A Notarized Bill of Sale is an official agreement that has been witnessed by a public notary. The document includes the complete information regarding the sale and exchange of items.
A notarized bill of sale includes all pertinent information about the buyer, the seller, and the notary. It also includes a description of the item or items, the price, the date of the sale, and the signatures of all parties. The notary then endorses the document with its official seal, which makes it a legally binding document.
How Do I Have a Bill of Sale Notarized?
Having a document notarized requires only two simple steps. The first is to find a certified public notary in your state. The second step is to have all parties involved in the transaction present to sign the document in front of the notary.
Why Is a Notarized Bill of Sale Important?
Not every document requires notarization, but there are some that do. Even in the event that it’s not necessary, you should always consider notarization as it provides benefits and protection.
And as the fee to have a document notarized is relatively small, you tend to gain more than you lose.
The following are some of the most important reasons you should have a notarized bill of sale:
Required for some sales
While not always the case, some states require a notarized document for sale.
For example, the following states require a notarized bill of sale for vehicles:
- West Virginia
Some state laws may also require a notarized document for the sale of items, such as firearms, aircraft, and heavy machinery or equipment.
It’s important to check your local laws for details prior to the sale of items. However, even if it’s not required, a notarized bill of sale is a smart move.
Protects against fraudulent sales
As unpleasant as it may be, there are people who attempt to get over others. Unfortunately, when a private sale takes place with no one to witness it, there is often little to no defense against fraudulent sales.
Additionally, one party might attempt to sell an item that doesn’t legally belong to them. In such a case, the sale could be nullified if the rightful owner speaks up.
With a notarized bill of sale, these problems are eradicated. All parties involved must show valid identification, ensuring that the item is being sold by the rightful owner. Once the information is verified, the document is notarized, and it becomes legally binding.
The notary adds their seal – a sign that there was an official witness to the agreement. It provides a legal means to ensure all parties get and give what they have agreed upon.
Required for other paperwork
In some cases, requiring a notarization goes beyond the sale. It is also required to finish out related paperwork, such as title and registration transfers.
When buying an item that requires such paperwork, it’s important to check with registration offices about requirements. Otherwise, the buyer might not be able to legally have that item put into their name even after money has changed hands.
Imagine Mr. Jones buys a car and receives only a bill of sale. He finds out later he cannot put it in his name as the registration office requires the notarized bill of sale. Unfortunately, he can no longer reach the seller to get the document handled properly.
Where does that leave Mr. Jones? In addition to not being able to get the necessary paperwork for the car, it could lead to the seller taking the car back. Without a notarized bill of sale, Mr. Jones might not be able to prove the car belongs to him.
While this might sound like an extreme example, it can happen. Therefore, it is much better to have the document notarized to prevent such unjust consequences.
Assures understanding and completion of forms
When someone signs a binding document, it is imperative that they understand what they are signing and not be forced or coerced in any way. A notary ensures that this is the case for all parties involved.
Equally important is filling out the document completely and correctly, which is not always easy. But, again, a notary can ensure that the document is appropriately handled, including any particular circumstances or additional requirements.
When in doubt about whether a form should be notarized, it’s best to err on the side of caution. It is a wiser move to have notarization and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Elements of the Notarized Bill of Sale Form
There are several different forms that are available for use, and they vary to some degree. However, all notarized bill of sale requires the same basic information.
A notarized bill of sale requires the seller’s personal information. This typically includes the name and address, though some forms may also require a phone number.
The buyer’s information is also required. Generally, it will be the same information as that of the seller.
The purchase details typically begin with the date of the purchase and the total price. The seller should also include specific item information, such as a description of the item, the serial or VIN, any identifying marks, and any defects.
A notarized bill of sale will require that both the buyer and seller print, sign, and date the form. This section may be prior to the notary’s acknowledgment section or in it, depending on the specific form.
Notary acknowledgment section
The notary’s section, often titled the “Certificate of Acknowledgment,” is specifically for the notary.
It includes a section for the:
- County of their license
- Notary’s name
- Buyer’s and seller’s printed names
- Notary’s signature
- Notary’s license expiration date
- Notary’s official seal
The notary will let all parties know if there are any additional areas that need to be signed.
Related: Notary Acknowledgement Forms
Following are some free downloadable notarized bill of sale templates for you:
Where Can You Find a Public Notary?
Every state has certified notaries available. There are those in brick-and-mortar institutions, mobile notaries that will come to you, and even online options.
The following are some of the best places to begin your search for a certified notary in your state:
Most banks have a public notary on staff. If either the buyer or seller has an account at a bank, they can often get the service for free. However, some banks will notarize documents for non-account holders for around $20.
Most mail services also provide notary services. This typically – though not always – includes your local post office. It also includes companies like PostNet, which act as an intermediary between you and your post office.
Notary Rotary is an online directory for notaries across the country. You need only type in a city, state, or zip code to find a public notary near you.
American association of notaries
The American Association of Notaries – or ASN – is another online directory that brings together notaries from across America. This is a membership site that has high standards for who it accepts, meaning you can rest assured you’ll find a quality notary.
A live Notary is an option that not only helps you find a notary but allows you to be notarized anywhere. First, you can schedule an appointment with a notary online. Then, you, the notary, and any other involved parties meet on a video call. In minutes, you can have your document notarized without traveling anywhere.
Notarize.com provides online notaries, too, making the process much easier. Their standard pricing is $25 for the first seal and unlimited pages.
It’s an additional $10 if you need more than one seal on the document. Notarize.com also has special pricing packages for businesses and title agents who need multiple documents notarized each month.
Among the many other services UPS provides, notarization is one of them. Though not all locations have a notary on-site, nearly 4,000 UPS stores across the country do. You can find a store and schedule an appointment online.
123notary.com is another online directory of American notaries, and this site makes it easy for you to find the best. When you visit their “Find a Notary Public” page, you can choose your state in the search box.
The website’s algorithm is designed to list notaries in order by their quality, training, responsiveness, and more. Therefore, when you click your state, it’s best to start with the first name on the results. Then, if they don’t suit your needs, just move down the list.
A notarized bill of sale is not always necessary. For example, if someone is holding a yard sale, they certainly do not need to worry about such documentation. However, it’s best to have protection and ensure it is handled properly for any substantial sale or purchase. By having a bill of sale notarized, all parties receive peace of mind and protection for next to nothing.