Michigan Trailer Bill of Sale Form


A Michigan trailer bill of sale form condenses the information of a transfer into a single document. It serves as a quick reference while proving that both parties carried out the transaction. The state of Michigan provides residents with an official trailer bill of sale form. They must download and print it or go to a Secretary of State (SOS) office to pick it up. The document can be a title replacement and ownership verification when titling and registering the trailer.

  • Statutes: § 257.216 | § 257.801
  • Signing Requirements: The person exchanging money for ownership (the buyer) and the individual accepting funds to give up possession (the seller) must sign.

What is a Michigan Trailer Bill of Sale?

A Michigan trailer bill of sale provides the buyer and seller with a rundown of the deal they established between one another. When completing the state form, the buyer must enter their name and address, while the seller must provide their signature, address, and the sale price. They must check the correct box next to “non-titled trailer.” The individual can complete a generic trailer bill of sale if it requires a title.

The person filling in the document must enter the year, make, serial number, registration number, year of the last decal, and the sale date. It is also essential for them to have a weighmaster complete the bottom of the form if they do not have a previous registration or scale weigh receipt. The weighmaster must enter the empty scale weight, the business name and address, and their signature.

How to Register a Trailer (3 Steps)

Per Michigan law, owners must register their trailer if they plan to use it on public roads. The state issues “permanent registrations,” meaning the resident does not have to renew after receiving documentation. However, they cannot transfer the plates or registration to another person or trailer. Instead, the registration stays with the owner for as long as they possess it.

Trailers only need a title if they weigh 2,500 pounds or more. The buyer must transfer the title or apply for a first-time title within fifteen (15) days of the acquisition. If they fail to renew on time, they must pay an additional $15 late penalty.

Step 1 – Inspection / Weigh Station

Most trailers do not require an inspection in Michigan. They only have a mandate for assembled trailers weighing 2,500 pounds or more. The Department of State must review the personal property, complete a Vehicle Number and Equipment Inspection (Form TR-54), and assign a vehicle identification number (VIN). Upon registration, the owner must bring the completed document and new VIN to the office.

The owner must verify the trailer’s weight when registering. Generally, the weight is on the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) and/or registration. The resident must visit a certified scale to receive a scale weight receipt if it is not present on either of these forms. Truck stops, scrap metal recyclers, grain elevators, and junk yards qualify under this law. The person registering must bring the receipt to the appointment for approval.

Step 2 – Title

When purchasing through a dealership, the salesperson handles the title and registration process and collects a 6% sales tax. Individuals who buy a trailer through a private seller must register and/or title the property themselves.

To transfer a title via private sale, the owner must go to a Secretary of State (SOS) office and provide their driver’s license or identification (ID), trailer title, and payment. If they do not have the title, they must present one of the following documents:

  • Proof of ownership;
  • Dealer bill of sale;
  • Private seller bill of sale (must include year, make, VIN, the buyer’s name and address, and the seller’s name and address); or
  • Lien termination document (verifying release of lien).

Step 3 – Registration

The owner must make an appointment with an SOS office to register their trailer. During that time, they must provide their driver’s license or ID and the trailer weight (or scale weight receipt).

Residents must verify their ownership status by presenting 1) an assigned trailer title (with completed seller’s section and signature), 2) the previous trailer registration (with the seller’s signature), 3) the MCO, 4) the dealer bill of sale, or 5) the seller bill of sale.

Registration fees depend on the trailer’s empty weight. The amount ranges between $75 and $300, and the owner must pay the entire bill during the appointment. Therefore, they must bring an appropriate form of payment, ensuring they can cover the charges beforehand. Otherwise, the state can deny their request and ask them to book a new appointment.

Mailing Address:
Michigan Department of State
Internal Services Section
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48918