Vehicle Bill of Sale in Alabama

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What is a Vehicle Bill of Sale?

A vehicle bill of sale is a document that confirms the private sale of a vehicle and transfer of possession of a motor vehicle. If you are buying a used car from a friend or other private person, you may need to get a bill of sale before you can register the vehicle with your local motor vehicle agency.

A bill of sale contains vital information about both the buyer and seller, the price, the date of transaction, a description of the vehicle. In an ideal situation, the seller is responsible for drafting the bill. The vehicle bill of sale varies from one state to the other. While some states in the US require that a vehicle bill of sale be notarized, others do not require notarization.

Even if your local DMV does not need a bill of sale to complete a title transfer or vehicle registration, you should get one to avoid future misunderstandings between you and the other person involved in the transaction.

Why Use a Generic Bill of Sale?

There are so many reasons to use a general bill of sale. Top among the reasons is to avoid misunderstanding. Imagine you offer your property for sale to a distant friend and the transaction didn’t go down well, the only way to reclaim your property is through a legal document like a general bill of sale.

Another reason to consider using the general bill of sale is to avoid issues of fraud. You must have heard cases where people lose their properties to fraud just because they decided to sell privately, instead of using a dealership. With that in mind, a general bill of sale will help you avoid a situation where someone will defraud you of your property.

Registering a Vehicle

Once you purchase a new or used vehicle in Alabama, it is required that you register the vehicle within twenty days from the date of purchase. Other states give a maximum of 30 days for vehicle buyers to register their vehicles.

Vehicle registration is expected to be done on a yearly basis. The registration is also expected to be renewed at least once a year. When registering a used or new car in Alabama, the county officials will check your vehicle VIN and odometer reading to confirm their status with what's written on the owners' manual.

Where to Register?

If you are ready to register your vehicle, visit the Department of Revenue Licensing Office to submit your application and pay the necessary fee. Go there with the following documents:

  • Valid driver's license
  • Certificate of Title
  • Odometer Disclosure statement
  • Bill of sale
  • If a third-party is registering the vehicle on your stead, then the person should go with an authorized Motor Vehicle Power of Attorney

Registration Fees

The registration fee is as follows:

  • $25,000 property damage/accident or a combined single limit of $75,000/accident
  • $50,000 combined bodily injury/accident
  • $25,000 bodily injury/person/accident

How to Use a Vehicle (Car) Bill of Sale?

We already know that a vehicle bill of sale is used to show that a vehicle transaction occurred between two persons, the bill of sale cannot be used for the registration of the vehicle. In essence, without the vehicle bill of sale, the county officials will not process your vehicle registration.

If you are the one buying the vehicle, you would need the vehicle bill of sale to submit a Title transfer. For the seller, the bill shows that the vehicle does no longer belong to the seller.

Once the bill has been signed by both the buyer and seller, each party should have a copy of the vehicle bill of sale for record purposes. While some states in the US require that a vehicle bill of sale be notarized, others do not require notarization.

Why Do You Need a Bill of Sale in Alabama?

You need a bill of sale in Alabama to show the record of sale between a buyer and a seller in a private sale. A bill of sale can be used to document the sale of firearms, boats, cars, as well as personal properties.

Supposing you want to buy a second-hand vehicle from someone you don't know too well and you don't want to pass through a legal dealership, you can use the bill of sale form to capture the transaction between you and the vehicle owner. That way, both of you are protected against misunderstanding and fraud.

Alabama bill of sale form can also serve as an evidence in a law court in the event that one party fails to honor the terms of the transaction.

Details of Car Bill of Sale

A car bill of sale should start by writing a declaration that you are selling your car to a buyer at a certain price. Remember to include your full name and address and the full name and address of the buyer.

Next, include all the important information that is relevant to the vehicle you are selling. Also, include the date the transaction took place and the exact location. Once all of these are included, be sure to authenticate the document with your signature and date. Please, note that whether you want to sell a boat, motorcycle, or mobile house, the format is the same for all the Texas bills of sale.

For emphasize sake, here is what should be included in a Texas bill of sale:

  • The date of the sale
  • Both buyers and seller's full name
  • The sale price
  • Address of both the buyer and seller
  • A description of the item to be bought or sold
  • The original owner of the item
  • Next you should state any information and warranty if available
  • State any oaths and any legal statement if available


The vehicle bill of sale is a legal document that shows the private transaction that a vehicle has been sold. If you live in Alabama, it is required that you register your vehicle at the county office. But before you will be allowed to register your vehicle, a vehicle bill of sale would be demanded from you.

Therefore, while bargaining the price of the vehicle you are interested in, ensure you demand for a bill of sale from the seller.


What is the vehicle Identification number (VIN)?

The vehicle identification number is a 17-character string that identifies each vehicle you see on the road. All vehicle manufacturers print a VIN on all vehicles they produce. Check your vehicle owners' manual to know the exact location that the VIN number is printed.

What is the odometer reading?

The odometer reading in a vehicle is simply a gauge on the vehicle that shows the total kilometers or miles that vehicle has travelled in its lifetime. It is important to check the odometer gauge of a vehicle before making a payment.

Who keeps the original bill of sale?

The original bill of sale should be kept by both the seller and buyer for documentation purposes. In fact, the buyer should keep the bill of sale alongside the vehicle title documents for registration and licensing purposes. If you buy a used car from a friend or relative, demand for the bill for sale for your protection.

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