Trailer Bill of Sale

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Upd. 13, Jan, 2023
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A trailer bill of sale is a legal document that records the sale and purchase of a pull-behind vehicle with all transaction details. This legal agreement is crucial to prove the legality of the sale deal as it helps the parties transfer ownership rights without stress. Edit this legal form by Lawrina seamlessly and download it in PDF for your needs.
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Template Description

Lawrina provides a blank trailer bill of sale prepared by experienced lawyers. After you edit the document fields online, you can save the complete purchase agreement in your Lawrina account for future use. After instant download, our document formatting will not ruin, so you can print it out instantly and prepare for your trailer sale or purchase. 

What Is a Bill of Sale for a Trailer?

A trailer bill of sale is a legal document that records the sale and purchase of a pull-behind vehicle and includes all details of the transaction. As with any other vehicle, a buyer should register the trailer with the local department of motor vehicles (DMV) in the county where he or she resides.

Insight

For state authorities, a trailer purchase agreement is a crucial document that proves the legality of the sale deal and helps the parties transfer ownership rights legally. Some states may require a notarized trailer bill of sale.

Trailer bill of sale forms can be found with the standard bill of sale templates for vehicles. They should describe the trailer—the vehicle identification number (VIN), make, model, size, color, year, etc.—specify all related fees, and mention the sale date.

Parties of the Trailer Bill of Sale

  • Seller — The person selling the trailer. Sellers typically set the price.
  • Buyer — The person buying the trailer. Buyers are responsible for paying for and picking up the trailer as arranged.

Key Terms

Bills of sale for trailers usually follow the same general format and include the following legal provisions:

  • Scope — The trailer bill of sale describes the product covered by the contract and how it will be picked up or delivered. The parties can avoid many disagreements by clearly defining what they expect from each other. 
  • Timing — As part of the trailer bill of sale contract, the buyer should inform the seller when to expect payment and when the trailer will be picked up. 
  • Price and payment — Contracts with buyers should clearly define the price for the trailer. The agreement should also specify how the payment will be made—in cash, by credit card, or by electronic money transfer.

Why Do You Need a Bill of Sale for a Trailer?

A legal bill of sale document for trailers is essential for businesses. However, private purchasers and sellers will also need a bill of sale to legally transfer the ownership rights.

If you are selling your trailer, you can use a simple bill of sale template to accurately outline the vehicle’s features. This information will help the buyer register the vehicle under his or her name. Also, be sure to specify the agreed price for the trailer and deposit, if applicable. 

Insight

There is always an option to sell trailers in their current condition, whether new or used. When you want to make the trailer available as is, as specified in bill of sale templates, let potential buyers know your intention to sell the trailer as is. When you prepare a complete and accurate trailer bill of sale, you will be able to defend your interests in the deal if any disputes arise later.

Buyers should keep a copy of the bill of sale form for trailers. Before signing the document to buy the vehicle, buyers must check all information on the bill of sale to ensure accuracy. The trailer price should also be correct according to the agreement with the seller because the buyer must pay state sales tax based on the sale. 

Insight

Remember that there is a limited time after the date of purchase to pay the sales tax and register the new ownership at your local DMV. 

What Should It Include?

woman writing and checking document

A general bill of sale utility trailer template should include the following information:

  • The trailer description—the vehicle identification number (VIN), make, model, year, size, weight, body style, and condition;
  • The sale price;
  • The purchase and sale date; and
  • The parties’ contact information—full names, phone numbers, and business or personal addresses.

This data is sufficient to create a standard trailer bill of sale template that sellers can use when an offer is made on the vehicle.

How To Write a Bill of Sale for a Trailer

These are the steps that should be taken by the seller and the buyer to ensure a smooth transaction for the purchase and sale of a trailer.

For Sellers

  1. Include the date of the sale on the bill of sale;

  2. Describe in detail the item being sold and include the make, model, year, VIN, current mileage (if applicable), and condition;

  3. List the agreed price of the trailer. If the item is a gift or partial gift, the price can be adjusted;

  4. Include any warranty information. Private party sales are generally considered “as is” transactions;

  5. Add your name and address; 

  6. Specify the payment method—cash, check, credit card, or bank deposit—and include deposit and installment amounts if the buyer is not paying in one lump sum;

  7. Add other agreements, such as due dates for upcoming payments, fees for late payments, and interest rates for the remaining balance; and

  8. Both parties, when signing, acknowledge that the information provided is true and correct to the best of their knowledge.

For Buyers

Sellers generally draft the bill of sale, leaving buyers to do the following:

  1. Make sure the date of the sale is correct;

  2. Check the accuracy of the information about the trailer—year, make, model, VIN, mileage, and condition;

  3. Ensure that the price is listed as agreed;

  4. Review any warranties included in the agreement. Private party sales are generally considered “as is”;

  5. Input your name and address;

  6. Confirm the payment method, whether installments or lump sum, of cash, check, credit card, or bank deposit;

  7. Confirm the due date for upcoming payments, the interest rate, and any other terms that may apply; and

  8. Sign the bill of sale as a proof of purchase, acknowledging that the information provided is accurate.

When Do You Need a Trailer Bill of Sale?

There are several reasons why a buyer and seller will need to have a bill of sale.

Common Use Cases

The most common reasons for using a trailer bill of sale include:

  • The buyer needs a bill of sale from the seller to register the trailer with the DMV and transfer ownership.
  • The seller needs a bill of sale to protect against potential disputes over ownership or condition.

