When buying a car in Nebraska, you must obtain certain required paperwork from the seller in order to register and title your vehicle. If you buy your car from a dealer, they will normally process the required paperwork on your behalf. However, if you buy the car from a private seller, you will need to visit the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles to register and title the car in your name. Continue reading this article to get more information about the paperwork required when buying a car in Nebraska.

Paperwork for Nebraska Car Buyers

Immediately after purchasing a car, you must register and title it into your name in order to legally drive it. You must obtain from the seller:

  • A notarized bill of sale.
  • The title.

Both of you must sign these documents. If the vehicle you intend to purchase is less than 10 years old, you must obtain a signed Odometer Disclosure Statement from the seller. This document certifies and verifies the mileage of the car. If the vehicle’s odometer reading is not determined, request the seller to list the reading as either ‘Exceeds Mechanical Limits’ or ‘Not Actual’. You will have up to 30 days from the day of vehicle purchase to register and title the car. If you purchase the vehicle from the dealer, they will handle the required paperwork on your behalf.

Buying Without Paperwork

Vehicle registration papers are not mandatory when transferring registration and title in your name. However, it is not advisable to purchase a vehicle without registration papers. If the registration certificate is missing, lost or damaged, ask the seller to apply for a duplicate copy and give it to you. However, if still want to purchase a vehicle without registration papers and the seller fails to provide the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO), you can apply for a bonded certificate of title instead of the normal title certificate. Before you submit the completed Application for Bonded Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle and other required documentation to the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicle, you will need to submit a completed Application for Copy of Vehicle Record plus a $1 title fee. If the vehicle you intend to purchase doesn’t have a vehicle identification number (VIN) plate, you must also fill and submit the Assigned Identification Number Application. You must also submit:

  • $50 application fee.
  • $10 sheriff's Inspection Form.
  • Title fee.

The Nebraska Division of Motor Vehicle provides a detailed outline for applying for a bonded title. Contact their Driver and Vehicle Records Division customer desk at (402) 471-3918.

Bill of Sale

A bill of sale is required when registering and titling your vehicle.

Vehicle History Report

A Vehicle History Report is not required when registering or titling your newly purchased vehicle in your name. However, this document is important as it provides detailed information about the car you are purchasing. It contains information such as accident history, damage history, repair history and other vital information. By requesting a vehicle history report, you can also get the correct odometer reading for the car you are purchasing.