California Bill of Sale Templates

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A California bill of sale proves the transfer of ownership of personal property from one person to another. The document can pertain to various property types, including motor vehicles, firearms, and trailers.

California strongly recommends a bill of sale if the price of the item you sell or purchase exceeds $500. However, the state only requires the document for privately purchased cars, boats, or horse sales.

California General Bill of Sale

Although not required, they can protect a seller and buyer when transferring high-priced items. For example, Californians might use this document when buying or selling used furniture, jewelry, and other items that are worth more than $500. The buyer and seller must sign a general bill, but it does not need a notary as a witness.

California Car Vehicle Bill of Sale

Used vehicle and boat sales must include a bill in California. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) provides these for you to use, but you can also use your own handwritten or printed document to prove the sale. Notarization is optional for a California car vehicle bill.

California Motorcycle Bill of Sale

Many motorcycles fall under the umbrella of a motor vehicle in California, therefore requiring a bill when transferring ownership. However, the same guidelines apply to a vehicle bill. This means that signing the document in front of a notary is optional.

California Boat Bill of Sale

California requires used boat sales to include a bill as these are a form of vehicle. Because of this, sellers and buyers may use the DMV-furnished document with detailed information about the vessel and printed and signed names of the buyer and seller. Parties may also use their own bill to document the sale or gift prices and details.

California Trailer Bill of Sale

The sale of a trailer in California requires a bill as it is similar to a vehicle. A California trailer bill offers a description of the trailer, the selling price, information about the buyer and seller, and their respective signatures. The document should also include local and state tax costs and the trailer’s vehicle identification number (VIN).

California Firearm Bill of Sale

Firearm buyers and sellers must complete their transactions through a state-authorized gun dealer. Therefore, the state doesn’t require a California gun bill, but the document can be a good idea to have for each party’s records. Include on your document the type of firearm and its distinguishing characteristics along with information of the dealer you used.

California Horse Bill of Sale

Buyers and sellers must sign a California horse bill to document when they are transferring ownership of horses in the state. The document includes the purchase price and buyer and seller information with signatures. The state does not have a specific form to use, so you’re free to download your own to fill out.


Consider the answers to the following commonly asked questions to learn more about a California bill for various situations.

California only requires a bill to transfer ownership of motor vehicles, boats, and horses. However, consider filling out and signing such a document for any sale exceeding $500 to keep for your personal records as a means of protecting yourself and your assets.

A bill should include the names, addresses, phone numbers, and signatures of the buyer and seller. You also include information about the item for sale and its purchase price. If desired, leave space for a notary public to sign off as a witness, but California does not require this.

No, California does not require notarization for bills of sales. However, notarizing the document could be a useful preventative measure should legal issues arise with selling a motor vehicle, firearm, horse, or another item.

Yes. California’s DMV offers a form for motor vehicle sales, but you can use your own if you prefer, even if you handwrite it. Ensure that the document is legible, contains all required information, and has signatures from the buyer and seller.