In the State of Texas when you transfer a vehicle, you should write a Bill of Sale for your safety. The bill of sale form serves as a legal contract from the seller to the buyer documenting the transaction. So a Bill of Sale Form is useful if the buyer of a vehicle wants documentation of the sale. Also it is helpful when the seller wishes a legal receipt of the sale.
The following information appears on the Texas Bill of Sale Form:
- Name and address of the seller
- Name and address of the buyer
- Vehicle description, including Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), make, model, year
- The purchase price
- Date of sale
- Signature of the seller
Texas Bill of Sale Form
When you sell a vehicle you need to sign, date and enter the odometer reading on the back of the title. Sign the buyer’s application for title (Form 130-U) and write in the sales price. Keep your license plates – you may transfer them to your other vehicle. Remove the windshield registration sticker. After the sale go to your local county tax office with the buyer to file the required paperwork. If you do not accompany the buyer to the county tax office, file a vehicle transfer notification.
Within 30 days of the vehicle’s date of transfer to help protect yourself from liability for criminal or civil acts involving the vehicle and the person(s) or entity taking ownership you need to submit this form: Texas Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification – Form VTR-346
Please note that you can submit this form after the 30 days and it will still be recorded.
We recommend, for your records, to use this federal form to state the mileage upon transfer of ownership: Texas Odometer Disclosure Statement Form.
Tips for Buying or Selling a Vehicle in Texas
As a buyer you need to get the vehicle title and have the seller sign, date, and enter the odometer reading on the back. Have the seller sign your application for title and write in the sales price. After the sale go to your local county tax office with the seller to file the required paperwork. Get a vehicle transit permit – you’ll need it if the previous owner kept the license plates. File your application for title in your name within 30 days from the date of the sale.
When a Texas-titled vehicle is sold or traded in, the seller needs to notify Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV). By completing a Vehicle Transfer Notification you are notifying TxDMV that you have sold a vehicle. When you submit the form a remark will be added to the vehicle record which shows the date you sold the vehicle. This can protect you if the buyer fails to promptly transfer the title.
If you submit a transfer notification within 30 days of sale, the buyer shown becomes the vehicle’s presumed owner. In this case the buyer may be subject to criminal or civil liability for parking tickets, toll violations, fines or other penalties that occur after the date of sale.
Details about Transferring a Vehicle in Texas
If you buy a vehicle from an individual, have the seller accompany you to the county tax office to avoid unwanted surprises. Before submitting the title application, a tax office representative can tell you if the title being signed over to you is correct and if it has any salvage or legal issues. You can also use Title Check to see if the title of the vehicle you are thinking about buying has any issues impacting its value.
In addition to the title, ask the seller to provide you with the signed vehicle title application, Form 130-U. Also request from the seller any other supporting documents, such as a release of lien or power of attorney. Keep a written record that includes the name and address of the seller, date of sale and vehicle information, including the VIN. Failure to title a vehicle within 30 days from the date of sale may result in delinquent transfer penalties.
You must provide proof of liability insurance when you title and register your vehicle. However if you do not provide proof of insurance, you may apply for ‘title only’ using Form 130-U, Application for Title Only.
More tips about Transferring a Vehicle in Texas
The Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR), which is proof of inspection, also must be provided if a record of current inspection is not in the state database. Ask the seller for a copy of the latest VIR if it is available.
If the transaction takes place on a Saturday or Sunday and the seller chooses to remove their license plates and registration sticker from the vehicle, you’ll need to download a Vehicle Transit Permit. This will allow you to legally drive the vehicle to the county tax office. If the county tax office is closed then to a place of your choice. This permit is valid for five calendar days and only one permit may be issued per vehicle sale.
If buying from an individual, a motor vehicle sales tax (6.25 percent) on either the purchase price or standard presumptive value (whichever is the highest value), must be paid when the vehicle is titled. The title, registration and local fees are also due. Contact your county tax office to estimate the amount of sales tax due and to learn which forms of payment are accepted. Acceptable forms of payment vary by county.
Your local County Tax Assessor-Collectors office may have a ready-to-use bill of sale for vehicles. Jefferson County has a bare-bones Bill of Sale, for example, that you can use in any county.
How to fill out the Texas Bill of Sale Form
This Texas Bill of Sale Form is composed of three sections. Below you’ll learn you how to fill out this form:
The first section contains the complete vehicle information. It contains the Make, Model, Year, Style (Body type), Color, VIN or Vehicle Identification Number. Also you will find the Odometer Reading at the time of transfer (use only digits, no tenths) and seller registration number. And you’ll need to answer if you previously filed an application for title for this vehicle:
At the second section complete first the Seller information. This means to fill out the full name of the seller. The name must be PRINTED – this means to use only Capital Letters to write SELLER’S NAME. Then complete seller’s street address, seller’s city and state. Further you will need to fill out the Buyer information – the full name of the buyer. The buyer’s name must be PRINTED – this means to use only Capital Letters to write BUYER’S NAME. Additionally fill out buyer’s street address, buyer’s city and state. After these details you will have to write the sum of the transfer price of the vehicle (or the word GIFT). Correspondingly, if this vehicle was a gift, you need to indicate the relationship with the buyer (e.g. parent, spouse, friend):
The last section, Section 3, represents the seller’s statement. Finally complete the seller’s signature and date:
Please note that you can fill out this Bill of Sale form by hand. For this purpose please use a pen with blue or black ink and not a pencil. If you are filling out this form on your device (phone, tablet, computer) this form is a fillable PDF. This form works best with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
View more about the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
For more information go to Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) is a dynamic state agency. It is dedicated to customer service, consumer protection and the success of motor vehicle-related industries.
It is one of only a handful of state agencies that raises revenue for the state. For every $1 the agency spends, it returns more than $10 in state revenue. The funds are primarily used to build and maintain the state’s roads and bridges.
The TxDMV is overseen by a nine member, governor-appointed board that is the agency’s policy-making arm. Daily operations are overseen by the agency’s executive director.
Each year the agency registers almost 24 million vehicles. It also regulates vehicle dealers, credentials buses and big trucks for intrastate and interstate commerce. It issues oversize and overweight permits. And it also awards grants to law enforcement agencies to reduce vehicle burglaries and thefts.
The agency was created by the state legislature in 2009 and is operational since November 1, 2009.
The TxDMV mission is “to serve, protect and advance the citizens and industries in the state with quality motor vehicle related services”.