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 vehicle), a boat, a firearm, or an animal such as a horse.
Bill of Sale – By Type (5)
A form to buy or sell a motor vehicle in the state of Tennessee. In many states, a bill of sale is required to register a vehicle at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
A document to transfer ownership of recreational water vehicles (such as motorboats, sailboats, yachts, and jet skis) in the state of Tennessee.
A form to buy or sell a trailer (or any non-motorized vehicle pulled by another vehicle) in the state of Tennessee and register it at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
A document to transfer ownership of a gun (such as a handgun, rifle, or shotgun) in the state of Tennessee, and avoid legal or criminal issues involving the weapon after it is sold.
A form to record the transfer of a motorcycle in the state of Tennessee. By detailing information about the bike being sold, you can protect yourself from fraudulent sales.
You do not need a bill of sale in Tennessee to sell or purchase a vehicle or firearm, but you do need one to sell, purchase, and register a vessel.
No official form for vehicles is 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 sales transaction record.
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.
Vehicle Registration Forms
- Bill of Sale
- Odometer Disclosure Statement
- Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin
- Certificate of Title
- Proof of insurance
- Registration fees
- Valid driver’s license or ID
- Some counties may require emissions testing, so provide emission paperwork or Form RV-F1317001 for any vehicle under ten years old
- 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 must provide your Tennessee license, ownership documents for your vehicle, an Application for Temporary Operation Permit, or Form RV-F1314401, and the $10 fee.
Boat Registration Forms
- Application for Boat Certificate of Number (the form is not available online, but you may obtain one through a County Clerk office)
- Bill of Sale
- Proof of previous registration (if purchased used from out of state – A signed title may be helpful for this condition but Tennessee does not require boat titles)
- Proof of payment of registration fees.