A Wisconsin bill of sale is a document that records the transfer of ownership of private property, such as a vehicle, trailer, vessel, or animal, from a seller to the buyer.
As a legal document, the bill of sale protects the rights and interests of the parties and prevents disputes between them that may arise after signing the bill of sale and handing over the item to the buyer.
The importance of the bill of sale is also reflected in the fact that it states the important terms of sale, including details about the item, the purchase price and payment method, and any warranties. In addition, the bill of sale is used in the process of registering and obtaining title with the authorities.
Wisconsin Bill of Sale Parties
There are two parties in a sales relationship: the seller and the buyer.
The seller can be a private individual, an official dealer, or a legal entity, but they all have the same fundamental obligation: to provide the purchased goods to the buyer in the condition agreed upon.
The buyer is the person or entity that pays the agreed-upon price with the intention of becoming the item's owner. There may be two or more people on the buyer's side in certain circumstances.
Buyer and Seller Disclosure
This section is designed for both the seller and buyer to include all pertinent information about the condition of the item being sold, ensuring that it meets the terms of their agreement.
In the case of selling motor vehicles, an essential aspect of the bill of sale is the odometer disclosure. It indicates the number of miles on the vehicle and is a crucial indicator of the vehicle's condition. The odometer disclosure can also be presented as a separate statement document attached to the bill of sale.
If the seller fails to inform the buyer of any physical or legal defects in the vehicle, a dispute between the parties will likely arise. To prevent such disputes, the parties should include an "as is" clause in the bill of sale. It indicates that the buyer is fully aware of any defects in the item at the time of sale and agrees to purchase it in its current condition.
Wisconsin Bill of Sale Description of Goods
This section is an important part of the bill of sale as it provides a detailed account of the item being sold. It typically includes information such as the make, model, serial number, and any distinguishing features or characteristics, but will vary depending on the item being transferred.
By providing a thorough description of the item, the seller minimizes the risk of the buyer making claims about the condition or quality of the item that were not previously disclosed.
For the buyer, the description of the goods section is crucial as it ensures that they are purchasing the correct item and that it matches their expectations. It provides an opportunity for the buyer to inspect the item before making the purchase.
Wisconsin Bill of Sale Purchase Price
There are three fundamental ways to compensate for purchased goods: payment, trade, and gift.
Payment is the most frequently used method of compensation and implies the obligation of the buyer to transfer the agreed amount of money to the seller.
In a trade, the buyer gives the item they possess to the seller as a form of payment for the purchased item. If the value of the buyer's item is less than that of the purchased item, the buyer must pay the difference in cash.
When an item is given as a gift, the recipient becomes its owner and is not obligated to provide anything in exchange. This type of item ownership transfer is frequently employed among family members. However, the bill of sale should include the gift's value for tax-related purposes.
Wisconsin Bill of Sale for Motor Vehicles (Cars) Requirements
According to the law of Wisconsin, the process of transferring car ownership does not require the use of a bill of sale. Still, it is a good idea to formalize your agreement with one that states:
The make, model, year, and VIN number of the vehicle
Purchase price and the agreed-upon method of payment
Date and location of the sale
Names, contact information, and signatures of both parties
There are no special regulations for purchasing a vehicle from another state with regard to the necessity of the bill of sale. However, parties should create a bill of sale for their records.
Abandoned or Junk Vehicles
If you intend to sell a junk vehicle without a title and prevent it from being driven again, you need a junk bill of sale. However, if you possess a title, simply write the word 'junk' across it before the sale.
Vehicles Sold by Dealers
According to Wisconsin law, any individual who sells more than five cars titled in their name within a year must obtain a dealer license. The dealer will, among other documents, provide you with a signed title or bill of sale to legally complete the sale.
Vehicles Sold by Private Parties
A bill of sale is not a mandatory requirement in a private sale of a motor vehicle, but it is recommended for legal protection.
However, the seller is required to fill out and submit a notification to the DMV that includes important information like the VIN, the name of the buyer, the sale price, and the date of the sale.
Wisconsin Bill of Sale for Boats (Vessel) Requirements
In Wisconsin, a bill of sale is not legally required to be submitted to the WDNR. However, it is still important to have one for your own records and for tax purposes.
Here are some of the details that should be included in a bill of sale for a boat:
Description of the boat (the make, model, year, and hull identification number (HIN))
Names and addresses of the buyer and seller
Date of sale
Wisconsin Bill of Sale for Firearms Requirements
In Wisconsin, sales of firearms are not subject to authorization or registration. As such, the state does not require the bill of sale to be submitted. Therefore, the bill of sale is important for your record-keeping needs and acts as ownership documentation.
Additionally, it is not mandatory to conduct a background check on the buyer in private sales.
Wisconsin Bill of Sale for Horses Requirements
Legally, a bill of sale is not required when you sell or buy a horse. However, document your transfer with a bill of sale to keep track of all the necessary details regarding the sale. Include the following in the document:
Description of the horse (name, age, gender, breed, registration number)
Its medical history
Purchase price, and details regarding payment
Information about both parties
Wisconsin Bill of Sale for Trailers (RVs) Requirements
When transferring trailers, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) advises that both the buyer and the seller have a bill of sale and retain a copy of it.
Make sure to include in the bill the make, model, year, and vehicle identification number (VIN), as well as the sale price and information of both the buyer and seller.
Wisconsin Bill of Sale Other Requirements
In Wisconsin, it is sufficient to have two copies of the bill of sale, one for the buyer and one for the seller. There is no need for an additional copy to be submitted to state authorities.
Furthermore, there are no specific legal requirements for the language used in a bill of sale. It is only required that the document be understandable by both parties to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation of the terms of the sale.
Wisconsin Bill of Sale Taxes
In the state of Wisconsin, sales tax is imposed on certain products. For instance, the sales tax rate for motor vehicles (both new and used) is 5%.
To ensure compliance with Wisconsin's sales tax laws, it is essential for you to be aware of which goods are taxable and which are exempt. Contact the Wisconsin Department of Revenue for taxable and exempt item details.
A bill of sale doesn't have to be printed or typed as long as it has all the important information. Therefore, yes, a handwritten bill of sale is legitimate in Wisconsin.
Both the buyer and seller must sign the bill of sale to make it legally binding.
You can easily download a bill of sale template from our website, which can be customized to suit your specific needs.
A bill of sale provides numerous advantages for both parties. Still, the primary ones are legal protection, proof of ownership, recording the terms and conditions of the sale, and preventing disputes.