Maryland bill of sale forms are used to record the transfer of ownership and sale of personal property such as a vehicle, boat, firearm, or other item in the state of Maryland. Both the buyer and seller should keep a copy of any bill of sale as proof the transaction occurred. If you plan to use a Maryland vehicle bill of sale, you will need to get the document notarized before it can be considered legally binding.
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1. Maryland Vehicle Bill of Sale
Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) requires a bill of sale to register and title any vehicle that is less than 7 years old and the sale price was less than the National Automobile Dealers Association book value.
A bill of sale is a legal document that proves a vehicle or other item was sold and ownership has transferred. Those who don’t have access to the association’s book value listings can confirm a vehicle’s book value by calling the MVA at (400) 768-7000.
The MVA provides a downloadable form that must be used if the vehicle is fewer than 7 years old and the sale price is below book value. MVA will also accept a customized bill of sale for a car that is older than 7 years and sold at or above book value at the time of registration.
If a vehicle is sold for book value or more and is older than 7, an individual only needs to write in the purchase price, sale date, and the odometer reading under the “Assignment of Ownership” section on the Maryland Certificate of Title to change ownership. Additionally, if the sale price of the vehicle is within $500 of the retail value listed in the National Publication of Used Car Values, MVA will accept the purchase price as completed on the title.
Advantages of Having a Bill of Sale
Even if Maryland did not require a bill of sale, it is good practice to create and keep one. A bill of sale provides buyers and sellers with a record of the vehicle transaction and proves ownership changed.
For example, if the seller racked up a large number of tickets, got into an accident, or used the vehicle during the commission of a crime prior to the sale, it protects new owner. The same is true for the seller. If the new owner fails to properly register and title the vehicle, the seller can prove he/she no longer owns the vehicle by showing the bill of sale. Additionally, a bill of sale can be referenced to ensure proper taxes were paid.
Finally, Maryland only regulates licensed dealer sales, so keeping a record of a sale is especially important in private vehicle sales. Therefore, the MVA recommends buyers and sellers keep transfer of ownership papers and other documents for their own records.
Details to Include in a Customized Bill of Sale
Maryland requires a personalized bill of sale contain:
- A description of the vehicle, including the year, make, model, vehicle style, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Printed names and signatures of the buyer and seller
- Date of the sale
- Total cost of the vehicle
- Odometer reading, except when the reading is not the actual mileage or the mileage is over mechanical limits.
If the vehicle is being sold for less than book value, the document must include a reason for the price reduction. Also, a bill of sale must be notarized and include the notary’s printed name, signature, and commission expiration of the notary.
Maryland only accepts documents in English. Any document, including a bill of sale, must be translated into English. As a public service, the MVA provides a list of interpreters and translation providers.
Maryland charges an excise tax of 6% of the vehicle’s book value or 6% of the purchase price on the notarized bill of sale for any vehicle that is fewer than 7 years old. The state’s minimum excise tax is $38.40.
Registering and Titling a Vehicle
In addition to payment for applicable taxes and fees, Maryland requires individuals to submit an Application for Certificate of Title, a Maryland Certificate of proof of ownership, an Odometer Disclosure Statement, and proof of purchase, such as a bill of sale signed by the buyer and seller. MVA’s bill of sale must be completed and notarized if the vehicle is fewer than 7 years old, the purchase price is at least $500 below book value, and the new owner wants to base the excise tax on the selling price instead of the book value.
Also, if a vehicle is from a state that doesn’t issue a title, Maryland will accept the vehicle’s registration and bill of sale as proof of ownership. If someone other than the new owner is signing for the title, a power of attorney form is required.
Those who register vehicles in person leave with their license plates, registration cards, and expiration stickers. Otherwise, these documents are mailed to individuals. Without exception, all titles are mailed.
3. Maryland Boat Bill of Sale
Maryland requires all commercial and recreational vessels to be registered if it has any type of primary or auxiliary propulsion, and it is used in the state most of the calendar year. The vessel is considered “in use” whenever it is in the water or if it is “kept in any structure in readiness for use.”
To register a vessel, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Licensing and Registration Services requires the original title and completed DNR form B-240 to be submitted to its office.
Additionally, an original certified/notarized boat bill of sale must be submitted if a vessel is used or currently titled in another state and the original title doesn’t include the purchaser’s name, seller’s signature and date, and sale price and the vessel is:
- Currently titled in another state
- Greater than 12’ in length and purchased via the Internet and shipped with a manufacturer’s certificate of origin (MCO) that contains no signature or a preprinted signature
A certified bill of sale contains the following statement: “I declare and affirm under penalty of perjury that the facts in this bill of sale are true and correct.”
Information to Include in a Vessel Bill of Sale
A personalized documents must contain:
- Vessel hull identification number and manufacturer
- Motor serial number and manufacturer
- A description of the vessel, including length, horsepower, model, and year
- Vessel registration number or USCG Documentation Number
- Sale date
- Gross sales price, including motor, vessel, and accessories
- Vessel type
- Hull material, propulsion, and fuel type
- Full names, mailing addresses, and signatures of the buyer and seller
Additionally, if the vessel was not previously numbered or documented, the previous owner’s name, the date the vessel was acquired, and the reason why are required.
4. Maryland Gun Bill of Sale
In Maryland, all firearms and assault weapons must be bought from a licensed dealer or law enforcement agency, both of which require background checks. Weapons cannot be sold to a person that a private seller knows cannot lawfully possess a gun, such as any person under the age of 21.
Additionally, anyone who wants to buy, rent, or transfer a firearm from a firearm dealer, private seller, or via gift must complete a Maryland State Police Application and Affidavit to Purchase a Regulated Firearm (MSP 77R).
Though Maryland does not legally require a firearm bill of sale, it is a smart idea to have one and keep it as a receipt of the purchase and transfer of ownership. It protects both the buyer and seller from liability. If the new owner uses the gun to commit a burglary, for example, the seller can use the bill of sale to prove that the gun was transferred and provide authorities with the new owner’s contact information.
Creating a Firearm Bill of Sale
A firearm bill of sale should include the following information:
- Names and contact information of the buyer and seller
- A description of the firearm, including the make, model, caliber, and any identifying numbers, such as serial numbers
- Payment terms
- Sale date
- Warranties or disclosures, if applicable