A Delaware bill of sale is a legal document used to record personal property ownership transfers.
It’s mostly used for transferring ownership over a motor vehicle since most states require a bill of sale to be submitted for vehicle registration. However, bills of sale can be used for transferring any other type of item, like a vessel, firearm, animal, trailer, etc.
The main benefit of having a bill of sale is to limit the liability of the seller after ownership is transferred. On the other side, the buyer has proof that ownership is transferred to them and can use it to register this fact before the state authorities.
Delaware Bill of Sale Parties
The main parties to the bill of sale are the buyer and the seller. The parties can also additionally secure the bill of sale by providing the signatures of witnesses and a notary public.
The seller, or transferor, is a person who transfers the ownership of their personal property to the buyer. In some cases, more than one seller can be listed in the bill of sale.
The buyer, or transferee, is the person to whom the item is being transferred. The buyer, in turn, pays the purchase price to the seller.
Buyer and Seller Disclosure
The seller and the buyer are free to enter any additional disclosure in their bill of sale to prevent any liabilities and disputes.
In some cases, state law requires the parties to make certain disclosures. This is the case with motor vehicle purchases, where federal law requires every seller to disclose the odometer reading in the bill of sale. In that light, parties often include the “as is” disclosure in the lease agreement. That means the buyer agrees to purchase the item with all its damages and flaws. This notice limits the seller's responsibility for any future claims after ownership has been transferred.
Delaware Bill of Sale Description of Goods
Depending on the type of item being transferred, the bill of sale has a different description of the goods section.
The rule of thumb when writing this section is to include all the details about the item that help parties individualize it. You should always check if the item has a serial number and include it in the lease agreement. If not, you should list all the relevant details about the item, like the model, color, year of production, etc. For example, the bill of sale for the motor vehicle should include the following:
Make and model of the vehicle
Vehicle identification number (VIN)
Color and year of production of the vehicle
Delaware Bill of Sale Purchase Price
The purchase price can be paid in many ways, depending on the item type and relations between the seller and the buyer. Below, you can find the most commonly used ones.
Payment is the most commonly used method for compensating the seller. It can be made in cash, credit or debit cards, checks, or bank transfers.
Trade is used when the seller and the buyer exchange their items by transferring ownership to each other. The buyer is often paying an additional sum to cover the difference between the values of the items being transferred.
This method is often used between the members of one family for transferring ownership. This way, the buyer doesn’t have to transfer any value back to the seller. However, for tax purposes, the parties are obliged to enter the estimated price of the item in the bill of sale.
Delaware Bill of Sale for Motor Vehicles (Cars) Requirements
The Delaware DMV is the authority in charge of registering motor vehicles. Check their website to see if you need to submit a bill of sale to register your type of vehicle.
When purchasing the vehicle from a dealer outside of Delaware, you must present the bill of sale to the local DMV to apply for the Delaware title.
Abandoned or Junk Vehicles
The title to the junk or salvage vehicle can be transferred to the buyer using the bill of sale, as long as the seller discloses that the item is categorized as a salvage vehicle.
Vehicles Sold by Dealers
When buying a new vehicle from the dealership, the dealer will settle the title application in your name since there was no previous vehicle owner. The title application will include the bill of sale.
Vehicles Sold by Private Parties
When two private parties transfer title to a vehicle, the new owner must present the bill of sale with the indicated purchase price to determine the document fee.
Delaware Bill of Sale for Boats (Vessel) Requirements
When purchasing the new boat, the buyer must apply for the boat's registration and the manufacturer's certificate of origin.
The buyer should present a bill of sale that contains the following:
Identity information of the seller and buyer
Make, model, and year of the boat
Hull identification number (HID)
Motor model and serial number
Description of the boat
Delaware Bill of Sale for Firearms Requirements
Delaware residents don’t have to register the firearm or obtain permits as long as the firearm is not categorized as a concealed weapon.
The firearm bill of sale shall contain:
Names and addresses of the buyer and the seller
Firearm serial number
Firearm model and caliber
By signing the bill of sale, the seller avoids liability in the event that the firearm is illegally used after the seller relinquishes possession.
Delaware Bill of Sale for Horses Requirements
The Delaware Department of Agriculture requires a notarized bill of sale for every horse sale. This does not include the livestock.
The bill of sale must include:
Seller and buyer names and contact details
Horse’s name and its tattoo number
Date of the purchase
Seller and buyer signature
Delaware Bill of Sale for Trailers (RVs) Requirements
After purchasing the trailer, the buyer must register it with the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). They should submit the following:
Bill of sale as the proof of purchase
Vehicle’s insurance policy
Delaware Bill of Sale Other Requirements
The Delaware bill of sale can be drafted in any language that both the buyer and seller can understand. However, when registering an item before the governmental body, you should submit the bill of sale in English. You can also attach the official English translation to your bill of sale drafted in another language.
The bill of sale should have a minimum of two copies, one for each party. If the item needs to be registered, the parties should provide extra copies that will be sent in with the registration application.
Delaware Bill of Sale Taxes
The bill of sale shall include a warning about the legal liabilities of false purchase price reporting.
Delaware law allows a credit on the sales tax for vehicles purchased outside of Delaware within 90 days before registering the vehicle in Delaware.
Delaware Bill of Sale FAQ
The handwritten bill of sale will also be considered valid in Delaware as long as it has all the necessary elements.
Both the seller and the buyer are required to sign the Delaware bill of sale, regardless of the type of bill of sale. However, for some types, like the horse bill of sale, it must also be notarized by the relevant office.
The best way to get a customizable bill of sale with all the necessary elements is to download one of the templates available on this website.
Both parties benefit from having the bill of sale. The seller will limit their liability for the item after transferring ownership. The buyer will have official proof of ownership for the purchased item.