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  • Bill of Sale in Connecticut

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    Introduction

    The bill of sale records specific transaction details whenever you buy or sell a used car.

    Note that a bill of sale is not a title and completing a bill of sale does not replace a title transfer. In addition to completing the bill of sale, you must complete a title transfer with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Only a title transfer proves change of ownership.

    Connecticut Bill of Sale

    Connecticut provides a state-approved, printable bill of sale form, but also allows residents to create their own bill of sale if they choose.

    State-Provided Bill of Sale

    The CT DMV website provides the Bill of Sale (Form H-31) for download. Buyers need the bill of sale for title transfers, but the CT DMV recommends that sellers keep copies for their records, too.

    You’ll need the following information to complete the bill of sale:

    • Buyer and seller names and addresses.
    • Details about the motor vehicle or vessel, including:
      • Make, model, and year.
      • Body style (for vehicles) or length (for vessels).
      • Vehicle identification number (for vehicles) or hull identification number (for vessels; you also must know where the vessel was last numbered).
      • Odometer reading (for vehicles).
    • Details about the sale, including the sale price and date.
    • The seller’s signature and date signed.

    The CT DMV document doesn’t include a space for the buyer’s signature, but the DMV recommends the buyer sign the bill of sale, too.

    Create a Bill of Sale

    You can create your own bill of sale form; the state requires only that you include all of the same information as you would on the CT DMV bill of sale. DMV.org also provides a Bill of Sale Form for use.

    NOTE: While the state bill of sale doesn’t ask for the buyer’s signature on the state form, the CT DMV DOES require the buyer to sign any other bill of sale version.

    Why Use a Bill of Sale?

    If You Are the Seller

    You are not required to present a bill of sale to cancel your registration or to title or register a new car; however, the CT DMV recommends keeping a copy of the bill of sale for your own records. Your bill of sale includes vital information you might need to reference in the future, including the:

    • Buyer’s name and address.
    • Purchase price.
    • Sale date.

    If You Are the Buyer

    You need the bill of sale to complete the title transfer and register the car.

    The bill of sale does not replace the title, however, and you have not completed a title transfer just because you and the seller completed a bill of sale.

    See “Buyer Requirements” below for details.

    Replacement Bills of Sale

    You can order an original copy of your bill of sale if yours becomes lost, damaged, or if you decide you want one on record after all.

    To request a replacement bill of sale:

    • Print a Title Records Request (Form J-23T).
    • Select the “Bill of Sale” box on the form.
    • Complete the applicable sections. Make sure to fill out the Request section.

    Mail the completed form and the following items to the address on the form:

    • Copies of 2 forms of photo identification.
    • A check or money order for the $20 fee.
    • A copy of the original registration, if you have it. This helps agents know at what date to begin the search.

    You should receive your replacement bill of sale in 4-6 weeks.

    Replacement bills of sale are NOT the same as replacement titles. If you need to replace your car title, visit our page Replacing a Lost Title.

    Salvage Vehicles and Bills of Sale

    You don’t need a special salvage vehicle bill of sale to title and register your salvaged vehicle.

    However, the vehicle must pass a safety inspection before you can title and register it, and inspection agencies require receipts for every major component part used to replace a damaged part. These receipts aren’t bill of sale forms in the traditional sense; they are actual receipts of purchase.

    Download the state’s Salvage Inspection Information Sheets (Form B-256) for a checklist of all paperwork required for titling and registering salvage vehicles.

    Once you title the salvaged vehicle, you can register it as your own or you can sell it. If you sell it, you must provide the buyer with a traditional bill of sale.

    Additional Car Buying Tips

    Seller Requirements

    Our Guide to Selling Your Car provides tips on how to sell a used car, but below are some Connecticut-specific requirements:

    • Complete and sign the title and give the title to the buyer.*
    • Complete and sign the bill of sale with the buyer. The buyer needs the bill of sale to transfer the title, but you can keep a copy for your own records.
    • Remove your license plates; they stay with you unless or until you cancel the registration.
    • Maintain liability insurance on the vehicle until you cancel your registration.
    • Cancel your registration and return your license plates. Complete the state’s online Request for a Registration Refund Form if you’re due for a refund. Note that this isn’t an actual Registration Refund Form; only an online request for the form.

    * You can’t sell your vehicle without a title unless it was manufactured prior to 1981 or you use the state’s online Application for Replacement Certificate of Title and Ownership Transfer in Absence of Title. This is not the form itself, but the online system to request the form.

    Buyer Requirements

    There’s a lot to consider when you buy a used car. Our Guide to Buying a Used Car can help you, but first you should know the following steps specific to Connecticut drivers.

    First, understand that you can’t drive the vehicle without the license plates. Connecticut license plates stay with the driver, so the previous owner will keep the plates.

    You must title and register the vehicle and obtain plates before you can drive it. Until you do that, you can:

    • Leave the car at the previous owner’s residence.
    • Have the previous owner drive the vehicle to your residence.

    Before you part ways with the seller, be sure to:

    • See that the title and bill of sale are entirely completed. Check for:
      • Buyer and seller information
      • Vehicle information.
      • Purchase price. (The DMV needs this to assess your taxes.)
    • Look at the seller’s identification; make sure that the name matches what’s on the title and bill of sale. Also make sure every name on the title has signed the title and bill of sale (unless the names are joined by “OR”).
    • Look at the vehicle identification number and the odometer reading; make sure both match what’s recorded on the title and bill of sale.
    • Visit the DMV to complete the title transfer and car registration.
    • Be prepared for a safety and emissions inspection. The CT DMV agent will let you know if you need one.
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