Because a bill of sale records a transaction between two separate parties, the DMV recommends writing details such as the names and addresses of buyer and seller, their signatures, the purchase date and specific information about what was sold. For motor vehicles, this includes vehicle type, make, model and year.
Other information to include on a bill of sale for a vehicle is the odometer reading and the vehicle identification number, according to the DMV. The DMV also points out that while different states have different requirements for the bill of sale, and some do not require it at all, it is a document that protects the seller from future liability from any violations made with the vehicle.
Because of the protection a bill of sale provides the seller, the DMV points out that sellers usually write the bill of sale, but they recommend buyers have one on hand as a precaution. The DMV also stresses that the bill of sale is a separate document from a title transfer, which is necessary for maximum liability protection. Because some states have stricter requirements regarding the bill of sale, the DMV recommends consulting their website for state-specific guidelines and sample bills of sale to use.