Washington D.C. Bill of Sale Forms


A Washington D.C. bill of sale form equips a buyer and seller with physical evidence of a transaction that took place. It shows that both parties acknowledge the accuracy of the provided information and agree to carry out their part of the deal. Most states consider a bill of sale legally binding, meaning that either person can use it in court if ever needed.


  • Notarization is only needed for private boat sales.
  • Buyers must register their trailer after purchasing.
  • Residents must register their guns and have a purchase permit.

Types (5)

Boat Bill of Sale – A form that serves as verification of a fair deal between a buyer and seller concerning a vessel.

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Firearm Bill of Sale – Substantiates a handgun, shotgun, or rifle transaction.

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General Bill of Sale – Meets the criterion for transferring ownership of a generic item.

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Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale – A testament of the trade pact between two (2) individuals for a car.

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Trailer Bill of Sale – Warrants the legal handover of a utility trailer from a seller to a buyer.

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Signing Requirements

Bill of Sale TypeBuyer SignatureSeller SignatureNotarization
FirearmRequiredRequiredNot required
General (others)RequiredRequiredNot required
Motor VehicleRequiredRequiredNot required
TrailerRequired            RequiredNot required

What is a Washington D.C. Bill of Sale?

A Washington D.C. bill of sale certifies that two (2) individuals came together to initiate an even exchange of goods or personal property. The form signifies that the buyer and seller settled on the terms and conditions of the transfer without dispute. It also ensures that the previous owner has provided truthful information about the item and notified the new owner of any needed repair work or damages.

Each document is specifically designed for the sale item. For example, motor vehicle bill of sale forms include fields for the odometer reading and vehicle identification number. On the other hand, firearm bill of sales contains spaces for the type of gun (i.e., revolver, pistol, shotgun, rifle, etc.) and its serial number. Other types of bill of sales, such as those for vessels or trailers, also allow for the successful transfer of information and ownership.

Registration Forms: Boats

Washington D.C. residents can register their boats online through the online vessel registration system (OVERS).

Additional (Optional) Documents

  • Boater’s Safety Card – For in-state new or used boats.
  • Fair Market Value – To calculate taxes for out-of-state boats.
  • First Assignment – For brand new boats from a dealer only.
  • Lien Release (or Satisfaction) – Only needed if the name of the lien is on the title.
  • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) – A form from the shipbuilder containing information about the origin of the boat.

Registration Forms: Firearms

Washington D.C. has strict gun laws compared to other states. Residents must obtain a permit to purchase and register each of their firearms. Gun registration must occur with the state’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Individuals can make an appointment through their online locator and must bring the following forms upon registration.

Registration Forms: Vehicles

First-time registrations must occur at a DC DMV service center location. Use the DMV’s document verification guide to learn of any additional documents to bring to the registration and titling appointment.

  • Bill of Sale – Proves the new owner obtained a car from a legal seller.
  • Payment – Fees for registration, titling, and inspection.
  • Inspection – Required prior to car registration. The owner must pay the associated fees at the DMV when registering.
  • Insurance (Minimum Liability Coverage)
    • Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person / $50,000 for 2 or more people
    • Property Damage: $10,000
    • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person / $50,000 for 2 or more people
    • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: $5,000 ($200 deductible)
  • Title – The official certificate of ownership for a car.
  • Identification (ID) – An official DC driver’s license or state ID card.

Additional (Optional) Documents

Registration Forms: Trailers

Residents must register their trailer at a DC DMV service center.

  • Bill of Sale – To certify the buyer as the legal owner.
  • Payment – Depends on the weight of the utility trailer.
  • Identification (ID) – A valid government ID.

DMV Service Centers: By Location

Benning Ridge(202) 737-4404

4525 Benning Rd., SE

Washington, DC 20019

Georgetown(202) 737-4404

3270 M. St., NW

Canal Level, Ste. C200

Washington, DC 20007

Rhode Island(202) 737-4404

2350 Washington Pl., NE, Ste 112N

Washington, DC 20018

Southwest(207) 737-4404

95 M St., SW

Washington, DC 20024