An official receipt for the exchange of personal property between two people in the state of Texas is a Texas bill of sale. The transaction is recorded in this document. A bill of sale works just like a receipt for any other commodity but is specifically applied to personal property. This includes vehicles, boats, firearms, or livestock. A bill of sale is issued by the seller and signed by the buyer to document the exchange of any of these assets for a specific amount after a transaction is complete. By acknowledging ownership over the asset and relinquishing prior ownership over it, the buyer and seller each acknowledge their respective rights by signing the bill of sale. By doing this, a formal record of the exchange is produced, which may be presented to any authority for confirmation or to settle a dispute.
A bill of sale in Texas is typically a document made up of several sections that must be filled with specific information. This includes the date of the sale, the sale price, the full name and address of both the buyer and seller, a description of the property being sold, and the signatures of both the buyer and seller. This document is available from governmental agencies such as local county tax collector’s offices or DMVs (for vehicles). It can also be drawn up by private individuals, as long as it contains the necessary information.
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Why is a Bill of Sale Needed in Texas?
A bill of sale in Texas is used to record a transaction and is required by both the buyer and seller in the exchange of personal property. As a buyer, you need a bill of sale to document that you now own whatever asset you just paid for. With this document in hand, you can protect yourself from any fraudulent attempts by the seller after you make a payment. For instance, the seller cannot claim ownership of the property or sell a defective item as long as a description is provided in the bill.
As a seller living in Texas, a bill of sale serves the same function as a record but protects you in a different way. A bill of sale shows that you have given up the rights to an item of personal property, as well as any liability attached to that same item. This means you cannot be held liable for whatever use the buyer makes of the property after the sale. A bill of sale also protects you from fraud in certain transactions. In the exchange of a vehicle or a boat, a certificate of title can also be used to indicate that the property has been exchanged, whereas a bill of sale indicates that the property was sold rather than given away as a gift.
In this article, we will discuss the various types of bills of sale used in Texas, the types of personal property that they are used for, the requirements for registering each one, and other factors.
Texas Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale
A motor vehicle bill of sale is used in Texas when selling or buying a car to record the transaction that took place and that the vehicle has legally changed hands. This document will contain the following information: the names and addresses of the buyer and seller, the physical description of the vehicle being sold, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the county in which the transaction occurred, the driver’s license number of the buyer, the sale price, the date of the sale, and the signatures of both the buyer and seller.
Where to register
As a Texas resident, you are required by law to register all vehicles you own with the state’s authorities. After purchasing a vehicle and obtaining a bill of sale, go to your nearest county tax office with the seller to register the vehicle. The bill of sale is provided by the seller, who either creates his/her own or obtains the bill of sale from the state’s DMV website. A motor vehicle bill of sale in Texas is referred to as a “Vehicle Transfer Notification,” or Form VTR-346. A purchased vehicle must be titled within 30 days of when it was purchased.
To complete the registration process, multiple documents must be filled out and submitted at the tax office. This includes an Application for Texas Certificate of Title form (Form 130-U), which displays the sales price, the bill of sale (Vehicle Transfer Notification or Form VTR-346), the vehicle’s title, and an odometer disclosure (Form VTR-40). All these are to be provided by the seller. The buyer needs to provide proof of auto insurance, a driver’s license, the registration fee, and the sales tax. The motor vehicle inspection must also be completed before the registration is approved, and the vehicle’s bill of sale must be submitted to the Texas DMV’s Vehicle Titles and Registration Division within 30 days of the purchase.
If a lien exists on the vehicle, an Additional Liens Statement must also be included with the Application for Registration Purposes Only form (Form VTR-272). In the event that a lien exists on the vehicle, this means that the seller is not the only one with a legal right to the vehicle. Someone else to whom the seller owes a debt has a claim over the vehicle, and thus, the vehicle cannot be fully transferred to anyone else until the debt is paid or the creditor relinquishes his or her rights to the vehicle. Form VTR-272 is used to comply with state regulations that all vehicles must be registered, but it also serves to indicate that the vehicle cannot yet be titled under another name until the lien is released.
