California Bill of Sale Forms (5)
A California bill of sale form transfers rights and privileges of personal property from an owner to another entity. It makes the new owner fully responsible for the goods, meaning they must register or obtain insurance if needed. Certain items, such as cars, require the seller to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of their relinquishment of ownership. Completing this form safeguards them from fines or damages that incur after the change of possession.
Boat Bill of Sale – Summarizes the specifics around selling, gifting, or trading a water vessel.
Firearm Bill of Sale – A blank template used to organize the necessary details of a gun sale.
General Bill of Sale – Documents how a vendor sold an item to an interested individual.
Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale – A form that accompanies the transfer of a motor vehicle from one person to another.
Trailer Bill of Sale – Changes possession of a utility trailer by outlining information about the transaction.
|Bill of Sale Type||Buyer Signature||Seller Signature||Notarization|
|Boat||Not required||Required||Not required|
|General (others)||Required||Required||Not required|
|Motor Vehicle||Not required||Required||Not required|
What is a California Bill of Sale?
A California bill of sale asserts the change of ownership between a buyer and seller. It ascertains the new owner compensated the previous owner for an item. Payment can occur by cash or trade as long as both parties include the transfer method in the form. State law does not require the buyer and seller to sign in the presence of a notary public, nor does it mandate the buyer to sign watercraft or automobile bill of sale forms.
In some cases, the owner provides personal property to another person as a present. A bill of sale should accompany this transferal to establish a fair valuation of the item and prove that the receiver lawfully attained it. Without this document, the previous owner could list the item as stolen, thus making the new owner accountable. Therefore, both parties should accurately execute it when transferring goods of any kind.
Registration Forms: Boats
Vessel owners must register at an official DMV location.
Additional (Optional) Documents
- Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents (Form REG 156) – A person uses this document to replace plates, stickers, and other paperwork for the boat.
- California Motor Vehicle Power of Attorney (Form REG 260) – An owner initiates this form to name an attorney-in-fact as their boat representative.
Registration Forms: Firearms
Current and incoming residents must register their firearms with the state. Private sales can only occur in the presence of a licensed dealer. State law mandates firearm holders to only open carry their weapons and restricts them from concealed carrying without a license. California Law Enforcement Agencies process all applications.
Registration Forms: Vehicles
Cars must undergo registration at a DMV office.
Additional (Optional) Documents
- California Motor Vehicle Power of Attorney (Form REG 260) – Gives another person permission to care for DMV-related or private vehicle matters.
- Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form REG 262) – This form is only provided by the DMV. It is required for vehicles twenty years (20) old or newer (starting with the year 2010).
- Release of Liability (Form REG 138) – The seller must complete this document to give ownership to the purchaser, thus removing their liability.
- Lien Release (Form REG 166) – Completed after the purchaser repays the lienholder the loan amount.
Registration Forms: Trailers
Utility trailers require registration through the permanent trailer identification (PTI) program. They do not need a title but can obtain one if they wish to do so. Owners must bring the documentation and payment to a DMV location for registration.