Massachusetts bill of sale forms are legal documents used to record the sale of personal items in the state of Massachusetts. Bills of sale are particularly useful (and sometimes required) when selling property such as vehicles, boats, and firearms, as they help legally protect both the buyer and seller in the event of a dispute. In Massachusetts some bills of sale will need to be notarized before they can be signed by both parties and made official.
Table of Contents
- Massachusetts Bill of Sale Requirements
- Massachusetts Vehicle Bill of Sale
- Massachusetts Boat Bill of Sale
- Massachusetts Gun Bill of Sale
1. Massachusetts Bill of Sale Requirements
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) does not specifically require a bill of sale for vehicles, unless registering a vehicle that is exempt from titling. In that case, a bill of sale and a previous registration are required in order to register the vehicle. A bill of sale is, however, required in order to sell, purchase, or register a vessel.
Massachusetts does not provide bills of sale or any other forms in other languages, but the RMV does provide interpreters to translate documents and the parties’ answers to questions asked on forms. Any translation must be accompanied by a Translation Certification Format form in order to be considered valid.
Number of Copies
Since a bill of sale is not always required in vehicle sales transactions, only two copies, one for the buyer, and one for the seller, should do. However, in vessel transactions and vehicle transactions where bills of sale are necessary, an extra copy will need to be filed with the Boat, ATV, and Snowmobile Registration Bureau or the RMV.
2. Massachusetts Vehicle Bill of Sale
Bills of sale in Massachusetts, while sometimes required, do not have to be notarized. While Massachusetts does provide a form, you can also hand-draft your own, or use a custom vehicle bill of sale template. All bills of sale, however, should contain the following criteria:
- The names, contact information, and signatures of the buyer and seller
- The sales price
- The purchase date
- The vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Identifying information regarding the vehicle
- The make, model, and year of the vehicle
After Purchasing a Vehicle
In addition to a proper bill of sale, there are many other items that you must complete and submit in order to register your vehicle in Massachusetts. Here is a brief list:
- In Massachusetts, the dealer will usually take care of all registration and titling paperwork for you.
- Fill out the seller-indicated area of the certificate of title, including the odometer reading, and sign and date it. Then pass it to the buyer. All vehicles built after model year 1980 must have the original title in order to be sold and registered in the state.
- You may sell a vehicle that is older than model year 1980 without a title, as long as it was purchased prior to November 26, 1990, and you have a bill of sale and the current registration.
- You must remove the plates from the vehicle immediately. You may attach those plates to a new vehicle, but you must do so within 7 days of selling the previous vehicle.
- You must fill out the Application for Registration and Title, or RMV-1 Form. Once you insure your vehicle, your insurance company will have to sign and stamp the form to prove that the vehicle was insured prior to the registration process.
- You can title and register your vehicle simultaneously in Massachusetts. You will need to appear at your local RMV office in person with the certificate of title, signed by you and the seller, with the price indicated on it. If the price is not written on the title, or the car is too old to require a title, you will need a bill of sale, indicating price, and the current registration. You must also bring the Application for Registration and Title, or Form RMV-1, already stamped by your insurer, and money to pay the registration and titling fees and sales tax.
- Sales tax, without a bill of sale or an indicator of the price on the title, is based upon the type of vehicle you are registering and its current market value. However, it is usually assessed at 6.25% of the purchase price. Additional fees include a title transfer fee of $75, and either a registration fee of $25 for transferred registrations, or a registration fee of $60 for new registrations and plates. You will get your new title and plates immediately afterward at the RMV office.
- You have 10 days to title and register your vehicle, unless you are transferring your registration from a prior vehicle. In that case, you will have 7 days from the day you disposed of the previous vehicle.
- Once your vehicle is registered, it must be inspected for safety and tested for emissions within 7 days, even if the last inspection is still considered valid. Inspection stations are found throughout the state. Inspections will need to be conducted annually once the vehicle is registered.
3. Massachusetts Boat Bill of Sale
A boat bill of sale is required in order to sell, purchase, or register a vessel, and an official form is provided on the state of Massachusetts website. Make sure your boat bill of sale includes the following information:
- The names, contact information, and signatures of the buyer and seller
- The make, model, and year the vessel was built
- The company letterhead, if the vessel was purchased from a business
- The hull identification number (HIN)
- The length of the vessel
- Whether or not the vessel includes a trailer or motor
Some RMV forms in Massachusetts feature a penalty of perjury printed upon them, though the bill of sale does not. If you are hand drafting a bill of sale, you may choose whether or not you would like to include one. However, the state does consider any perjury to be a felony, and allows it to be litigated in the District Court with potential punishments ranging from a $1000 maximum fine and/or up to 2 and 1/2 years in jail.
After Purchasing a Vessel
- You will need a bill of sale from the dealership, as well as a manufacturer’s certificate of origin and the documents indicated below to register your vessel in Massachusetts. The dealer cannot register and title your vessel for you.
- If you are selling a vessel that originated from a non-title state, the current registration can be used in lieu of a title to prove ownership for selling purposes. However, if the vessel originates from Rhode Island, you must have your signature on the title notarized in order to transfer ownership.
- You may pay your vessel sales tax online and print out a receipt.
- If your date of manufacture is prior to 1972, or your HIN does not have proper U.S. Coast Guard formatting, you may need an inspection prior to registration.
- You must visit one of the five Boat, ATV, and Snowmobile Registration Bureau offices in order to register your vessel. You must bring with you a bill of sale, a completed Registration and Titling Application, or Form ELE #1, the certificate of title signed over by the seller (for boats 14 feet long or over), a pencil tracing of your HIN, Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) Form ST-6 or Form ST-6E, indicating that your sales tax was paid or you are exempt, and a check or money order for applicable fees.
- Sales tax in Massachusetts is set at 6.25% of the total purchase price of the vessel. It is due on the 20th day of the month following the purchase date. If payment is late, there will be penalties and interest. Registration is for 2 years and the fees are as follows:
- Boats under 16 feet $44
- Boat length 16 feet to less than 26 feet $66
- Boat length 26 feet to less than 40 feet $88
- Boat length 40 feet and greater $110
- Boat Title $27.50
- Duplicate Title $16.50
- If you vessel requires a HIN, then HIN placement must be proven prior to the receipt of your new registration and decal.
4. Massachusetts Gun Bill of Sale
In Massachusetts, you must have a state permit to carry any firearm, but there is no official registration. Unofficially, firearms must be recorded with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), and firearm bill of sale information can be submitted electronically online. When submitting your gun bill of sale, make sure you meet the following criteria:
- The buyers’ and sellers’ names, contact information, and signatures
- The make, model, caliber, and serial number
- The purchase price
- The sales date