A motorcycle bill of sale is a document that legally transfers motorcycle ownership between a buyer and a seller.
The bill of sale for a motorcycle works like a receipt to protect both parties. It includes details like the sales price, description of the motorcycle, and buyer and seller information.
Motorcycle Bill of Sale – By State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
What is a Motorcycle Bill of Sale?
A Motorcycle Bill of Sale is a legal document detailing a motorcycle’s sale between a seller and a buyer.
The seller agrees to transfer motorcycle ownership to the buyer in exchange for a certain amount.
The bill of sale is an official record that a motorcycle was sold on a specific date for a certain price.
Why a Bill of Sale for a Motorcycle is Important
The bill of sale is a legally binding contract for the sale of an item, so a motorcycle bill of sale acts as proof of motorcycle ownership.
The bill of sale clearly outlines the terms of the sale (like the price and condition of the bike), protecting the buyer and seller if a dispute arises.
Even if your state doesn’t require a bill of sale for the private transfer of a motorcycle, it’s typically needed as proof of ownership when you register and title your motorcycle with your local title office, usually the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
How to Sell a Motorcycle
Selling your motorcycle to a private party can put more money in your pocket than trading it in with a commercial car dealer. Dealerships will likely retain anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of the retail value and turn a profit for themselves.
Although going through the steps of selling a bike may take some extra work, online resources help simplify the process.
Selling a motorcycle has never been easier and more cost-effective.
Many digital platforms allow users to list for-sale items at no cost or for a nominal fee. Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and eBay are popular sites you can connect with buyers.
By following these steps, you can attract prospective buyers and be prepared to make the sale.
Step 1 – Research the Motorcycle’s Value
Resources such as Kelly Blue Book are considered reliable when estimating the bike’s value. You can input the year, make, model, mileage, and condition to arrive at a figure.
One of the benefits of Kelly Blue Book is that it also provides regional estimates.
Step 2 – Take Photos of the Motorcycle
Buff and shine your bike and place it in a setting that accentuates its condition, colors, and style. Take pictures from multiple flattering angles.
Taking close-ups of the odometer, engine, and tires is generally a good idea. Buyers typically want a visual of these and other vital items.
Step 3 – Write a Description
Buyers generally want to know two things about a motorcycle: why you are selling it and the basic facts.
In a few sentences, explain why you are selling the bike. The reasons might be that it goes underused or you want to invest the money in something else.
List the items used to estimate their resale value regarding the basic facts. Making bullet points of the year, make, model, and mileage makes the description easy to read and follow. Post the description and photos on multiple platforms.
Step 4 – Gather Essential Paperwork
People who inquire about the motorcycle like to see maintenance and repair documents. This buoys their confidence that the bike was well cared for and is less likely to break down.
If you handled minor repairs and fluid changes yourself, it’s okay to let them know. Motorcycle enthusiasts understand the DIY preference.
Buyers will require proof of ownership to complete the transaction. State regulations usually require a vehicle title for motorcycles manufactured within the last 20 years.
The years differ between states regarding the need for a title. If you are selling an older bike that does not necessarily need a title for registration, having one still makes buyers feel more comfortable.
That being said, having your current motorcycle registration on hand is essential when meeting with a buyer.
Step 5 – Meeting with the Potential Buyer
The seller and buyer should have a photo ID, and making a copy or taking a pic with each other’s phones makes sense. It may be prudent to have a test drive agreement handy that relieves the seller of any liability due to accident or injury.
It’s also in the seller’s best interest to take a certified bank check or agree on a wire transfer at the time of the sale. Wire transfers have become more prevalent in recent years due to the abundance of convenient apps.
After haggling on price and agreeing, you’ll need to assemble a motorcycle bill of sale form allowing the buyer to register the vehicle.
Step 6 – Obtain a Motorcycle Bill of Sale Form
Motorcycle sellers often run a Google search asking: can I create a motorcycle bill of sale form online?
The answer is a firm yes. You can fill out and download an online motorcycle bill of sale form, making this form your official document of record.
You can expect to input the following items on your motorcycle bill of sale form.
- Agreed Upon Price
- Name of Buyer
- Buyer’s Address
- Seller’s Name
- Seller’s Address
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Odometer Reading
- Date of Sale
- Buyer’s Printed Name, Signature, and Date
- Seller’s Printed Name, Signature, and Date
- Witnesses Signatures
- Notary Public (optional)
It’s essential to remember that if your state requires a notary public stamp, wait to sign the document. The notary must see each person’s ID and witness their signing.
If you do this in advance, you must download another motorcycle bill of sale form and start over.
How to Write a Bill of Sale for a Motorcycle
Follow these motorcycle bill of sale template instructions to create your bill of sale form. Use our document builder to make the process easier.
Step 1 – Obtain a Motorcycle Bill of Sale
First, get a motorcycle bill of sale. This form will help you gather all the essential details about the motorcycle.
Use our document builder to create a bill of sale, then print it after you’re done.
Step 2 – Fill in the Motorcycle Sale Price
If you haven’t decided on a listing price, you must determine how much the bike is worth in the current market.
Here are some tips:
- Check out other seller listings for the same motorcycle or a similar model in your area.
- Alternatively, you can use sites like Kelley Blue Book and Cycle Trader to estimate the price. Fill in the year, make, and model of the motorcycle, and these sites will show the suggested listing price.
- Once you know the typical listing price for your motorcycle, you can adjust it based on usage, missing parts, or any customizations you’ve made.
Once you’ve created a listing for your motorcycle, decide on the lowest offer you’d accept and stick to it.
Step 3 – Fill in the Buyer and Seller Information
Fill out the following information for the buyer and seller in their respective sections:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Email address
When filling out the buyer and seller information, you should get a photocopy of the other party’s ID and provide one of your own.
A valid ID is helpful if questions emerge and might also be necessary for transferring the title at the DMV.
Step 4 – Fill in the Motorcycle Information
In this section, clearly state the following details of the motorcycle:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Odometer Reading
- Condition and description
Your motorcycle’s VIN can be found on the title, registration, and insurance papers. The VIN is also stamped on the metal frame of the bike. Some motorcycles even have a separate plate for them.
Step 5 – Date and Sign
Once all the motorcycle details are filled in, the buyer and seller can sign the agreement.
Include the following:
- Buyer’s full name
- Seller’s full name
- Signatures of the buyer, seller, and witnesses or notary (if needed)
- Date of signing
While witnesses are unnecessary for every state, you should consider having a witness sign to verify the bike’s condition and prove the bill of sale’s authenticity.
Step 6 – Notarize (if Required in Your State)
The following six states require that the bill of sale be notarized:
- New Hampshire
- West Virginia
This means that a notary public must witness both the buyer and seller signing the document.
Once you’ve completed these steps, the sale is final, and the buyer legally owns the motorcycle. The buyer keeps the original bill of sale, and the seller holds a photocopy.
Motorcycle Bill of Sale Sample
Below is an example of a motorcycle bill of sale. Use our document builder to easily create a customized form from our attorney-drafted template.