Bill of Sale in Illinois
“Bill of sale” is a generic term for a fancy type of receipt between two parties. It is a record of contact information and details pertinent to the condition of the items sold.
In regard to vehicles, a bill of sale serves to protect both parties against future misunderstandings, disputes about the condition of the car, and exactly when the sale was completed. Although some states require a bill of sale during the transaction, it is entirely optional in Illinois. The old title effectively serves as a formal bill of sale when adequately filled out and signed. However, it is nonetheless a good idea to create a separate bill of sale which both parties can hold onto for their own personal records.
What Information Should Be Included on a Bill of Sale?
A bill of sale should be detailed and precise. During a vehicle sale, it should capture all of the following:
- Current contact info for buyer, seller, and any involved third parties like lienholders (including full name, address, and phone number)
- Accurate physical description of the car, including the vehicle identification number (VIN), present odometer reading, license plate number, make, model, and year of manufacture.
- Sale price of the vehicle
- Date of the sale
- Statement confirming that a sale is occurring
- Signature of both buyer and seller
How Do I Create a Bill of Sale?
You can personally gather all of the required information and craft a bill of sale document yourself, or you can download one of many generic bill of sale forms available online. The state of Illinois does, however, provide a special template for bills of sale for junked vehicles, as they want to ensure maximum protection in these potentially questionable sales. When both the buyer and the seller have copies of the bill of sale, they should be kept with any other important financial records, as they may become useful even years later. File them away and pull them out again should you ever need to reference the transaction or protect yourself against fraud.
Why Should I Have a Bill of Sale?
Though they are not legally required, a bill of sale adds a new layer of protection during a transaction. If, for example, you sell your car and the new owner manages to get in an accident before completing the title transfer process, you (the legal title holder) could be held liable for what happens to the car. A signed bill of sale will demonstrate that you had already sold the car and relinquished yourself of any liability for future incidents.
Likewise, if you are the buyer of a vehicle, the bill of sale acts as a testimony from the seller as to the condition of the car, in case any nasty surprises should turn up later on down the road.