Buying a Car in Nevada

The state of Nevada has very straightforward regulations for purchasing vehicles. We have collected the crucial information here and added links you can access if you need more information.

1. Title Information

In Nevada, all vehicles must be titled. If you are purchasing your vehicle from a dealer, they should take care of all the necessary paperwork for you (but make sure that they actually do so). If you have bought the vehicle with cash, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will send the title directly to you. If you have a “lien” (a loan) on the vehicle, the title will be sent to the lienholder until such time as you have paid off the loan. At that point, the lienholder will submit a lien release and the title back to the DMV, which will issue you a new title.

If you are purchasing a previously owned vehicle from a private owner, you will need the previous title signed over to you, a smog check (if you’re in one of a few specific counties) and a certificate of inspection from the DMV or Nevada police (if the vehicle is new to the state). You will take all this documentation in person to a DMV Office in order to complete the title and registration.

In all cases, you have 30 days from the moment you purchase the vehicle to get the new title and registration information sorted.

2. Insurance Information

Nevada requires mandatory liability insurance on all vehicles. The minimum requirement for the state is $15,000 liability per person bodily injury ($30,000 per accident) and $15,000 liability property damage.

In Nevada, liability insurance is automatically reported to the DMV, so if your coverage is ever cancelled or lapses, the state government will know and will send you a form to find out what your new insurance policy is. Do not get caught without insurance in Nevada — the state can take your vehicle for 30 days on a first offense.

3. Emission Information

Nevada has emission standards testing in two specific counties — Clark and Washoe. If your vehicle is registered in these counties, you are expected to get an emissions test each year before inspection. If you are purchasing a new vehicle, it will be exempt for the first two registration renewals. Hybrid vehicles are exempt for five years and vehicles made before 1969 are exempt as well.

All subject vehicles must be tested at a testing station. The station will electronically pass the information from the emissions test to the state. If you are required to have your vehicle tested, failure to do so will impact your registration of the vehicle.

4. Lemon Law Information

Nevada’s Lemon Law applies to new and leased vehicles and lasts for one year or the length of the manufacturer’s or dealer’s warranty period, whichever is shorter. Under the law, any complaint from an individual regarding a problem with their vehicle must be formally submitted before that time runs out.

In order for the law to apply to a particular vehicle, the vehicle must either have a problem that has not been repaired after four attempts or have been out of service for repairs for 30 cumulative days. Once this has become the case, the vehicle owner must submit a certified letter to the manufacturer for a response. The manufacturer may make the owner go through arbitration. If this fails or the manufacturer refuses to replace or refund the vehicle, the owner may initiate lemon law legal proceedings.

5. Special Information

It is important to know that in Nevada, no dealer can make you sign away any legal rights when it comes to purchasing a vehicle.