Bill of sale vs. title: what’s the difference?

Everything you need to know for your next big purchase.

Making a big purchase involves a lot of paperwork. But it’s all necessary to ensure your purchase is safe and legal. The two main documents involved in major sales, like the purchase of a vehicle, are the bill of sale and the title. These are different documents, but they are equally important and, in most cases, both are required. Learn about each one to be prepared for your next major deal.

What is a bill of sale?

A bill of sale is a legal document that proves a transfer of ownership between a seller and a buyer. It frees the seller from liability and gives the buyer proof of ownership. The seller is responsible for drawing up this document, and the buyer should carefully review it before signing. Most states require this document for sales of vehicles or large animals when they’re registering your ownership.

What is a title?

In short, you need a bill of sale in order to obtain a title. Think of the two documents as complementary. While a bill of sale certifies a transfer of ownership between two parties, a title certifies the buyer’s legal ownership. It’s the final step in the process and proves that the buyer is the legal owner.

Acrobat Pro DC easily lets you put together a quick sales agreement. In just a few minutes you can create a form, add fields for legally binding signatures, and collect the final approvals needed. Learn what else you can do with Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign to make your transactions simple and seamless.