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Tennessee Bill of Sale

A Tennessee bill of sale form is a legal document that acts as a receipt for vehicle purchases. A bill of sale is necessary in car dealership purchases. While a bill of sale contract is not required when dealing with a private party, getting a bill of sale agreement is still a good idea, as it can protect the seller and buyer if issues arise after the car purchase. Before signing any bill of sale for car purchases, you should learn what a standard bill of sale contains. Learning what a bill of sale document can do is the best start.

Why should you use a bill of sale form in Tennessee?

If a used car bill of sale is not required in Tennessee for cars that change ownership between two individuals, then you may wonder why you should use one. A car bill of sale actually has many benefits for both the buyer and the seller. Using a bill of sale provides you with an opportunity to agree on a price and put it in writing. Furthermore, bills of sale may protect you from disputes with the other individual if anything goes wrong with the vehicle. For example, if you are selling a car with a mechanical problem that you disclosed, the buyer cannot later say that you hid the problem if you both acknowledged it in the sale agreement. Bill of sale forms are also useful for keeping track of basic information about a vehicle, such as the vehicle identification number (VIN), odometer reading and more. As the seller, you may need to refer to this information later on, especially if you need to handle any final steps at the Motor Vehicle Commission. Finally, a car bill of sale should be used simply because buying or selling a car is a large transaction and you will want a copy of the bill for your records.

What a Standard Bill Of Sale in Tennessee Includes

Whether you are using a motorcycle bill of sale or a car bill of sale in Tennessee, all forms should include the same basic information. Learning what a standard vehicle bill of sale includes is useful if you are dealing with an individual or a car dealership. All bill of sale documents should include the following basic information:

  • The vehicle’s VIN, make, body style, model year and color
  • The odometer reading at the time of the sale
  • The names, addresses and signatures of both the seller and the buyer
  • The date of the vehicle sale
  • The agreed-upon selling price for the vehicle
  • Any additional terms of the sale

In Tennessee, there is not a blank DMV bill of sale you can use as a sample. If bill of sale contracts are missing any important information, then you could face issues later on.

What to Do Before Signing a Tennessee Bill Of Sale Agreement

You may be tempted to sign bill of sale contracts as soon as possible if you have found a vehicle that you are excited to buy. However, bill of sale forms should be read carefully and signed with caution. Once you have signed a car bill of sale in TN, it is extremely difficult to return a vehicle you are dissatisfied with. Before signing a bill of sale agreement, complete the following steps:

  • Verify the VIN and the information about the vehicle’s make, model and color.
  • Ensure that the actual mileage matches the advertised odometer reading.
  • Visually inspect the vehicle for defects or have an independent mechanic look over the vehicle.
  • Ask the seller if the vehicle is subject to emissions testing and verify that the vehicle can pass emission tests in Tennessee.
  • Read the contract thoroughly so you understand everything you are agreeing to.

You can sign a TN bill of sale agreement with more confidence knowing that you inspected the vehicle and read the contract as closely as possible. If a bill of sale is missing important information or facts about the car contradict what you visually inspect, then be wary of the deal. Never sign blank bill of sale contracts, especially when dealing with an individual. If a bill of sale form is missing information, such as the VIN, odometer reading or other important information, then the seller could enter false information on the agreement after you sign it. When buying a car from a dealership, however, it is common for dealers to complete certain paperwork, such as the vehicle title paperwork, for you. If this is the case, then you may be asked to sign a Limited Power of Attorney form to give the dealership permission to complete the paperwork on your behalf. Note that this differs from signing bill of sale forms that are blank or incomplete.

If you are dealing with a private party in the state, then remember to get a Tennessee bill of sale prepared ahead of time so that you and the other individual can complete the necessary steps without delay.


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