Do I need a bill of sale to register a used vehicle if I have a signed and dated title from the previous owner?

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Do I need a bill of sale to register a used vehicle if I have a signed and dated title from the previous owner?

I bought a vehicle from a private party and took his word on what was wrong with it. Should have only need a minor brake job and have steering column fixed. In the end it need a major brake job plus much more. Over $1000 worth. I confronted him with that and the fact that I needed a bill of sale. Now he thinks he can get more money out of me for the bill of sale.

Asked on April 17, 2011 under General Practice, Tennessee

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In looking through the DMV website for Tennessee, it does not appear that you need a bill of sale in order to register the used car.  Your transaction is know as a "private party purchase" meaning that you did not get the car from a dealer.  It is my understanding that a private party purchase situation you only need the following:

  1. Properly assigned title.
  2. Odometer Disclosure Statement.
  3. Your current registration (only required if you're transferring your plate).

Although having a bill of sale is always a good idea - everything in writing as well, even the representations - you need not be held hostage here. Do not let him bully you in any way.  You have already paid dearly.  Now what you want to do about that is another question entirely. Good luck. 


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