Requirements for the Authenticity of a Bill of Sale in Maryland (And Types of Forms)
The state of Maryland recognizes a bill of sale as the document needed to signify a sale of an asset/ personal property from a seller to a buyer. This document not only proves that a sale is legal and gotten into by a seller and a buyer in agreement but also shows that the seller has willfully transferred their interests in the property to the seller.
The exchange, though monetary in most cases, could also take place as a trade or not a trade at all if the asset in question is given as a gift. You should, therefore, note that the document is valid proof for not just cash sales but any agreement that results in a party surrendering property ownership. It’s a legal instrument, and the best part is that you can use it as proof of sale or proof of ownership should you be asked to help resolve a dispute around the document.
As a legal instrument, it recognizes the seller and the buyer as the two parties to the transaction. The other important thing you should know is that the bill of sale (BOS) should be signed in the presence of a notary public for some of the documents, not others. Also, the seller and not the buyer initiates the BOS in Maryland and all the other states.
The common types of BOS recognized in the state of Maryland include the BOS for the sale of boats, motor vehicles, gun, household items, and branded animals.
The features of these documents differentiate them but, they all have some common features. These common inclusions include:
Important dates: for its authenticity, the BOS should indicate the date it’s drafted by the seller, the date that the buyer agrees to pay for the item on sale, and the date that the document is finalized (after both parties sign the document and agree to everything in it).
The payment date will be indicated in the section of the document discussing the compensation/ consideration for the item on sale. Even though you need to input the final date on the BOS after you and the buyer sign the document, the state of Maryland requires that you only do that for proof of sale documents that do not require notarization like the general BOS.
Personal information: the validity of any BOS drafted in Maryland takes effect only if, after downloading your free Maryland bill of sale form, you input the seller’s and the buyer’s information. These details include the full legal names of the seller and the buyer, their physical address inclusive of the state name, city, and the zip code, the driver’s license number or the state identification numbers of the parties.
While these details aren’t legal requirements per se, we recommend indicating the information for proof that the buyer has the right to own the property which was once the seller’s. So, if the item gets stolen or lost and the law enforcement officers need proof of sale or ownership, you can use the details of the BOS.
Product description: You cannot buy an item that you don’t know its features. Just think about it: can you buy a car if you don’t know its capacity, make or the model? Well, the incorporation of these details is of great significance hence the need in all BOS documents. All you have to do is be specific about the features of that car or bed as you can be.
Purchase price: you have to indicate the cost of the item on sale, and whether the means of exchange is money or if it’s a trade. If the purchase price is indicated, it should be done in a specific format – amount in words and then in numbers. And if it’s a trade, the item the seller is trading their asset for should be described in detail. Also, this is where you indicate if the property is changing hands as a gift or not.
Seller’s disclosure: an important provision in the bill of sale which shows that the seller is informing the buyer about all the known defects of the item on sale. Also, the state of Maryland may recommend the use of the buyer’s disclosure stating that the buyer is aware of the fact that the item purchased doesn’t have any guarantee or warranty and that they are buying the item “as is.”
Signatures: besides the date of the final transaction (with or without the presence of the notary public), the document will only be deemed valid and final only if it has signatures of the seller and the buyer.
Now that we know what the standard requirements of the BOS are, here are the main types of the document.
Using a BOS to increase the number of horses in your ranch
Is it time to let go of some of your horses? A BOS specific to the sale of horses is available for you. To get you started, you should download a free bill of sale form in Maryland for the sale of the horse (s). Even though it’s possible to write a simple BOS at home, we recommend getting a form created with professionals because it will guide you in ensuring that you protect your interests. Once you have the form, the first thing to do is to input the date as the date that the document is created.
You also need to input the names and addresses of the buyer and yours. Indicate the purchase price of the horse too, noting that if the buyer needs a pre-sale examination, they should pay a deposit – the amount of the deposit will be deducted from the purchase price if the sale goes through.
The horse’s description is the other important information needed in the BOS. This will include the name of the horse (if it has one), the gender, breed, his or her date of birth, the registration number, and other descriptions like the color, weight at the time of sale, and any other features unique to the horse.
Once you have these details and after the buyer agrees to buy the horse from, you can finalize the sale by putting down your dated signatures as well as the dated signature of the witness present. If notarizing the document, both parties have to sign it at the notary public.
The BOS for motor vehicles in Maryland
Other than the details of the buyer and the seller, the type of sale, the purchase price, seller’s disclosure, and the dates of the BOS’s creation, you will have to enter the unique details of the motor vehicle on sale. These details include the vehicle registration number, the odometer reading, the make, model, color, and the year. The state of Maryland also requires the seller to explain the vehicle at a price that is most likely less than the market’s fair value.
With all the required details put down, both parties have to sign and date the document at the notary public. This is important because the BOS form for motor vehicles, Form VR-181 is necessary for the registration of the vehicle after purchase.
BOS for Boats
Other than the standard information above, you have to note down the boat’s hull ID, the registration number, length, color, style, make, model, the US Coast Guard documentation number, material used for the hull and the serial number. You also need to indicate if you will be selling the trailer and the outdoor motor.
Other details required include the type of boat, its propulsion system, and the boat’s source of power. Buyers and sellers of boats in Maryland have to use form B-118 issued by the Department of Natural Resources. This bill must be notarized with both parties present.
You may also get a BOS for the sale of household items (the general BOS) or guns (BOS for sale of guns). All you need to do is to download our bill of sale forms available online and to everyone in Maryland.