In the instance that an agent is representing the buyer in titling the vehicle, a motor vehicle power of attorney must be presented by the agent. An Affidavit of Motor Vehicle Transfer is applicable in place of a bill of sale if the vehicle is a gift. The seller will complete all the paperwork and give the buyer the receipts if the car is bought from a dealership.
As long as it contains all of the information previously listed, a motor vehicle bill of sale used in Texas can be written by the seller and in any language. A copy of the bill of sale should be kept by both the buyer and seller, with an additional copy delivered to the Texas DMV.
Texas Boat Bill of Sale
A boat bill of sale in Texas documents the purchase of a watercraft between two private parties. Similar to a Texas motor vehicle bill of sale, it must include the date of sale, the sales price, a physical description of the watercraft, the seller’s name, the buyer’s name, and the signatures of both the buyer and seller. The bill of sale must also include the make, serial number, and model year of the watercraft.
Where to register
Any motorized watercraft or water vessel longer than 14 feet in length must be registered with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at any of their offices. The registration must be completed within 45 days of purchasing the vessel. The registration is valid for two years, after which it must be renewed. The renewal process can be initiated and completed online.
The following documents are required when registering a watercraft in Texas after purchase: a signed bill of sale recording the transaction, a completed Boat Title Registration Application form (Form PWD 143), the original title of the vessel or the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (if new), proof of payment of sales tax, and proof of payment of registration fees.
A Release of Lien Form (Form PWD 231) is required if someone has a legal claim to the watercraft due to debts that the vehicle’s owner has not yet settled and a lien exists on the watercraft. If the watercraft has been previously registered in another state, and you are a Texas resident who wishes to operate the watercraft on Texan waters, a Verification of Vessel or Outboard Motor Serial Number form (Form PWD 504) must also be presented.
Texas Firearm Bill of Sale
A Texas firearm bill of sale is documentation of the sale of a firearm to a private person. In Texas, unlike other bills of sale documents, a firearm bill of sale is entirely optional. There is no legal requirement for the seller to issue one, aside from the fraud protection benefits it provides the buyer and seller. A firearms bill of sale used in Texas typically contains identifying information about the buyer and the seller and a description of the firearm. There are no official forms for this bill of sale, and it is provided by the seller if needed.
Where to register
The state of Texas has no laws requiring the buyer of a firearm to register the weapon.
How to Apply
Texas residents who are 21 years of age and older can apply for a license to carry, which allows the gun owner to bear the weapon in other states as set forth in Tx Gov. Code § 411.173(b) except for Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. To apply for this license, the gun owner must be 21 years of age or older and not be prohibited under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) of federal law from purchasing a firearm.
The stipulations under this law include:
- being convicted for a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year;
- being a fugitive from justice;
- under orders from a restraining order to keep away from an intimate partner or child of an intimate partner;
- being addicted to or using any controlled substance;
- being declared mentally defective or having been committed to a mental institution;
- having been dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces;
- having renounced their United States citizenship;
- being an illegal alien;
- having been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of domestic violence;
The procedure for registration is outlined in Tx. Gov. Code 411.174. An online application can be submitted to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Regulatory Services Division. Before the application can be processed, a $40 non-refundable application fee must be paid. In addition, a physical appointment must be set up for fingerprint capture, followed by a four to six hour classroom training exercise. Before a license is issued, candidates must successfully complete a written test and a proficiency demonstration test.
A bill of sale is an essential document for both a buyer and a seller, serving as a means of record and also providing legal protection for a transaction. A bill of sale is used in transactions involving livestock, vehicles, firearms, and personal property. A bill of sale is an essential document in the registration procedure for transactions involving personal property that must be registered with a state authority. While not always a requirement, make sure to obtain or give a bill of sale to protect yourself at all times.