When Not To Use a Trailer Bill of Sale

Many U.S. states do not require a bill of sale to legally show the transfer of a vehicle and the corresponding details. Even if it is not required in your state of residence, securing a bill of sale is a sound business decision when transferring a vehicle to a new owner.

When purchasing another vehicle that includes a trailer, the trailer must be indicated on that vehicle’s bill of sale. For instance, if the purchase of a boat trailer is included in the purchase of a watercraft, the trailer information must also be included. The purpose of the inclusion is to ensure transparency in the sale, to document the related details, and to present evidence of a legitimate exchange if it ever needs to be proven.

How To Sell a Trailer: Tips & Tricks

Selling a trailer can be a difficult process, but following some tips can help produce a successful sale.

Defining Your Trailer Type

Trailers may vary in size, purpose, and features. The first tip is to ensure that you know what type of trailer you are selling. Also, be sure to list it correctly on your trailer bill of sale. 

Based on the trailer type and size, you can browse online marketplaces to determine appropriate asking prices before setting up your own listing. The following are some common trailer types: 

  • Hauling trailers for delivering water vehicles or livestock;

  • Refrigerated trailers;

  • Dry van (enclosed) trailers;

  • Open trailers; and

  • Single or multi-vehicle trailers.

Price & Market Research

Many online sources enable sellers to post trailers for sale quickly and easily. Some marketplaces that are available include:

  • BuyMyTrailer

  • TrailerTrader

  • eBay

You can also see examples with suggested prices for building your own listing. Consider your trailer’s state, weight, and size when determining your price. In smaller towns, the search can be narrower. Join local social media communities to stay up to date on trailer advertisements or apply to post an ad in the local newspaper.

Communication With Buyers

When you hear from potential buyers, be sure to respond to them promptly. Answer all their questions about your trailer, provide them with recent photos, and make arrangements to show your vehicle to them if they are interested. 

The following are some useful tips for efficient communication with potential buyers:

  1. Be honest. If the trailer is not new, share this information with a potential buyer. If there are damaged parts, let the buyer know. Tell the buyer in advance if you are selling the trailer as is.

  2. Make applicable documents available to buyers if they ask to see them, proving yourself as a reliable seller.

  3. Choose a reasonable asking price. Based on your market research, adjust the price for the trailer’s features, age, and condition to make it affordable. Always leave room for negotiation.

  4. Use as many marketplaces as possible. Don’t rely on a single platform to find your buyer. Ask people you know if they know someone who is looking for a trailer. Word of mouth still works.

  5. Ask potential buyers questions. Why do they need a trailer? Can they bring cash to complete the purchase? Are they ready to transfer ownership if they decide to buy the trailer? 

Write a Bill of Sale for the Trailer

men agreed on trailer sale

When both parties have agreed to proceed with the trailer purchase and sale, they can use a printable bill of sale form for trailers. The key elements of this legal document are the vehicle description, the vehicle price, the sale date, the parties’ names and contact information, and the signatures. 

Once both parties have approved the document content and signed the bill of sale, the buyer will need to apply for a new title through his or her local DMV within 30 days from the purchase date. This obligation applies in most U.S. states.

State Law

To avoid fines, be sure to follow the applicable laws in the state of your residence. Before making a trailer purchase, be sure to know the rules of trailer ownership and licensing based on the type of trailer. 

Warning

Some states, such as New York, honor valid out-of-state trailer registrations. If your home state does not require registration, however, you must obtain a New York registration before operating your vehicle in that state.

State Law
Alabama
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Alaska
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Arizona
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license depends on the trailer use. 
State Law
Arkansas
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
California
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Colorado
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Connecticut
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Delaware
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration in specific cases. For example, when the vehicle is purchased out of state.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Florida
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Georgia
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Hawaii
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Idaho
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Illinois
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration in specific cases.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Indiana
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Iowa
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Kansas
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration in specific cases.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Kentucky
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Louisiana
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Maine
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Maryland
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Massachusetts
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale may be required for vehicle registration in specific cases.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Michigan
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Minnesota
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license depends on the trailer use.
State Law
Mississippi
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Missouri
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Montana
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration in specific cases.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Nebraska
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration in specific cases.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Nevada
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration in specific cases.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
New Hampshire
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration in specific cases.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
New Jersey
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration in specific cases.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
New Mexico
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
New York
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
North Carolina
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration in specific cases.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
North Dakota
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Ohio
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registraion.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Oklahoma
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Oregon
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Pennsylvania
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Rhode Island
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
South Carolina
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for transferring vehicle registration or temporary vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
South Dakota
  1. A specific Trailer Bill of Sale form is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Tennessee
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is NOT required.
State Law
Texas
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration in specific cases.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Utah
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Vermont
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration in specific cases.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Virginia
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Washington
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
West Virginia
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Wisconsin
  1. Trailer Bill of Sale is NOT required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.
State Law
Wyoming
  1. Notarized Trailer Bill of Sale is required for vehicle registration.
  2. The trailer rental license is required.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does a utility trailer have to be registered?

After you buy a utility trailer, you should register it at your local DMV. This action is required after the sale to transfer the vehicle to the new owner. 

Can I sell a trailer with just a bill of sale?

Yes, a bill of sale is enough to sell a trailer. Remember that some states may require notarization of a trailer bill of sale to prove that the trailer sale is legal.

Do I need to sign a bill of sale when I sell my trailer?

A signed bill of sale becomes legally binding for both parties and gains its legal force immediately upon signing.