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.


  • Only the seller needs to sign boat and car bill of sale forms.
  • California is the strictest state for gun laws.
  • A bill of sale must accompany a trailer purchase to register and title it.

Types (5)

Boat Bill of Sale – Summarizes the specifics around selling, gifting, or trading a water vessel.

Download: PDF


Firearm Bill of Sale – A blank template used to organize the necessary details of a gun sale.

Download: PDF | WORD | RTF


General Bill of Sale – Documents how a vendor sold an item to an interested individual.

Download: PDF | WORD | RTF


Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale – A form that accompanies the transfer of a motor vehicle from one person to another.

Download: PDF



Trailer Bill of Sale – Changes possession of a utility trailer by outlining information about the transaction.

Download: PDF | WORD | RTF


Signing Requirements

Bill of Sale TypeBuyer SignatureSeller SignatureNotarization
BoatNot requiredRequiredNot required
FirearmRequiredRequiredNot required
General (others)RequiredRequiredNot required
Motor VehicleNot requiredRequiredNot required
TrailerRequiredRequiredNot 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

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.

  • Application for License to Carry a Concealed Weapon (Form BOF 4012) – For individuals wishing to apply for a concealed carry permit.
  • Firearms Permit Initial Application – A form used to register assault weapons and personal handgun dealers in the state.
  • Firearm Safety Certificate – The applicant must have taken and completed a gun training course provided by a state-approved instructor.
  • Psychological Testing – The state can require applicants to undergo mental health testing performed by a licensed psychologist.
  • Fingerprints – The Department of Justice takes the applicant’s fingerprints to perform a background check.
  • Payment – Fees vary based on the county of residence.

Registration Forms: Vehicles

Cars must undergo registration at a DMV office.

Additional (Optional) Documents

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.