A New Jersey Bill of Sale is a legal document that allows New Jersey residents to sell their property to another person. Bills of Sale are usually used to transfer ownership of vehicles, but can also be used to sell other items of value (firearms, boats, horses, etc.).
On a Bill of Sale in New Jersey, the person transferring ownership is called the seller, and the person receiving the property is the buyer. Once the sale is finalized, the Bill of Sale acts as a legal record of the transaction (just like a receipt does when you buy something at the store).
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1. New Jersey Vehicle Bill of Sale
New Jersey requires a bill of sale for cars and other motor vehicle type transactions. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJ MVC) requires a bill of sale, which is a legal document that offers proof of ownership, to register and title pre-owned vehicles bought at auctions, as well as abandoned vehicles.
New Jersey does not provide a downloadable bill of sale form for buyers and seller to use. Nevertheless, buyers and sellers can personalize their own documents. Documents should include:
- The names, addresses, phone numbers, and signatures of the buyers and sellers
- Vehicle sale price, the payment schedule, and when final payments were made
- A description of the vehicle, including the make, model, year, and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
- Date and location of the vehicle sale
- Odometer reading
The NJ MVC accepts bills of sale in English and Spanish.
Number of Copies
Both parties should maintain copies of the documents for their records. New Jersey does not require that individuals get these documents notarized. However, it is advised because it adds credibility to a document.
Reasons to Keep and Maintain a Bill of Sale
A bill of sale may not be required for all vehicle-related transactions in New Jersey, but there are advantages to creating and maintaining one. A bill of sale, which is a legal certificate that proves a vehicle or other item has been sold and ownership has been transferred, contains vital information, including the names and addresses of buyers and sellers, the vehicle sale price, and the date and location of the purchase.
Also, the document provides a buyer with a receipt that can be shown if questions arise about the purchase. A bill of sale also protects a seller. In general, it takes a few days for a title and registration to get completed. If during that period the car is involved in an accident, the seller can protect himself/herself from liability by showing the bill of sale. Finally, this document offers proof if the buyer fails the appropriate steps to register and title the vehicle.
Individuals who want to transfer vehicle ownership in New Jersey must visit a NJMVC location to obtain the necessary documents and complete the transaction. One of the first steps in the process requires the seller to remove the vehicle plates and give them to the NJMVC, as well as sign the seller’s section on the back of the title. The signed title, as well as a bill of sale, which contains the buyer’s name and address, sale date and price, and mileage, is given to the purchaser of the vehicle.
Titling and Registering Pre-Owned Vehicles
To legally operate a vehicle in New Jersey, it must be titled and registered. Requirements vary depending on where or from whom the vehicle was purchased. To title and register a pre-owned vehicle, individuals must submit a completed Vehicle Registration Application, which must be obtained at a NJMVC location, as well, as these:
- The title completed with the names, addresses, and signatures of the buyer and seller, the date of the transaction, the purchase price, and the driver’s license number of the purchaser
- The driver’s license or another valid form of identification from the purchaser
- Proof of New Jersey insurance
- All applicable fees for registration, title, and sales tax
- An Entity Identification Number (EIN) if the purchaser is a business
- A purchase order if the assigned title does not have a New Jersey Dealer Tax Stamp
If a person is signing on behalf of a buyer, a Power of Attorney (POA) must be submitted. Additionally, if the vehicle is being leased, the borrower must submit the lien holder’s name and address and a Financing Statement (part of the Universal Title Application). The form provides thorough instructions to filling out the statement correctly.
A Pre-Owned Vehicle Bought at an Auction
In addition to the above documents, individuals who want to register and title pre-owned vehicles bought at auctions must submit:
- The current title with a sales tax stamp
- The bill of sale and the last previously-issued registration document, if the vehicle is not titled
- A Power of Attorney (POA) issued from the dealer to the auction business
- Dealer reassignment documentation, if applicable
Abandoned Vehicles and Unclaimed Vehicles
Abandoned and unclaimed vehicles that are found on New Jersey public property must be offered for sale at public auction or junked. Inoperable vehicle or those that cannot operate safely get junked titles.
New Jersey offers a packet, which contains several forms, including a sample bill of sale, that aims to guide individuals through the abandoned and unclaimed vehicle process. Though New Jersey provides a example document, individuals can submit their own versions.
Vehicle Title Fees
When individuals title their vehicles, they can expect to pay:
- $60 for a standard vehicle
- $85 for a financed vehicle with one lien
- $110 for a financed vehicle with two liens
2. New Jersey Boat Bill of Sale
Though New Jersey requires most watercraft to be registered and titled, these are the exceptions:
- Boats not based in New Jersey or vessels that operate for fewer than 180 days
- Foreign and U.S. public vessels
- Lifeboats on ships
- Non-motorized vessels used exclusively on private property or on small bodies of water, like ponds
- Non-motorized inflatable devices, such as surfboards, racing shells, dinghies, canoes, kayaks, and vessels fewer than 12 feet in length
- Dinghies used only for direct transportation between a vessel and shore
That being said, it’s still a good idea to create a boat bill of sale for your own personal records.
Boat Title and Registration
An individual may be charged a $25 penalty if he/she doesn’t title a boat within 10 working days. To register and title a boat, individuals must pick up a Boat Registration Application form from a local NJMVC location. Along with that application, they must submit:
- A completed Universal Title Application
- A properly assigned Manufacturer’s Certificate of Ownership (MCO) or proof of ownership from the seller, such as his/her registration along with a notarized bill of sale if the vehicle is coming from a state that does not title boats
If the boat is being financed, the name, address and EIN number of the lien holder must be submitted.
Boat Registration Fees
Registration fees are based on boat size. Prices are as follows:
- Less than 16 feet $12
- 16 feet – 26 feet $28
- 26 feet – 40 feet $52
- 40 feet – 65 feet $80
- 65 feet or longer $250
3. New Jersey Gun Bill of Sale
In New Jersey, buyers of handguns must obtain a permit, and buyers of rifles and shotguns must obtain a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC). Buyers are required to undergo state and federal background checks. New Jersey law also prohibits the transfer of a handgun to anyone under 21 or anyone who is prohibited from having one.
Additionally, firearms dealers are required to keep a register of every handgun transferred, along with detailed transaction information about each one. The dealer is required to retain the register and have it available for inspection by law enforcement at any time.
Though New Jersey does not require a buyer to keep a record, retaining a firearm bill of sale has its advantages. Keeping and maintaining one provides the buyer with a receipt of the transfer.
The firearm bill of sale should contain:
- Buyer’s and seller’s full names, addresses, and signatures
- Date and location of the transfer
- Sale price
- A description, including the make, model, type, and caliber, of the firearm
- The serial number of the firearm
- NJ permit number