If you are buying or selling a motor vehicle, boat, trailer, firearm, or any other kind of valuable personal property in West Virginia, you will likely need a bill of sale.
A West Virginia bill of sale is a document that records all the relevant details about the transfer of personal property between the seller and buyer. The bill of sale is often used as proof of purchase price that is submitted to the tax authorities for calculating sales and use tax.
In West Virginia, the bill of sale is required for motor vehicle transfers where the purchase price is 50% lower than the “NADA Clean Loan Book” value. If the bill of sale is not provided, the tax authority will charge a tax according to its full value.
West Virginia Bill of Sale Parties
The main parties to the bill of sale are the transferor, or seller, and the transferee, or buyer.
This is the party to the bill of sale that transfers ownership of their personal property to the buyer in exchange for the purchase price. If there are more owners of one item, they can all be listed in the bill of sale as the sellers.
A buyer is a party to the bill of sale who obtains ownership of the transferred item and pays the purchase price to the seller.
Buyer And Seller Disclosure
When it comes to the guarantees for the item's condition, the bill of sale can be classified in two ways:
Bill of sale with warranty
“As is” bill of sale
The difference between these two is that with the first option, the seller gives a warranty for the condition of the item after the purchase. In the case of an “as is” bill of sale, the buyer agrees to buy an item with all its damages and flaws, and there is no warranty from the seller’s side.
West Virginia Bill of Sale Description of Goods
This section outlines all the relevant details about the transferred item. The best way to determine what information is relevant is to check if this information helps the parties individualize the item and differentiate it from other items of the same kind.
The item description largely depends on the type of item. For example, the description of the motor vehicle will usually include the following:
Make and model of the motor vehicle
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Body type and color of the vehicle
Vehicle production year and horsepower
Description of all damages and flaws
Information about the additional equipment that comes with the vehicle
For other types of items, you should include the item's serial or registration number whenever possible. Otherwise, a detailed description of the item will do.
West Virginia Bill of Sale Purchase Price
The purchase price section provides details about the compensation due to the seller for transferring their personal property. You can find the three most commonly used compensation methods listed below.
A payment is a method where the buyer transfers a certain amount of money to the seller in exchange for the transferred item. The payment can be made in cash, credit or debit cards, checks, or via bank transfer.
Trade includes the exchange of items between the buyer and seller. It is often used in motor vehicle purchases, where the buyer will trade in their old car for a new one. In this case, the buyer usually pays additional money to cover the difference in value between the two items.
A gift is a method where the transferor transfers the ownership of an item to the transferee without any compensation. This method is often used between members of the same family.
West Virginia Bill of Sale for Motor Vehicles (Cars) Requirements
The West Virginia DMV is the governmental body authorized for motor vehicle titling and registration. The DMV requires all the bills of sale submitted to them to be notarized.
If you purchase a vehicle from outside the state, you must apply for the West Virginia title and registration within 30 days.
Abandoned or Junk Vehicles
The following licensed parties are allowed to apply for an abandoned vehicle title in West Virginia:
Vehicles Sold by Dealers
Dealers in West Virginia are authorized to submit a title and registration application on your behalf. In the meantime, you can use the bill of sale as proof of purchase.
Vehicles Sold by Private Parties
The bill of sale is the best way to define the terms and conditions of the vehicle ownership transfer between the private parties since there are no customer protection regulations regulating these kinds of deals.
West Virginia Bill of Sale for Boats (Vessel) Requirements
All motorboats in West Virginia must be titled and registered. You must renew the registration every three years, and you cannot transfer it to the next owner.
If the purchase price of the motorboat is 50% less than the book value or the motorboat didn’t previously have a title, a notarized bill of sale must be submitted along with the Certificate of Title Application Form.
West Virginia Bill of Sale for Firearms Requirements
Registration of firearms is not required in West Virginia. Therefore, there is no formal requirement for making a record of a firearm transaction.
However, the parties often choose to sign the bill of sale since it can serve as proof for determining liability and proof of ownership for the seller and buyer.
West Virginia Bill of Sale for Horses Requirements
Livestock dealers in West Virginia must keep their sales records for two years after the purchase.
The horse bill of sale in West Virginia should include the following elements:
Identification details of the seller and buyer
Name and breed of the horse
Horse age and gender
Registration number (if available)
Description of the horse’s health condition
Details about the additional equipment that comes with the horse
West Virginia Bill of Sale for Trailers (RVs) Requirements
Every trailer, semi-trailer, pole trailer, and recreational vehicle in West Virginia must be titled and registered.
The trailer bill of sale must include the following information:
The gross weight of the trailer for calculating the titling and registration fee
The trailer purchase price for calculating the sales tax
West Virginia Bill of Sale Other Requirements
A bill of sale in West Virginia can be drafted in any language both the seller and buyer can understand.
However, when transferring a motor vehicle that requires a bill of sale to be registered, make sure you draft the bill of sale in English. The reason for this is that such a bill of sale must be notarized and submitted to the governmental agency.
Additionally, when drafting a bill of sale, ensure you make at least one copy for each party, plus an additional copy if the bill of sale is required for the item registration.
West Virginia Bill of Sale Taxes
If the vehicle purchase price is less than 50% of the West Virginia book price for that vehicle, the parties must submit a notarized bill of sale to calculate the purchase price.
If the purchase price on the bill of sale is different from the one shown on the title, the DMV will reject the vehicle title and registration application.
West Virginia Bill of Sale FAQ
Yes, the written bill of sale is as legitimate as the printed one. The only requirement is that it contains all the necessary elements.
The seller and the buyer are the parties that sign the bill of sale. In some cases, additional witnesses are also required to sign the bill of sale to confirm the authenticity of the document.
You can obtain a bill of sale form from the local DMV office for vehicle registration. However, if you are transferring some other type of item or you wish to include some additional details in your bill of sale, you should download one of our customizable bill of sale templates.
Both the buyer and the seller benefit from signing it since they have a written record of all the terms and conditions of the item's ownership transfer.