A bill of sale is a legal document that records the sale of a property between a buyer and seller. A bill of sale in Maryland used for a transaction involving a motor vehicle, boat, firearm, or any other valuable item should include the following:
Names, addresses and contacts of the parties involved
Description and condition of the item being sold
Price and method of payment
These details ensure that both parties are fully informed and can refer to the agreement if any disputes arise. Once all the details are documented both parties should sign the bill of sale that makes the document legally binding and enforceable in a court.
Maryland Bill of Sale Parties
This section identifies the seller and buyer. It provides their names, addresses, and contact information.
The seller is responsible for transferring goods to the buyer and has an obligation to deliver goods according to the terms of the agreement.
The buyer, on the other hand, is the party that accepts and receives the goods and pays the agreed-upon price for the purchase.
Buyer and Seller Disclosure
The state of Maryland requires that sellers of used cars provide a written disclosure of the car's mileage at the time of sale. The odometer disclosure statement is an important factor in determining the age and condition of the car, and it can affect the car's value.
Along with the mileage, the bill of sale should include a clause stating that the buyer accepts the vehicle "as is," with all of its damage and flaws. By signing the bill of sale with this clause, the buyer agrees to take ownership of the item in its current state.
However, this "as-is" condition does not protect the seller from hidden or misrepresented damages.
Maryland Bill of Sale Description of Goods
When completing a Maryland bill of sale, it is important to describe the goods being sold in a clear and accurate way. This information includes the item's serial number, make, model, and other details that help identify it.
Furthermore, it is important to disclose the item's condition. This includes any known defects or issues that the buyer should be aware of before completing the purchase.
By doing so, both parties can enter the transaction fully transparently, ensuring that everyone's expectations are met.
Maryland Bill of Sale Purchase Price
The item’s price and payment method should be clearly stated in the bill of sale. Here are the three most common methods:
Payment is the act of exchanging money for goods. The most common payment methods include cash, checks, credit cards, wire transfers, and online payment platforms.
Trade refers to the exchange of goods without the use of currency. In a trade transaction, the parties negotiate the terms of the exchange, including the quantity, quality, and value of the exchanged goods.
A gift is a voluntary transfer of property without the expectation of receiving anything in return. Gifts can be given for various reasons, such as to show appreciation or to strengthen ties between close family members.
Maryland Bill of Sale for Motor Vehicles (Cars) Requirements
According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, a bill of sale with the parties’ notarized signatures is mandatory if the sale price is less than the vehicle's book value and the vehicle is 7 years old or newer.
In that case, the bill of sale should contain the following:
Parties’ names, addresses, and contacts info
Make, model, and year of production
Type and color
Vehicle identification number (VIN)
Description of any vehicles flaws
Signatures of the buyer and the seller
In other cases, the procedure for registration and obtaining ownership, as well as the necessary documents, is regulated by the MVA.
The same procedure applies to registering and obtaining a title for a vehicle purchased outside of Maryland as for one purchased in Maryland.
Abandoned or Junk Vehicles
Once a salvaged vehicle inspection is passed, you can request that the MVA issue a 30-day temporary registration to drive the vehicle to an authorized inspection station for a safety inspection. If it passes, you can then proceed to register the vehicle.
Once you have completed the registration and title process, you may opt to sell the salvage vehicle and should provide a bill of sale as evidence of the transaction.
Vehicles Sold by Dealers
When buying vehicles from licensed or unlicensed dealers, the bill of sale acts as evidence of the transaction. Remember to include all relevant details and sign the bill of sale.
Vehicles Sold by Private Parties
Although the MVA does not regulate the sale of private vehicles without an authorized dealer, it is advisable to furnish a bill of sale to avoid any disagreements between the parties.
Maryland Bill of Sale for Boats (Vessel) Requirements
For the registration of new vessels and one currently titled in Maryland, a bill of sale with notarized signatures of both the buyer and seller are required if the vessel is longer than 12 feet or if the title or certificate of origin does not contain information about the buyer, price, date of sale, or signature of the former owner.
In that case, the bill of sale should include the following:
Names and addresses of the buyer and the seller
Date of sale
Vessel description (year, manufacturer, hull identification number, and/or current registration)
An official statement that all information is correct and true
Maryland Bill of Sale for Firearms Requirements
Maryland law regulates the sale and registration of various firearms. As the state police no longer handle firearm registration or permitting directly, you must work with a licensed firearm dealer for these processes.
A bill of sale is crucial in this situation and should include the following:
Names and addresses of the buyer and seller
Firearm model, make, caliber, and serial number
Purchase price and payment date
Notarized signatures of the seller and the buyer
Maryland Bill of Sale for Horses Requirements
While it is not mandatory according to Maryland laws, due to the significant value of horses and other livestock, it is strongly advised to create a bill of sale.
This document should contain details about the parties involved, personal information about the animal, including its health condition, the purchase price, and the signatures of both parties.
Maryland Bill of Sale for Trailers (RVs) Requirements
It is recommended that the seller and buyer prepare a bill of sale to establish evidence of the transaction for a trailer purchase.
This document should include essential personal details such as name, address, and contact information of both parties, as well as relevant trailer information such as make, model, year, and vehicle identification number (VIN).
Maryland Bill of Sale Other Requirements
While parties have the freedom to use any language they are comfortable with when creating a bill of sale, Maryland has enacted language access laws that ensure government services are accessible to individuals who may have difficulty with the English language.
Additionally, parties should provide one copy for their own records and one for vehicle registration.
Maryland Bill of Sale Taxes
In Maryland, there is an excise tax for vehicles that are 7 years old or newer, which can be calculated based on either 6% of the vehicle's book value or 6% of the purchase price listed on the notarized bill of sale.
For vehicles older than 7 years, the tax is calculated only on the purchase price. The minimum amount for the excise tax in Maryland is $38.40, calculated based on a minimum value of $640.
Maryland Bill of Sale FAQ
As long as the required conditions don't apply, like the ones mentioned earlier, where a certified notary is needed, a handwritten bill of sale is valid if it has all the necessary information and is signed by both the buyer and the seller.
If the purpose of the bill of sale is for vehicle registration and obtaining the title, then both the buyer and seller must sign it in the presence of a notary public. However, in any other circumstance, it is still required for both parties to sign the bill of sale.
To simplify the transfer of private property ownership, you can download a reliable and professional template from our website.
Both parties benefit from a bill of sale as it establishes a legal agreement between the parties, minimizing the risk of fraudulent activities and limiting liability if it comes to a dispute.