lists the specifics of the vehicle, such as make, model, year, and VIN
  • Includes the names and signatures of both parties involved

How to Obtain a Bill of Sale

The California DMV provides a standard bill of sale form (REG 135) that you can download, fill out, and print. Alternatively, parties can draft their own document, ensuring it includes all necessary details.

  • Download the form directly from the CA DMV website
  • Use an approved PDF version for a more straightforward process
  • Make sure to record the sale even if the title is not available

Special Considerations for Form REG 262

Form REG 262 is a combined bill of sale, odometer disclosure, and power of attorney form that is not available online due to its security features. You can obtain this form by visiting a local DMV office or by requesting it to be mailed to you.

Protecting Your Legal Rights

Completing a bill of sale protects both buyer and seller legally. It ensures that the transaction is recorded and serves as a receipt for the buyer and proof of release of liability for the seller.

For any vehicle sale in California, a bill of sale is not just recommended, it's a legal necessity. Ensure all data is accurate and keep copies for your records. For more details and downloadable forms, visit the California DMV's official website.