If you live in Wisconsin and you’re getting ready to sell your vehicle in a private sale, you’ll want to be sure to have a bill of sale on hand to complete the transaction. These documents are important for many reasons, but its primary benefit is that it documents that the sale took place. This is helpful for legal reasons and tax purposes. Imagine the new buyer never registers the car, or it’s found abandoned; without a sale document to prove you’ve sold it, they could come after you.
The state of Wisconsin actually does not require a bill of sale, but as mentioned above, it can be a good idea to do anyway so that you have proof you have sold the car. The state instead requires a title transfer to the new buyer, which means you sign the title that you have over to them when they purchase the vehicle, giving them new ownership and enabling them to register the car with the new title in hand.
What to Include in a Bill of Sale
If you decide to complete one for your vehicle sale, here is exactly what it should include:
- The buyer’s name and address
- The seller’s name and address
- Both the seller and buyer’s signatures
- All vehicle information, including the year, make, model and VIN.
- Odometer reading on the vehicle
- Agreed-upon sales price
Many individuals will also choose to include a general statement of sale that the buyer and seller fill in with their names and sign. It might say something like this:
I, ________(insert seller’s name), do hereby sell my vehicle, a ________________(insert vehicle information) to _____________ (insert buyer’s name) for the agreed-upon price of __________(fill in price). I understand that this vehicle is being sold without any warranties, expressed or implied, and is being sold as-is.
This last statement may help protect you in case something on the vehicle should break down and the buyer tries to give you the vehicle back or ask for their money back because a certain part broke after they drove away. When a vehicle is sold as-is, it’s sold in the condition it’s in, no exceptions.
So, in summary, if you’re selling your vehicle in Wisconsin, it’s a good idea to do it with a bill of sale on hand, even though the state doesn’t require it.