A Tennessee bill of sale is a form that records a sale or trade of personal property between a buyer and a seller. Like a receipt, a bill of sale verifies the transfer of ownership of an item from one person to another and proves that the transfer was legal and agreed upon. You should use a bill of sale in the state of Tennessee whenever buying or selling a car (or any type of vehicle), a boat, a firearm, or an animal such as a horse.
Types of Bill of Sale
Tennessee Bill of Sale Requirements
In Tennessee, a bill of sale is not required to sell or purchase a vehicle or firearm, but it is required to sell, purchase, and register a vessel. There is no official form for vehicles provided by the Tennessee Department of Revenue (DOR) website, but the Tennessee County Clerk provides a form for vessels. It is still a good idea to have a bill of sale for vehicles and firearms as a record of the sales transaction.
Bill of sale and other DOR and TWRA forms do not come in different languages in Tennessee, but parties to the document may use an interpreter to translate the form and the parties’ answers. The completed translation must be accompanied by a Certificate of Accurate Translation to be considered valid.
Number of Copies
You need at least three copies of a vessel bill of sale since the state requires one, and the buyer and seller should each have a copy. However, for a vehicle bill of sale, which is not required by the state, a copy for each party should suffice.
Tennessee Vehicle Bill of Sale Requirements
You can draft a bill of sale for a car or other vehicle by hand in Tennessee, and it does not need to be notarized. Just be sure your vehicle bill of sale contains the following information:
- The buyer’s and seller’s names, contact information, and signatures
- The make, model, and year of the vehicle
- The purchase date
- The sales price
- The vehicle identification number (VIN)
After Purchasing a Vehicle
In addition to a bill of sale, there are many other documents that need to be completed and submitted in order to register a vehicle in Tennessee. Here is a checklist:
- You must visit the local county clerk’s office to register and title your vehicle in Tennessee. The dealer is not permitted to do this for you.
- You must go to your local county clerk’s office and submit the manufacturer’s certificate of origin, along with the new vehicle invoice from the dealer, valid proof of identification, proof of residency, and payment of all applicable fees and taxes.
- You must submit your old vehicle’s registration if you plan to transfer plates to your new vehicle.
- You must fill out the seller-appropriate areas of the certificate of title and sign it over to the buyer.
- If the vehicle is less than ten years old, you must fill out the odometer disclosure statement or Form RV-F1317001.
- Provide the name and contact information of the lien holder to the buyer (if applicable).
- Some counties may require emissions testing, which you must complete before the titling and registration process. You will have to visit or call your local county clerk’s office to see if emissions testing is mandatory where you live. You must pay the county clerk in advance for testing.
- The DOR allows you to title and register a vehicle simultaneously since the process is the same. You must provide the local county clerk with your emission paperwork (if applicable), an odometer disclosure statement, or Form RV-F1317001 for any vehicle under ten years old, the current registration, a valid certificate of title completed by the seller, proof of identification, proof of residence, and payment for all applicable fees and taxes. Insurance is not required at the time of registration and titling.
- If your vehicle was purchased from or is a gift from your spouse or a lineal relative, you will not have to pay sales or use tax.
- If any of the required titling or registration documents are unavailable, you can obtain a temporary vehicle permit for 30 days to locate the paperwork. To apply, you need to provide your Tennessee license, ownership documents for your vehicle, an Application for Temporary Operation Permit, or Form RV-F1314401, and the $10 fee.
- If you are active military, and you live in another state but are stationed in Tennessee, you are not required to re-register your vehicle in the state, as long as your registration and insurance remain current in your home state. You are also exempt from all Tennessee sales and use tax.
Tennessee Gun Bill of Sale Requirements
In Tennessee, firearm permits and registration are not required. Because of this, the state does not require a firearm bill of sale, and there are no official forms.
A firearm bill of sale should include the following information:
- The buyers’ and sellers’ names, contact information, and signatures
- The make, model, caliber, and serial number
- The sales date
- The purchase price
Free Tennessee Bill of Sale Forms