(If you have a motorboat, please refer to Bonded Certificate of Title – Motorboat)
A Bonded Certificate of Title is available to residents of Nebraska only. It is intended to provide a title for a vehicle when:
- a title has not previously been issued in this or any other state;
- the applicant is unable to provide a properly assigned Certificate of Title or Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO);
- it currently has a bonded title in another state.
Bonded titles are not available for ATVs, UTVs or minibikes unless the Department of Motor Vehicle records indicate a Nebraska title has been previously issued.
Before you apply for a Bonded Certificate of Title
- You must request a search through the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles to determine if a Nebraska title exists. To request a search you will need to complete an Application for Copy of Vehicle Record and submit it and a $1.00 fee to the Department at the address indicated on the form. Purpose of the search is related to providing notice to owners of abandoned vehicles.
- If the vehicle was purchased in another state or via the Internet, a record search must be conducted through the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state where the vehicle was acquired.
- If the search finds a title exists, you must send a certified letter, return receipt requested, to the owner of record (the title owner) at their last known address. The letter must state that you are the current owner of the vehicle and request that the titled owner obtain a duplicate title and assign ownership to you.
- If the search finds that an open lien exists on the vehicle, you must send a certified letter, return receipt requested, to the lienholder stating that you are the current owner of the vehicle and requesting they provide you with a lien release so you may obtain a title. If the lien is ten (10) years old or older, based upon the date of the lien filing, the lien may be released thirty (30) days after the date the certified letter is mailed upon receipt of proof of such mailing. If the lien is less than ten (10) years old and an acceptable lien release is not obtained a title will not be issued.
- If a search by the Department of Motor Vehicles here, or in the state where the vehicle was acquired, cannot determine the titled owner, you must send a certified letter, return receipt requested, to the person or business where you acquired the vehicle requesting that they provide you with a properly assigned title.
- All entities, the titled owner, the lienholder if one exists, and the person or business where you acquired the vehicle, must be allowed thirty (30) days to respond to your request. If any or all of the letters are returned with an indication of a new address, you must resend the certified letter to the new address.
- If after thirty (30) days there is no response from the titled owner or the person or business where you acquired the vehicle, or if letter(s) to these entities come back as undeliverable, you may proceed with your application for a bonded title unless a lien release is required.
- You will be required to submit a copy of the letter(s) and return receipt(s) to the Department along with your Application for a Bonded Certificate of Title. The returned letters should remain sealed, so be sure to make a copy of the letters you send to submit with you application.
- If a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate is required, you must complete an Assigned ID Number Application and send it to the Driver and Vehicle Records Division of the Department of Motor Vehicles along with a fee of $20.00 and the Sheriff's Inspection form. After it is manufactured, the VIN plate will be mailed to you along with an affidavit you must sign verifying that you received the VIN plate and that you affixed it to the vehicle in the proper place. This affidavit must accompany your Application for Bonded Certificate of Title.
Apply for a Bonded Certificate of Title
The following documentation must be submitted to the Department:
- The original return receipts and photocopies of all certified letters or, in the case where letters were returned as undeliverable, the unopened returned envelopes.
- Any original written document that you received at the time the vehicle was acquired, such as a Bill of Sale or a cancelled check (original document(s) will not be returned). An affidavit may also be accepted if you have no written documentation. You must explain in detail in the affidavit on the application for why you are entitled to ownership of the vehicle.
- A photograph, taken at an angle to show the front and one side of the vehicle. The photograph will not be returned.
- An Application for Bonded Certificate of Title for a Vehicle completed in full and signed.
- If an assigned Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) was required, the signed affidavit attesting to the fact that the VIN plate was properly affixed to the vehicle.
- A Sheriff's Inspection Certificate from the local sheriff. The Inspection Certificate must be original (photocopy or carbon copy is not acceptable). The fee for the inspection is $10.00. Cabin trailers and manufactured homes are exempt from inspection. Inspection Certificates are valid for 90 days from the date the inspection was performed.
- A Certificate of Title Surety Bond for a Vehicle from a bonding company or insurance agency licensed to do business in Nebraska. The amount of the bond must be based on one and one half times the current value of the vehicle as shown by the property tax valuation or the NADA Guide. If these sources do not agree or you are uncertain, contact our office. The bond must be for three (3) years.
- The surety bond must be submitted to the Department along with your Application for Bonded title and must be within 30 days of the date of issuance of the surety bond. This should be the last step in the process before submitting your application.
- To assist you in locating a bonding company, your insurance company is usually a good reference source. You can also find a bonding company by looking in the yellow pages of the telephone book under “Bond” and then “Surety”.
- A $50 application and title fee.
Once the bonded title is issued, it will contain a notice of bonded title that will read: “Notice: This vehicle may be subject to an undisclosed interest, Bond Number _______”.
A vehicle with bond information on the title may be registered and may be sold. The bond information will be carried forward on the new title. After the three (3) year period, the current owner may submit an Application for Release of Notice on Bonded Title to the Department of Motor Vehicles OR submit an Application for Certificate of Title to a County Treasurer Office to request the notice of bonded title be removed and a new title be issued. The request must be accompanied by the appropriate title fee.
Questions regarding Bonded Certificates of Titles for Vehicles may be addressed by email or by phone at (402) 471-3918.