A South Carolina bill of sale is a document created between the seller and the buyer, defining the terms of a personal property transfer.
In some cases, the bill of sale is required for motor vehicle registration and titling. However, even when not required, parties should sign it for various reasons, namely:
Reasons to Use South Carolina Bill of Sale
As proof of transaction and purchase price, for tax reasons
To limit the seller's liability after the ownership transfer
This document can also serve as a proof of ownership if the title is not issued for the type of item that is transferred. Finally, people use this document to provide all the details about sellers and buyers obligations, and prevent misunderstandings and disputes.
South Carolina Bill of Sale Parties
The parties to the bill of sale are the buyer and seller. In special cases, the bill of sale must be signed by witnesses to confirm the authenticity of the document.
A seller, or transferor, is a party to the bill of sale who transfers the ownership of the personal property in their possession in exchange for the purchase price.
A buyer, or transferee, is a party to the bill of sale who obtains the transferred item and pays the purchase price to the seller.
Buyer and Seller Disclosure
The seller must disclose all known damages to the item at the time of purchase. In addition, most sellers include the “as is” disclosure when selling used items. By signing a bill of sale with the “as is” condition included, the buyer agrees to purchase the item with all the damages and flaws (if any).
This disclosure protects the seller from the buyer’s claims concerning any damages and flaws made known in the bill of sale. In contrast, the parties can also agree to include a warranty.
Lastly, for a motor vehicle purchase, the seller must disclose the odometer reading in the bill of sale.
South Carolina Bill of Sale Description of Goods
The "description of goods" is a section that describes all the relevant characteristics and features of the transferred item. Depending on the type of item, it can include different details and information.
For example, a motor vehicle description should include the following:
Make, model, and year of production of the vehicle
Vehicle identification number
Registration number (for used vehicles)
Body type and color of the vehicle
Description of all damages and flaws of the vehicle
Details about the additional equipment that is sold with the vehicle
For other types of items, make sure you include all the information that differentiates the transferred item from other items of the same kind.
South Carolina Bill of Sale Purchase Price
This section outlines the amount and type of compensation due to the seller for transferring ownership of a certain item. Below are the three most commonly used methods for compensating the seller.
A payment is a method where the buyer transfers a certain amount of money to the seller in exchange for the purchase price. The payment can be made via bank transfer, cash, credit or debit cards, or checks.
The trade is a compensation method where the buyer transfers one of the items from their possession in exchange for the seller’s item. This method is often used for motor vehicle purchases. In most cases, the buyer must pay additional money to cover the difference in value between the two exchanged items.
With this method, the seller transfers the item without any compensation. Regardless, the parties should insert the estimated price of the transferred item for tax reasons.
South Carolina Bill of Sale for Motor Vehicles (Cars) Requirements
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for motor vehicle registration. If the purchase price or mileage is not provided on the motor vehicle title, the bill of sale must be submitted for the vehicle's registration.
If you purchase a car from another state, you must apply for the title and registration in South Carolina. You are allowed to submit the bill of sale instead of the title if your vehicle is older than the year titling started in the state of the vehicle's origin.
Abandoned or Junk Vehicles
For the vehicles declared a total loss by the insurance company, you can apply for a salvage or junk title.
Vehicles Sold by Dealers
If you buy a vehicle from a dealer, they will apply for the vehicle's title and registration on your behalf. In the meantime, you can use the bill of sale as proof of vehicle purchase.
Vehicles Sold by Private Parties
When buying a vehicle from a private party, you should check the vehicle title and ensure you can title and register it before buying it.
South Carolina Bill of Sale for Boats (Vessel) Requirements
If you purchase a boat or vessel in South Carolina, you must title and register it at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
You are required to submit a written bill of sale when registering a boat or vessel that was purchased out of state or if there is an outboard motor.
South Carolina Bill of Sale for Firearms Requirements
Although not required by South Carolina law, the parties should always record their firearm transfer on the bill of sale.
By using the bill of sale, the seller will limit their responsibility in the event of illegal firearm use after the purchase.
South Carolina Bill of Sale for Horses Requirements
The horse bill of sale should include the following:
Names and addresses of the seller and buyer
Breed, name, gender, and age of the horse
Registration number (if applicable)
Disclosure of any flaws of the horse
Details about the additional equipment that comes with the horse
South Carolina Bill of Sale for Trailers (RVs) Requirements
Certain trailer types must be registered in South Carolina, so you need to check the DMV website to see if your trailer needs registration.
To be registered, you must title your trailer by submitting the application and attaching the previous title and a bill of sale.
South Carolina Bill of Sale Other Requirements
The bill of sale can be drafted in any language that both the buyer and seller understand. However, be aware that the English version or translation must be submitted to the government office when registering your item.
Each party should have at least one copy of the bill of sale for the record. You should also make some extra copies if you need to apply for item registration or submit proof of purchase price to the tax authorities.
South Carolina Bill of Sale Taxes
The bill of sale should provide the purchase price of the item in case such information is not provided in the item’s title.
This document should also include a warning about the legal consequences of falsely reporting the purchase price.
Yes, a handwritten bill of sale is also considered valid and enforceable as long as it contains all the necessary elements.
The bill of sale should be signed by both the seller and the buyer. In some cases, if the bill of sale requires additional proof of authenticity, the document can be signed by one or more witnesses.
The best way to get our professional and customizable South Carolina bill of sale is to download one of the bill of sale templates available on our website.
All parties to the bill of sale benefit from signing it. The bill of sale can be used as proof of all the details related to the ownership transfer and purchase of the item.