Understanding Your Georgia Vehicle Bill of Sale
When it comes to vehicle ownership, there are many important legal documents involved which perform many different functions for all the parties involved. One of these is the bill of sale, which essentially acts as an official receipt of the transfer of a vehicle’s ownership between two parties. When filled out correctly, the Georgia bill of sale records important information about the sale which both the buyer and the seller can use to verify their claims about what was sold and when at a later date should a dispute ever arise. Though it does not establish legal ownership like a vehicle title, your Georgia bill of sale is still extremely useful, and in the state of Georgia, legally required for certain tasks with the DDS.
What to Include on a Georgia Bill of Sale
To ensure that your Georgia bill of sale has all the necessary information to serve both the buyer and seller of the vehicle in question, it should contain the following information:
- Make, model, and year of manufacture of the vehicle
- Odometer reading at the time of sale
- Vehicle identification number
- Seller and buyer’s respective names and addresses
- Total purchase price of the vehicle
- Buyer and seller’s signatures
This information protects both parties by recording when the sale happened, for what price, and what condition the vehicle was in at the time. While a vehicle’s title proves legally that you are the owner, it doesn’t say anything about the circumstances of the sale. Your Georgia bill of sale is an extremely convenient way to get this information recorded.
Uses for a Georgia Bill of Sale
There are many situations when it may be necessary to show when a vehicle sale occurred. If the new owner gets into an accident, or performs some action in the car which makes its owner liable for damages, the seller is protected by being able to show that the sale of the vehicle was already completed before the event in question took place. Georgia buyers, on the other hand, can choose to check the information presented on the Georgia bill of sale against an official vehicle history report to verify the information as stated by the seller.
Is a Bill of Sale Legally Required in Georgia?
Although many states do not require you to use a bill of sale when purchasing a vehicle, it is still universally recommended, as it only takes a few minutes to complete and goes a long way to protect you. In Georgia, however, the DDS actually requires you to use a bill of sale as one more method of protecting yourself during a sale. Failing to complete a Georgia bill of sale could actually slow down the title transfer process, and make it that much harder for you to legally own the car you have already paid for. Beware of any seller who insists on selling a car to you without using a Georgia bill of sale, as they are likely trying to scam you in some way.