Buying a Car in Nebraska

As a state with no required emission testing or inspections, Nebraska is one of the easier states to deal with when you are purchasing a vehicle. Nevertheless, we’ve collected the appropriate information you need and given you links for deeper details so that you can make your vehicle buying experience in Nebraska as painless as possible.

1. Title Information

In Nebraska, all vehicles are required to be titled, regardless of their age. If you are purchasing a new vehicle from a dealer, they will take care of the details for you (but you should make sure they do so). If you have bought the vehicle free and clear, you will receive the title in the mail from the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you have a “lien” (a loan) on the vehicle, then the lienholder retains the title until you have finished paying the loan off. At that point, the lienholder must mark the title as paid and send it to the DMV within 15 days. The DMV will mark the title as clear and forward it on to you.

If you are buying a previously owned car from a private owner or dealer, you need to make certain that the title is properly signed over to you. You then need to take that title, add the Application for Certificate of Title and submit everything to your local DMV office. In Nebraska, local counties perform vehicle titling, so it is important that you go to the right DMV location for your particular county.

2. Insurance Information

Nebraska requires proof of financial responsibility for all vehicle owners and drivers within the state. For most people, this will be liability insurance. Nebraska’s minimum required insurance is $25,000 liability per person bodily damage ($50,000 per accident) and $25,000 liability property damage.

However, in Nebraska you can also prove financial responsibility in the form of a bond to the state, a property bond (where you put real estate at risk) or a certificate of deposit (after you’ve given the State Treasury $75,000 in cash). Whatever way you choose to do it, just make certain that you are able to prove your financial responsibility.

3. Emission Information

Nebraska has no current inspection or emission testing regulations for vehicles.

4. Lemon Law Information

Nebraska’s Lemon Law covers all new and leased vehicles bought in Nebraska — even ones that are used for business (which is unusual for lemon laws) — but only for one year.

In order for the law to apply to a particular vehicle, the vehicle must either have a problem that has not been fixed after four attempts or a problem that has put the vehicle out of service for repairs for 40 days. If either of these conditions exist, then the vehicle owner must send a certified letter to the manufacturer and allow it one last chance to repair the vehicle. If that fails, the owner then goes to either arbitration or court (in Nebraska, you must choose which way you go.) If the manufacturer gives you a refund, it is allowed to deduct a percentage for the mileage on the vehicle.

5. Special Information

Nebraska has no special additional information that prospective car buyers need to be aware of.