Bill of Sale Requirements in Florida
A bill of sale is a legal document that acts as a receipt between the person selling a used car and the person buying it. The bill of sale acts as a record of a vehicle sale and includes details of the transaction
The bill of sale is not a vehicle title, and a completed bill of sale does not replace a title transfer.
Florida Bill of Sale
Florida's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) provides a state-approved, printable bill of sale for residents buying and selling used cars in the state. This form serves multiple purposes for both the seller and the buyer, and acts as two forms – a Bill of Sale, and a Notice of Sale.
While use as a Bill of Sale isn't required, you must submit the form below as Notice of Sale when selling your vehicle (see “Notice of Sale" below).
How to Write a Bill of Sale in Florida:
Florida's Notice of Sale and/or Bill of Sale for a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home, Off-Highway Vehicle or Vessel (Form HSMV 82050) can be used as a bill of sale. It must include:
- Basic vehicle details:
- Body style.
- The certificate of title number (located on the vehicle title).
- Vehicle identification number (VIN).
- The odometer disclosure statement.
- The seller's and buyer's printed names and addresses, signatures, and the date signed. There's also space for a co-seller.
- The sell date and sell price.
The DHSMV suggests having the Bill of Sale notarized, but doesn't require it. Notarizing the document is further proof that the signatures are genuine and makes the Bill of Sale carry more legal credibility, should any of its authenticity be questioned.
Notice of Sale
When acting as the Notice of Sale, this form notifies the DHSMV that you've sold your vehicle. This form frees you from liability and is especially important during the period between selling the vehicle and the new owner titling the vehicle.
The FLHSMV requires you to submit this form to your local tax collector's office (this is the office that handles such motor vehicle transactions) within 30 days of selling your vehicle.
Why Use a Bill of Sale?
Although the Bill of Sale isn't required of either party, both the buyer and the seller can benefit from completing one and keeping it on file.
If You Are the Seller
You can sell your vehicle without using a Bill of Sale, but you must provide the completed vehicle title to the buyer.
Still, the state strongly recommends using the Bill of Sale and advises the seller to keep a copy for his or her own records. If the Department of Revenue (DOR) questions the selling price, the Bill of Sale with both the buyer's and seller's signatures acts as additional proof. Having those signatures notarized further solidifies their authenticity.
Whether or not you complete the form for use as a Bill of Sale, remember that you must complete and submit it as a Notice of Sale (Form HSMV 82050) (see “Notice of Sale" above).
If You Are the Buyer
Legally, you don't need the Bill of Sale to complete the title transaction; you only need the properly completed vehicle title.
Still, the DHSMV encourages you to complete a Bill of Sale with the seller and have it notarized. You can submit the Bill of Sale when transferring the title, and you can keep a copy for your own records.
Florida strongly encourages you to keep a copy for additional proof of the selling price. Should the Department of Revenue (DOR) question the price you paid, a notarized Bill of Sale with your signature and the buyer's signature acts as further proof.
Salvage Vehicles and Bills of Sale
Salvaged vehicles are those that have been damaged to the point where repairing them would cost more than their fair market value.
Some people junk salvaged vehicles for parts, and some enjoy repairing and rebuilding salvaged vehicles to drive or sell. Before you can do either, you must apply for a Salvage Title using the Application for Salvage Title/Certificate of Destruction (Form HSMV 82363).
For those hoping to rebuild and drive or sell the vehicle, there are questions related to whether the vehicle is rebuildable and how much repairs would cost. If repair costs are less than 80% of the cost to replace the vehicle, you can request a Salvage Rebuildable Title.
Just as with any other vehicle, if you're selling or buying a salvaged vehicle, you aren't required to use the Bill of Sale, but completing a Bill of Sale is highly recommended for the same reasons listed above.
Florida doesn't have a special salvaged vehicle bill of sale, so you will use the basic Notice of Sale and/or Bill of Sale for a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home, Off-Highway Vehicle or Vessel (Form HSMV 82050) if you choose to use one.
Learn more about titling and registering salvaged cars at our Salvaged Vehicles page.
Additional Car Buying Tips
If you are buying or selling a car, you should be aware some of other requirements to ensure a smooth transaction.
Our section on Selling Your Car provides a wealth of information about selling a used car, but below are some Florida-specific tips:
- Properly complete the vehicle title with the buyer and give it to them. The title is required to complete the title and registration.
- Make sure all information matches, including the vehicle identification number and odometer reading.
- Strongly consider completing a Bill of Sale with the buyer and keeping a copy for yourself. Florida doesn't require it, but recommends it, and even suggests having it notarized.
- Complete and submit the Notice of Sale and/or Bill of Sale for a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home, Off-Highway Vehicle or Vessel (Form HSMV 82050) within 30 days of selling the vehicle. This clears you of liability.
- Remove your license plates. Florida license plates stay with the driver, not the vehicle.
- You can transfer the plates to another vehicle (and avoid the $225 fee for the initial registration) OR you can surrender them to the tax collector's office. Do one or the other, because you face license suspension for hanging onto plates you're not using.
- If you want to transfer your plates to another vehicle before selling the used vehicle, apply for temporary tags at your tax collector's office. Florida grants you temporary tags for the “for sale" vehicle for the purpose of display and test driving. These tags are good for 30 days.
Before you visit our Guide to Buying a Used Car, take note of these Florida requirements:
- Although Florida doesn't require it, the state recommends completing the Bill of Sale and having it notarized if possible.
- Don't leave without the title. You can't complete the title transfer and registration without the vehicle title. A bill of sale isn't enough, and completing a bill of sale is not a title transfer.
- Make sure the vehicle description is accurate. Look for the make, model, year, body style, and color.
- Check that the odometer reading and VIN are the same on the vehicle as recorded on the title.
- Look at the title's brand. Does it say “Junked," “Warranty Returned, “Original Taxi," or something similar? If so, make sure you're aware of the vehicle's past before buying the car.
- Make sure everyone who needs to sign the title does so. Multiple names separated by “OR" means either party can sign the title, but “AND" or a forward slash (“/") means both parties must sign the title.
- Title and register the car and apply for license plates within 30 days of buying the vehicle. Refer to “Driving Without License Plates" below.
Driving Without License Plates in FL
Florida prohibits driving any vehicle without tags or license plates.
You must apply for a title transfer, car registration, and license plates BEFORE you can drive the car. The DHSMV recommends either:
- Having the previous owner drive the vehicle to your property.
- Having the previous owner drive the vehicle to the tax collector's office with you.
You must bring your applications for title and registration to the tax collector's office, as well as proof of insurance and payment for the applicable taxes. Learn more about these steps in our Title Transfers and Car Registration sections.
Complete this form when a vehicle is salvaged or destroyed.