I'm a private individual selling to a business (a wrecking service) in the state of Alabama. My car is dead, doesn't start, the business agreed to buy it off me knowing all of this. However, since the vehicle is dead, I can not give accurate mileage on bill of sale and title when selling. Now I do know the approximate mileage from when the vehicle was last in use which is within 1000 miles error. Should I explicitly write in the bill of sale the approximate mileage or should I write mileage unknown or is there another suggestion that fulfills my legal requirement?

1 Answer 1


As a first step, locate and read all the documents you will be signing. I've never lived in Alabama, but in other states, I've had to sign the title, a separate mileage statement, and a bill of sale. At least one of these included a place to check a box indicating that

  • The mileage written was correct
  • The odometer was not operating correctly, or
  • the odometer was beyond it's mechanical limits

(The last item mainly applies to older cars that could only indicate up to 99,999 mi and then would turn back to 00,000 mi.)

If any of these, such as the bill of sale, is free form (that is, you write it yourself without using a form), I would just make sure you don't write anything that contradicts what is on one of the other documents.

If the entire car is not working, then in newer vehicles with an electronic display of the mileage, the odometer isn't working either.

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