A Pennsylvania Bill of Sale helps Pennsylvania residents record the sale of personal property. Bills of Sale are short but clear legal documents used to transfer vehicles (like cars and boats), firearms, horses, and any other items of value from one person to another.
On a Bill of Sale in Pennsylvania, the person selling property is the seller, and the person buying that property is the buyer. Once the buyer and seller sign the bill of sale and receive what was agreed upon, the bill of sale acts as a receipt of the transaction.
Table of Contents
1. Pennsylvania Vehicle Bill of Sale
Pennsylvania does not require a bill of sale as part of vehicle, vessel, and firearm sales transactions. You are only required to sign over a vehicle’s title as part of the title transfer once the sale has been completed.
However, it is a good idea to draft a bill of sale for your own records. It serves as a receipt of the sales transaction and having it on hand can be beneficial to both the buyer and seller in the future. It states that the buyer has paid in full, and it shows that the seller is no longer responsible for the vehicle, vessel, or firearm.
Because a bill of sale in Pennsylvania is not considered requisite, the state does not provide an official form on its DMV website. However, if you are interested in drafting one for your own purposes, there are many vehicle bill of sale templates available online for your use, or you may create your own. Notarization is optional; however, all forms should contain the following criteria:
- The vehicle’s make, model, year
- The Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN
- The sellers’ and buyers’ names, contact information, and signatures
- The purchase price
- The odometer reading
Penalty of perjury statements come pre-printed on most state-issued DMV forms, though not all of them. However, on such forms, the penalty of perjury is stated clearly and it refers to 18 Pa C.S., Section 4904[b], which states, “(a) person commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if he makes a written false statement which he does not believe to be true, on or pursuant to a form bearing notice, authorized by law, to the effect that false statements made therein are punishable (by a fine of up to $2,500 and/or imprisonment up to one year).”
While DMV forms in Pennsylvania are usually only available in English, the DMV provides translators to help patrons fill out forms, such as bills of sale.
Number of Copies
The number of copies is completely dependent upon the parties’ discretion; however, it is customary that each party receive a copy for his or her own records.
After Purchasing a Vehicle
Besides a bill of sale, there are many other documents and steps involved when it comes to registering a vehicle in Pennsylvania. Here is a rundown:
- Provide your dealership with proof of auto insurance and they will most likely complete your registration and title transfer paperwork and file it on your behalf.
- Record the vehicle’s mileage on the back of the title.
- Travel to the PennDOT office along with the buyer in order to transfer the vehicle’s title.
- In front of a DMV agent, print your name on the title and also sign it.
- Remove your license plates from the vehicle and either hand them in, or transfer them to another vehicle. They are not to be given to the buyer.
- If you decide to donate a vehicle to a charitable organization, complete the steps above, acting as the seller in the vehicle transfer process.
- Accompany the seller to the PennDOT office. In front of a DMV employee, fill out the back portion of the title with your name, address, and signature. If the vehicle was gifted, bring the donor to the DMV and fill out the Affidavit of Gift (Form MV-13ST). If you are a surviving spouse or joint owner, and have inherited the vehicle, simply submit the title, without notations, and the death certificate of the deceased.
- Submit to the DMV the completed and signed title, Application for Certificate of Title (Form MV-1), Vehicle Sales and Use Tax Return/Application for Registration (Form MV-4ST), and proof of insurance, such as an insurance card or declaration page. Neither form is available online because they must be completed and issued by an authorized DMV agent.
- Pay the sales tax, as well as the registration fees and title transfer fee of $53. The sales tax is 6% of either the sales price, or of the market value, if no bill of sale is given. The exceptions are the 8% tax in the city of Philadelphia, or the 7% tax in Allegheny County.
- Ensure that the vehicle has valid safety emissions stickers. If it does not, you must have the vehicle inspected within 10 days of the date of purchase.
- If you are new to the state, you must complete a title transfer and register your vehicle within your first 20 days as a resident. You must first have your Pennsylvania driver’s license, unless you are a member of the military with a U.S. Armed Forces Common Access Card.
For new residents, as well as state residents that purchased vehicles from non-residents of Pennsylvania, a tracing of the VIN is required. You can apply for the vehicle’s title and registration using your out-of-state title, along with all the documents required for an in-state private automobile title transfer and registration.
2. Pennsylvania Boat Bill of Sale
You will need to provide proof of your ownership of a vessel in order to sell it. If the boat was manufactured after January 1, 1993, you may use a certificate of origin from the dealer, manufacturer, or distributor. For vessels built prior to that date, or if the certificate of origin is unavailable, a boat bill of sale provided by the seller will suffice. It should contain the following information:
- The sellers’ and buyers’ names and contact information
- The location of the vessel
- The date of sale
- A description of the boat
- The hull identification number if the boat was built after October 31, 1972, or other serial number for boats built before that date
After Purchasing a Vessel
- You will need to complete and sign your section of Form REV-336, provided by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFC). If the last registered owner is deceased, the executor and/or administrator of the decedent can sign on his or her behalf, and provide the buyer a copy of the original death certificate or Form PFBC-T8 signed by the funeral director or attending physician.
- Provide proof of your ownership of the vessel. If the vessel was titled and registered in another state, you will need to provide a valid title document. If the title is unavailable, you may execute, under penalty of law, Form PFBC-734 (Affidavit of Purchase/Ownership), stating facts that support your claim of ownership.
- You will need to complete your portion of Form REV-336 and forward the form to the PFC, Division of Licensing and Registration. If you cannot sign, a bill of sale provided by the seller is also permitted.
- If the sale is private, you will need to receive proof of ownership from the seller as indicated above.
- You have the option of transferring a registration from a previously owned boat to the current boat. This requires completion and submission of Form PFBC R-4.
3. Pennsylvania Gun Bill of Sale
As a courtesy, you may provide a bill of sale for firearms in Pennsylvania, though they are not required, as there is no firearms registry in the state. A firearm bill of sale should include the following:
- The buyers’ and sellers’ names, contact information, and signatures
- The make, model, caliper, and serial number
- The purchase price
- A general description of the firearm’s condition