Indiana Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale Form


An Indiana motor vehicle bill of sale form transposes ownership of a car between two (2) people. It prevents fraudulent transactions by recording the names and personal details of the buyer and seller. Plus, it serves as an agreement that the purchaser will pay the seller, and the seller will give the car to them in return. Either party can use the form to support court claims or legal accusations. The bill of sale only holds power if it includes unique vehicle information, such as its identification number and each person’s signature.

  • Statutes: IC 9-17 | IC 9-18.1
  • Signing Requirements: The state requires the seller and purchaser to sign the bill of sale form.

What is an Indiana Car Bill of Sale?

An Indiana car bill of sale passes the possession of a vehicle to a buyer from a seller. The document verifies that both parties discussed the terms of the transfer, such as the sales price and payment method. Neither person can include false information in the bill of sale, or Indiana law enforcement can fine or arrest them.

Similarly, the buyer and seller cannot tamper with the form once they sign it. They cannot make amendments, cross out information, or damage it. Otherwise, it becomes null, and both parties have to create a new one.

What are the Buyer’s Tasks?

Buyers must determine the best vehicle for their lifestyle. Once they decide on the car, they must find a trustworthy private seller or dealer. Residents should ensure they buy from the right seller to prevent fraud or scams.

After the buyer and seller agree on the selling price, they write down the deal through a bill of sale form. The merchant must also fill out the seller and purchaser sections of the title as BMV does not accept the document when incomplete. Buyers can provide the bill of sale or purchase order instead of the title.

When purchasing a used car, the purchaser must ensure the seller removes the plates and keeps them. The buyer cannot drive the vehicle with the previous owner’s license plates. If they do, law enforcement can ticket them.

The person purchasing the vehicle must safely store the title and hold onto vital forms, like the bill of sale. This document allows them to prove their ownership and/or resell the vehicle.

What are the Seller’s Tasks?

After negotiating with the buyer and completing a bill of sale, the seller must fill out the seller and purchaser sections of the title. Then, they must remove the license plates from the vehicle. The BMV does not require the previous owner to return their plates to the office. Instead, they can transfer the plates to another car as long as they notify the state of the change.

The seller should keep a copy of the title, bill of sale, and other documents verifying the completed purchase. Retaining this information protects them if the new owner gets into an accident or accumulates tickets. By proving the change in ownership, the seller does not have to pay damages or fines since they no longer possess the car.

How to Register a Car in Indiana (7 Steps)

In-state sales between two (2) residents require registration and titling within forty-five (45) days. Individuals moving to the state must transfer the registration and titling no later than sixty (60) days after establishing themselves as a resident. The BMV penalizes registrars who do not submit the documents and payment on time.

Step 1 – Driver’s License

Incoming residents have sixty (60) days to transfer their out-of-state license to Indiana. This step must happen before registering and titling a vehicle.

Individuals must make an appointment with the BMV to obtain a new card. They need to undergo a vision test but do not need to take a written or driving exam as long as they have a current, unexpired license. However, if they hold a license expired for more than one hundred eighty (180) days, they must take a written, driving, and vision test.

Step 2 – Insurance

Indiana requires drivers to have a valid insurance policy. Their coverage must include $25,000 for the bodily injury of one (1) person and $50,000 for two (2) or more persons. It also must cover $25,000 of property damage per incident and $50,000 for the bodily injury of uninsured motorists.

Step 3 – Inspection

The owner must have their out-of-state car inspected to verify the vehicle identification number (VIN). Residents must also have it checked if they purchased a car in-state with an illegible VIN. The examiner must complete and sign a Physical Inspection of a Vehicle or Watercraft (Form 39530), which the registrar must provide to the BMV.

Step 4 – Emissions

In Indiana, two (2) counties – Lake and Porter – require emissions and tampering inspections. Vehicles qualify if the manufacturer built them after 1975 and it has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 9,000 pounds or less. Exemptions include cars built less than four (4) years ago and antique vehicles.

Inspections must occur every two (2) years. Motor vehicles with an even model year must undergo an examination every other year. Similarly, automobiles with an odd model year must have it inspected every odd-numbered year after. For example, if the manufacturer made the car in 2011, the owner would need to have it re-inspected in 2013, 2015, and so on.

Appointments must occur at an approved location. The owner must bring their current registration or vehicle registration renewal notice. Inspection stations allow residents in need (such as college students) to test their vehicles starting in October of the year before the expiration.

Step 5 – Title

Indiana vehicles must have an official title before they can register. They must make an appointment with the BMV and bring the completed and signed title from the previous owner. If the car does not have a title or has an incomplete title, the individual can present a bill of sale or purchase order instead.

Out-of-state vehicles with a lienholder in another state require the owner to complete a Request for Title (Form 1014). The BMV provides a packet of documents necessary for incoming residents transferring their out-of-state titles to Indiana. The car needs an Indiana inspection (Form 39530) if 1) has an out-of-state title, 2) has an illegible VIN, or 3) the driver does not plan to bring the vehicle to the titling appointment.

Individuals must also bring the odometer disclosure statement (Form 43230) and their Indiana identification card to obtain a title.

Step 6 – Register

Owners of non-leased vehicles that purchased them less than sixty (60) days prior can apply online, at a kiosk, or in person. If the individual has a lease on the car (Form 12787) or bought it more than sixty (60) days before, they must make an in-person appointment at the BMV.

If the buyer plans to transfer a plate from an existing vehicle to another one, they must prove that they sold the car, destroyed it, or disposed of it. They can submit: 1) a signed bill of sale, 2) a Certificate of Gross Retail or Use Tax (Form 48842) from the dealer, 3) a copy of the title, or 4) a statement from the insurance company that includes the VIN and describes the vehicle as a total loss.

If someone stole the license plates, the owner must complete a Report of Stolen License Plate or Registration Decal (Form 37135).

Bring the Following:

Step 7 – Renew

Vehicle registrations in Indiana last for one (1) year. Residents must renew on time to avoid the $15 late fee. The state allows them to reapply online, over the phone (1-888-692-6841), by mail, in person, or at a kiosk. If the resident moved since the last time they registered, they must also bring two (2) verifying documents that confirm their new address.

Mailing Address:
Indiana Government Center North
Room 402
100 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204