A South Carolina bill of sale is a legal form documenting the sale and purchase of personal property. For vehicles, a bill of sale form can be used to register and title a vehicle and is usually completed at the time of the sale, but it cannot prove vehicle ownership. To declare or denounce ownership, the original vehicle title must be assigned to the car buyer and be transferred to the new owners. However, a vehicle bill of sale is still an important document that establishes details of the sale such as price and recent inspections. Learn more about how a bill of sale document protects you in the sections that follow.
What is a South Carolina bill of sale?
A bill of sale for car types purchased at licensed dealerships in the state are completed automatically. However, if you have purchased a vehicle from a private seller, then you may need to request that a bill of sale be filled out and signed. Additionally, if you are the private seller or are gifting a vehicle to a friend or family member, you may wish to take advantage of a bill of sale template to ensure that all required information to finalize a vehicle sale is addressed and recorded. Get a comprehensive bill of sale package here.
A new or used car bill of sale outlines the terms of the vehicle sale, dates the exchange and serves as a formal agreement between all car buyers and sellers. While the information presented on each document may vary slightly depending on the sale and vehicle’s condition, the template does not change based on the type of vehicle that is being sold. For instance, a motorcycle bill of sale reports the sale of the motorbike in the same way the form reports other vehicle sales. Due to the value of bill of sale forms, you are encouraged to maintain them and make copies for your personal records. However, a bill of sale cannot replace a notice of vehicle sold which must be completed at the time of the sale by the seller.
When is a bill of sale required in South Carolina?
A DMV bill of sale is required when titling and registering your vehicle. Usually, a vehicle bill of sale can verify odometer readings and sale prices if sellers forgot to list them on the back of the vehicle title. Therefore, bills of sale are required at titling offices and registration locations.
While the document can only assist buyers and sellers with vehicle titling and registration in some instances, a bill of sale document is always recommended for all residents to complete during the buying and selling processes. For example, a bill of sale form is especially advisable when purchasing a vehicle from a private seller or giving a vehicle to a friend or relative. The form is never harmful to have in your vehicle records.
How does a South Carolina bill of sale help car buyers?
Completing a standard bill of sale encourages car sellers to adhere to the terms of the sale. Having the terms printed on an endorsed bill of sale contract may make sellers less inclined to alter information or claim the vehicle is still theirs if the buyers have yet to claim ownership. Additionally, bills of sale for car buyers may help them verify the condition of vehicles. Consequently, a bill of sale contract may help buyers find vehicle histories and ensure that their vehicle is safe and legal (i.e., not a lemon or previously stolen).
Another benefit of a bill of sale for car buyers is the form’s inclusion of vehicle liens. If lienholders are not removed from vehicles, it can be difficult to transfer ownership. Because the bill of sale form lists all financial encumbrances for the vehicle including lienholders, car buyers can be sure they do not receive a vehicle with liens they were not aware of. A DMV bill of sale can prevent buyers from having to obtain a title for a financed vehicle and prevent possible repossessions.
Get a bill of sale package here to receive beneficial information about vehicle sales that will help car buyers.
How does a South Carolina bill of sale help car sellers?
A bill of sale agreement can also benefit car sellers. Buyers have 45 days to register their vehicles and transfer titles into their names following vehicle sales, so a vehicle bill of sale protects car sellers from having to pay any charges associated with the vehicle such as late registration fees. Bills of sale can also indicate that buyers are making payments to the sellers in installments and will continue to do so (i.e., they are lienholders). Basically, a bill of sale document prevents car buyers from arguing that they did not purchase the vehicle and can save sellers energy and stress.
Required Information to Complete a South Carolina Bill of Sale
Bill of sale templates are customizable to include every important detail regarding a vehicle sale, but every form must contain similar information. For example, most SC bills of sale contain the following information:
- Vehicle information such as the make, model, year, VIN and odometer reading
- Buyers’ and sellers’ full names, addresses and other contact information
- The purchase date and amount
- Vehicle’s condition at the time of purchase like existing scratches and dents
- Latest inspections and reparations
- Signatures of all buyers and sellers involved in the sale
Many DMV bills of sale also leave room for additional terms of the sale (e.g., insurance or return policies). Find a comprehensive bill of sale package here that meets your needs as a buyer or a seller. While the bill of sale contract is an official document, it does not need to be notarized. However, a space for notarization is often included in case buyers and sellers decide to notarize the document.