Michigan bills of sale are forms used to document the sale of vehicles, boats, firearms, or other personal items in the state of Michigan. While bills of sale are not legally required for proof of purchase in Michigan, it’s still highly recommended you create one when selling high-value items (such as a car) to protect yourself in the event of a legal dispute.
In some cases, your Michigan bill of sale will need to be notarized before it is signed by the buyer and seller and made official.
Types of Bill of Sale
Michigan Bill of Sale Requirements
In Michigan, vehicle and vessel registrations are processed by the Secretary of State (SOS) office, and they do not legally require registrants to submit a bill of sale. However, it is always a good idea for the seller to provide the buyer with a bill of sale, since it can be used as a record of the purchase transaction, and it is good to have such information in your personal records.
Michigan Vehicle Bill of Sale Requirements
Vehicle bills of sale in Michigan do not require notarization. However, whether your document is hand-drafted or pre-printed, it should contain the following criteria:
- The names, contact information, and signatures of the buyer and the seller
- Warranty information (if applicable)
- The vehicle identification number or VIN
- The make, model, and year
- The purchase price
- The sale date
- Lien information (if applicable)
- The county where the transaction took place
SOS documents, including bills of sale, are not prepared in multiple languages, though extensive interpreter services are available for all those that need them in order to complete the registration and titling processes.
Number of Copies
You may make a copy of your bill of sale for each party, though it is not necessary to file the original with the state (unless it is replacing the registration or title of a vessel).
After Purchasing a Vehicle
In addition to drafting and signing your bill of sale, there are many other documents to complete and submit in order to register a vehicle in Michigan.
- The dealer should complete the registration and titling process for you. However, to prove ownership, you will need to keep copies of all documents until your registration, title, and plates arrive in the mail.
- Update the title with the correct odometer reading, and then add the sale date and price. Sign the title and hand it over to the buyer.
- Register your vehicle within 15 days of purchase. You can drive plateless for three whole days to register the vehicle and use the assigned title to prove ownership if stopped by law enforcement.
- You will register and title the vehicle simultaneously. It is easier to arrive at the SOS office with the seller to do the paperwork. You must appear in person, but if that is physically impossible, you can complete an Appointment of Agent/Power of Attorney, or Form TR-128, and have your proxy bring along a photocopy of your driver’s license or state ID card.
- Visit your local SOS office with your signed-over title with the accurate odometer reading, VIN number, your signature, and the seller’s signature, along with a completed Application for Michigan Vehicle Title, or Form TR-11L, proof of insurance, and your driver’s license.
- Pay your registration fees and other applicable fees. Registration fees are based on whether the vehicle is the model year 1984 or newer. If so, fees are based on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the vehicle. Older vehicles’ registration fees are based on their weight. Other fees include a license plate fee of $5 and a use tax of 6% of the purchase price. If you were sold or gifted a vehicle by an immediate family member, you are exempt from all taxes.
- You may purchase 30 or 60-day temporary registration permits if you only plan to drive the vehicle for a short period of time. There is a $10 service fee and a percentage of what would be the annual registration charge, calculated at the discretion of the SOS.
- You can transfer your existing plates to a newly-purchased vehicle by visiting the SOS with your current registration and verifying that it is in the state’s files under your name. There is a transfer fee of $8.
- If you have just moved to Michigan and would like to register your vehicle in the state, follow the steps outlined above and bring your out-of-state registration to your local SOS to prove ownership. Military personnel living in the state are offered no exceptions and will also need to obtain a Michigan registration and title on all vehicles. Out-of-state military members that live in Michigan may complete their vehicle registration process by mail. You will need to indicate your out-of-state address by submitting a Special Mailing of Title Request, or Form TR-114, with your application.
- You can use the ExpressSOS online to replace your registration for free if it is missing or damaged.
Michigan Gun Bill of Sale Requirements
In Michigan, you will only need a permit for handguns if the purchaser does not have a Federal Firearms License (FFL) or Concealed Pistol License (CPL) and the transaction is not processed through an official FFL dealer. Handguns also need to be registered. Long guns do not require a permit or registration. As such, a gun bill of sale is not legally required for firearm sales within the state. Your gun bill of sale should include the following information:
- The buyers’ and sellers’ names, contact information, and signatures
- The make, model, caliper, and serial number
- The sales date
- The purchase price
Free Michigan Bill of Sale Templates