A car bill of sale is a well known, but seldom understood, document. Whenever you decide that you need to buy or sell something, it is a necessary and important document to have. Thinking of selling or buying a vehicle? You will need one in this province. Let’s discuss what a car bill of sale in Ontario is, why it is important, how to design one and when you need to have it.

What is a car bill of sale?

A bill of sale is a type of sales receipt. For private sales, it details the transaction between the buyer and seller. In the case of a car sale, it acts as proof of ownership transfer. They are both sales receipts and proof of purchase.

What’s included in a bill of sale?

The bill of sale must be an original document, but it can be handwritten. When writing your own, be sure to include the following information on the receipt for the protection of those selling and purchasing the vehicle:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Make, year and power source for motor vehicles (gas, diesel, electric)
  • Body type, colour and model (if available)
  • Purchase price (taxes collected and HST/GST number if applicable)
  • Name, address and signature of the current owner/dealer or the leasing company (seller)
  • Name and address of the buyer
  • Sale/purchase date
  • Conditions (if the vehicle is sold “as is”)*

*As Is on a bill of sale means you are purchasing the car in its current condition. There is no warranty or quality guarantee. The seller is not liable for issues with the car once the sale is completed *

You may decide to have one done for yourself instead. A notary public or other professional can help you prepare it.

If you are selling a used car, it is on the bottom of the Used Vehicle Information Package.

Is there a template I can use?

The answer is yes. Luckily, there are many templates available online to assist you. A good template should include all the necessary pieces of information needed for your sale, as listed above.

Is a car bill of sale in Ontario necessary?

Yes. It is vital when selling or buying a motor vehicle because it outlines the transfer of ownership from the legal owner to the buyer. Without the bill of sale and a signature from the seller, a new owner can’t legally claim rights to the car. It is used to reduce the risk of fraud associated with a private sale.

Do other vehicles require a bill of sale, too?

Yes. It is prudent to take all necessary steps to ensure a smooth transaction. The same template can be followed when selling all types of vehicles, such as motorcycles, trucks, recreation vehicles, trailers, boats, ATV’s and snowmobiles.

Who keeps the receipt?

The short answer is that both the buyer and seller should keep the bill of sale for their records. This document protects everyone involved should any disagreements arise in the future. Typically, the buyer should keep the original and the seller should keep a copy.

How long is the receipt valid?

Whether you’re the seller or the buyer, you should keep your receipt for at least one year after the transfer. It’s also advisable to keep any paperwork associated with the transaction, such as warranty information, along with the bill of sale because proof of the sale may be needed for tax purposes.

What if I am gifted a car?

Whenever you transfer property ownership, a written document should give the specifics of the item and details regarding the sale. However, there are some exceptions. For example, when transferring a vehicle to a family member as a gift, a Sworn Statement for a Family Gift of a Used Motor Vehicle in the Province of Ontario is required. This form is available online at ServiceOntario.ca or at your local ServiceOntario centre.


When selling a vehicle privately, a car bill of sale in Ontario details the transaction between yourself and the buyer. It acts as proof of transferring ownership to the buyer, as well as a proof of purchase for both parties. Therefore, it is vital to show that the legal ownership of the vehicle is now the buyer. Without the car bill of sale and a signature from the seller, a new owner can’t legally claim rights to the car. Have more questions about car bill of sales in Ontario? Chat with your isure broker for more details!


Related articles:
Used Vehicle Information Package: Do I need one to sell my car?
Your FAQs about car insurance in Ontario, answered
How to sell a car in Ontario

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