The Pennsylvania bill of sale is a document that serves as a record of the ownership transfer. It contains details about the buyer and seller, the transferred item, the purchase price, and disclosures of the relevant parties. 

In some cases, the local DMV provides the bill of sale form that can be filled out by the parties and submitted with the application for the title or registration. 

However, the parties can draft their own bill of sale to provide additional information that is not included in the bill of sale form.

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale Parties

The main parties to the bill of sale are the seller (transferor) and the buyer (transferee). If there is more than one owner of the transferred item, each owner can be listed as a seller in the bill of sale. The same can be done for the buyer if two or more people want to establish a co-ownership over the transferred item.


A seller is a person who transfers ownership of their personal property to the buyer.


A buyer is a person who pays the purchase price in exchange for the purchased item.

Buyer and Seller Disclosure

The bill of sale for used items often includes the “as is” condition. This means there is no warranty for the purchased item, and the buyer agrees to buy the item with all of its flaws and damages.

In addition, the buyer should disclose all the damages to the item. Otherwise, the “as is” condition will not protect the seller from the buyer’s claims for the damages that were not disclosed.

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale Description of Goods

The parties should provide information about the item that individualizes it and differentiates it from other goods of the same kind.

The information you should include depends on the type of item you are transferring. For example, a description of goods for the motor vehicle should include the following:

Mandatory Information

  • Make and model of the motor vehicle

  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)

  • Body type, color, and year of vehicle production

  • Vehicle horsepower

  • Odometer reading

  • Description of damages and flaws (for used vehicles)

  • Information about the additional equipment that is sold with the motor vehicle

For other types of items, if possible, you should always include the item’s serial number. Otherwise, you should provide a detailed description of the transferred item.

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale Purchase Price

The purchase price is usually provided in one of the three ways listed below.

#1. Payment

This method is the most commonly used one. With the payment, the buyer gives a certain amount of money to the seller as compensation for the purchased item. The payment can be made all at once or in installments, in cash, with checks, or using credit or debit cards.

#2. Trade

The trade is the method by which the seller and the buyer exchange ownership of the items. This method is often used with motor vehicle purchases. The buyer will often have to pay an additional amount of money to cover the difference in value between the items.

#3. Gift

If the item is transferred to the buyer as a gift, there is no compensation due to the seller. However, parties should still enter the estimated value of the item in the purchase price section for tax reasons. 

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale for Motor Vehicles (Cars) Requirements

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) is a body in charge of motor vehicle transportation.

Out-of-State Vehicles

If you purchase an out-of-state vehicle, you must apply for the Pennsylvania title and registration. If the state you purchased the vehicle from doesn’t issue a title for the type of vehicle you’ve bought, you can submit the bill of sale instead.

Abandoned or Junk Vehicles

A vehicle that is damaged to the point that the repair costs are higher than the value of the vehicle is called a salvage vehicle. If you have a salvage vehicle, you can submit an application for the salvage certificate

When selling a salvage vehicle, you can use the bill of sale to stipulate any clauses not included in the salvage certificate.

Vehicles Sold by Dealers

In Pennsylvania, a dealer is responsible for applying for the title and registration for the purchased vehicles. If the vehicle is not financed, you will receive the title in your name. In the meantime, you can use the bill of sale as proof of purchase.

Vehicles Sold by Private Parties

The private parties should provide all the details about the ownership transfer in their bill of sale. This document will limit the responsibility of the seller after the purchase and serve as proof of transaction for the buyer until the title is issued in their name.

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale for Boats (Vessel) Requirements

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is a body that issues titles and registration for boats and vessels in Pennsylvania.

Powered boats must be titled and registered. When applying for the boat registration, you must submit a bill of sale with the following information:

Mandatory Information

  • Names and addresses of the seller and buyer

  • Name and address of the boat’s legal owner, if different from the seller

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale for Firearms Requirements

In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to sell a handgun to a person younger than 21. In the case of a long gun, it cannot be sold to a person younger than 18. Additionally, it’s illegal to sell a firearm to anyone who is not allowed to purchase a gun.

The Pennsylvania State Police provides a bill of sale form that can be obtained only upon request and that is mandatory for the handgun ownership transfer.

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale for Horses Requirements

The horse bill of sale in Pennsylvania should include the following details:

Mandatory Information

  • Names and addresses of the seller and buyer

  • Name, breed, gender, and age of the horse

  • Horse’s identification number (if applicable)

  • Purchase price

  • Description of the horse’s condition

  • Details about the additional equipment that is sold with the horse

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale for Trailers (RVs) Requirements

The trailers are also required to be registered in Pennsylvania. However, you don’t have to insure your trailer to register it.

Parties can draft a trailer bill of sale if they wish to provide any details that are not included in the trailer title.

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale Other Requirements

Each party to the bill of sale should have at least one copy of the document. If you need to register your item, ensure you provide enough copies for the government agency that receives your application.

The bill of sale can be drafted in any language as long as all the parties can understand it. However, be aware that when submitting your bill of sale to the government office, you should submit the bill of sale in English or attach an official English translation.

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale Taxes

The Pennsylvania sales tax is calculated based on the purchase price of the item. In the case of the trade-in, the tax is calculated on the difference in values between the exchanged items. Therefore, your bill of sale should include the purchase price so it can be submitted to the tax authorities.

  • Yes, the handwritten bill of sale is also considered valid in Pennsylvania as long as it includes all the necessary elements.

  • The Pennsylvania bill of sale should be signed by both the seller and the buyer. In some cases, witness signatures are also required.

  • The best way to get a customizable and professional Pennsylvania bill of sale is to download one of the bill of sale templates available on our website.

  • Both the seller and buyer benefit from the bill of sale. By having the bill of sale, they both have a written record of all the main details of their agreement.

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