The 1986 Federal Truth in Mileage Act created a database to record the mileage of every vehicle sold in the United States. The law also requires every sold vehicle under ten years of age and under 16,000 pounds to have an Odometer Disclosure Statement attached to the vehicle bill of sale.
As a result, 50 states require this document to finalize vehicle sales and as a condition for new registration applications. Some states accept general federal forms, and others have their state-specific odometer disclosure forms.
In short, the Odometer Disclosure Statement declares a vehicle's mileage as shown on the odometer. You can also use it to specify that the seller cannot attest to the odometer reading accuracy. Commercial vehicles with weight limits do not require an Odometer Disclosure Statement.
The odometer reading is an essential consideration when purchasing a vehicle. The Odometer Disclosure Statement also shows if the car is equipped with an odometer of five or six digits and if the mechanical limit has been rolled over. The Odometer Disclosure Statement may include a damage disclosure.
Depending on your state, an Odometer Disclosure Statement may also be known as:
Whether you're a buyer or seller of a vehicle under ten years of age, the law requires you to fill out and sign an Odometer Disclosure Statement.
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The Odometer Disclosure Statement includes dedicated spaces for the vehicle description, buyer and seller details, and the odometer reading.
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Before signing the Odometer Disclosure Statement, it is recommended for the buyer to review and verify the accuracy. By signing the statement, the seller assures they have disclosed accurate information to the best of their knowledge, even if that means they don't know the precise odometer reading.
After you have created your Odometer Disclosure Statement, download it and print out a copy for the buyer and seller to sign. After that, it becomes a part of the vehicle's paperwork. The odometer reading becomes an official part of the vehicle's history relevant to all future sales transactions.
The vehicle bill of sale is an official receipt documenting the seller and buyer of a vehicle with all of the terms laid out. It is usually the seller who prepares the vehicle bill of sale. The buyer uses this document to prove that the amount paid to the seller, to be used for state sales tax assessment, as applicable.
A standard Odometer Disclosure Statement has three options. The first is used when you are certain that the mileage of the vehicle is accurate. The second option is to check a box that says the odometer "exceeded mechanical limits," which basically means that it has rolled over after exceeding the maximum display. The third option of "not actual mileage" means that you are not sure whether the odometer is wholly accurate.
If the odometer is broken, there are still ways you can get an odometer reading. Sometimes insurance companies ask for odometer readings after an accident. What you can do is use a vehicle history report or obtain accurate mileage from maintenance records. Other options include using an online telematics system. Some newer vehicles allow drivers to retrieve the mileage from the memory in the car key.
Odometer fraud is the illegal activity of rolling back the numbers on an analog or digital odometer to lower the mileage. This will fetch a higher sales price, albeit fraudulently, as tampering with the odometer is a federal felony that comes with mandatory prison terms.
The law does not require vehicles older than ten years to come with an Odometer Disclosure Statement when sold. You can sell, register, and drive a vehicle over 10 years of age without this document. This means that buyers would have to be more cautious when purchasing an older vehicle and may want to have it inspected before finalizing the sale.
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