Export cars from the U.S. US States Rebuilt Title Rules

Is it Worth it to Buy a Used Car with a Bill of Sale Title?

By Daisy Emah-Emah Posted: 07/16/2021

Have you gone through an auction site to bid for a vehicle and come across the Bill of Sale title? You are wondering what it means and how it may affect your purchase – especially if you are shipping out of the US. 


Before we get into the title, we need to understand what a Bill of Sale document is. 


Let’s say you listed your car, found a buyer, and payments were done. Handshakes and the deal is sealed… well not quite. First, the seller is required to file with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and other agencies. This process leads you to complete a form – which is a well-drafted Bill of Sale. With this, you can tie up your deal and prepare for your vehicle’s new registration.


In simple terms, a Bill of Sale is like a receipt that shows that there has been a change in car ownership. It also details the terms of sale, price, delivery, and the condition of the vehicle as at when sold. It can also prove the legal identity of vehicle ownership, and in most states used to determine the amount of sales tax owed on the transaction, if any. 


Note that a Bill of Sale should only be signed after payment has been made in full by the buyer and the seller has released the title. 


Information on a Bill of Sale Document

Some important information on the Bill of Sale to take into consideration before signing: 

  • Location of sale
  • Purchase Price
  • Vehicles location and description including make, model, color, body type
  • VIN
  • Odometer reading
  • Signatures of buyer and seller
  • Address

It can also be used as a sole document for a vehicle. Using a Bill of Sale as a sole document means that the car cannot be shipped or exported outside of the US because it has no title. 


What is a Bill of Sale Title?

A vehicle with a Bill of Sale title cannot be shipped out of the US. A Bill of Sale title has no legal stamps on it – it is only a printed paper and is not legally binding. The information on the title includes the name of the auction, type of sold lot, and buyer. 


If you purchase a vehicle with a Bill of Sale title, you can neither export the car nor register on the domestic market in the US, you can only disassemble the vehicle. 



There is however a peculiar exception – Bill of Sale in Washington state. This is an exception because there are no salvage title certificates in the state.

With the Washington state Bill of Sale title, you can export such a vehicle but the paperwork may likely take months and cost about a $375 service fee. 


By the time you are done rectifying the paperwork for export, penalties and fees from the auction house or shipping companies are piled up increasing your budget. 


Further Reading


When purchasing for export, it is recommended to avoid vehicles with Bill of Sale titles altogether. This is to help you save costs on your purchase and export your vehicle in time. 


With this being said – you can still export vehicles and save up a few thousand dollars with Auto Auction Mall. We have an inventory of over 150k plus vehicles with titles you can export for you to choose from. Once you have placed your bid and won the auction a Bill of Sale document is then emailed to you as proof of purchase – after full payments have been made. 


To gain access and get started on your purchase, sign up for free.