To transfer ownership of a motor vehicle, motorboat, ATV or minibike, all names that appear on the Certificate of Title must sign off in the Seller's section of the title. If there are any open liens, they must be released by the lienholder and County Official on the face of the title prior to reassignment of the title to the new owner.
The seller is responsible for completing the Odometer Certification section of the title.
The Seller must also provide the buyer with a Bill of Sale or a completed Nebraska Department of Revenue Form 6 – Nebraska Sales/Use Tax and Tire Fee Statement for Motor Vehicle And Trailer Sales. (NOTE: Nebraska Department of Revenue Form 6 is not available for download from the Department of Motor Vehicles website. It may be obtained by contacting the Nebraska Department of Revenue or any County Treasurer.)
The buyer's name, address and signature must appear in the purchaser's section of the title. This must be done at the time of purchase. If the seller has signed off on a title and the purchaser's information is not completed the title is considered open. An “Open Title” is a violation of the law and will be confiscated by the County Official, the DMV or law enforcement.
Note: When transferring ownership, husband and wife cannot sign as agent for the other.
With most Nebraska Certificates of Title, the Seller, Purchaser and Odometer sections will appear in the lower half on the face of the title. On some older Certificates of Title, these sections will appear on the back.
Make sure that you read the title carefully before making any marks. If a signature is placed in the wrong place or an alteration of any kind is made, the title is mutilated and the seller will be required to obtain a Duplicate Certificate of Title before the sale can proceed.
A Certificate of Title must be obtained by the buyer within 30 days of the date of purchase.
Application for title is made with an Application for Certificate of Title and presented to the County Treasurer in the county where the vehicle has situs (where it is housed) along with the appropriate $10.00 titling fee. The County Official then issues a title to the new owner. Please refer to Certificate of Title for further information regarding the title application process and Vehicle Registrations for information about obtaining a registration.
Decedent's Motor Vehicle
Transfer on Death (TOD)
(ATVs, UTVs and Minibikes are not eligible for the TOD option)
If an applicant wishes to indicate a beneficiary(ies) on the Application for Certificate of Title, the beneficiary(ies) will be listed on the new Certificate of Title with the tag “Transfer on Death” (TOD). A trust may be the beneficiary of a TOD certificate of title. A TOD beneficiary shall have no interest in the motor vehicle until such death(s). A beneficiary designation may be changed at any time by the owner or by the joint-tenant-with-right-of survivorship owners then surviving without the consent of any beneficiary by filing an application for a subsequent certificate of title.
If a Certificate of Title indicates a TOD, ownership of such motor vehicle vests with the designated beneficiary(ies) on the death of the owner or the last of the joint-tenant-with-right-of-survivorship owners, subject to the rights of all lienholders.
Once ownership has vested with the TOD beneficiary(ies), the beneficiary(ies) may make application for issuance of a title in the beneficiary(ies) name upon presentation of a death certificate(s) and an Application for Certificate of Title OR ownership may be transferred to a third party by attaching the death certificate(s) and signing the certificate of title as TOD.
Before any transfer of ownership can occur for a vehicle/motorboat of a decedent, satisfactory proof of death must be provided to the County Treasurer in the form of a Death Certificate.
Joint Ownership – With Rights of Survivorship
When a Nebraska Certificate of Title to a motor vehicle indicates ownership by more than one individual or “Joint Ownership”, and the names on the face of the title are separated by the word “OR”, or the term “ With Rights Of Survivorship” (WROS), the survivor may transfer ownership of the vehicle by assigning the Certificate of Title to the next buyer and providing a copy of the Death Certificate of the deceased owner to the County Treasurer. To alleviate the concerns of identity theft, the survivor may opt to have a title issued in his/her name only prior to the transfer of ownership. To accomplish this, the properly assigned Certificate of Title and the Death Certificate may be provided to the County Treasurer along with the proper fee and a new title will be issued in the survivor's name only.
Joint Ownership – Without Rights of Survivorship
Certificates of Title issued in Joint Ownership where the names are separated with the words AND or AND/OR, do not carry the same meaning as With Rights Of Survivorship. If the term With Rights Of Survivorship does not appear on the title document, the survivor name on the title cannot obtain a title in their name until a county judge decides, in probate proceedings, that the survivor has the right to ownership of the vehicle.
Certificates of Title in the Decedents Name Only
When the title is in the decedents name alone (or all owners are deceased), transfer of ownership can occur only if an individual appointed by the court to administer the estate(s) of the decedent(s) properly assigns the title to the buyer. The letter of appointment by the court for this individual must be attached to the title when it is presented to the County Treasurer.
If the total value of all of the personal property in the decedent's estate does not exceed $50,000, minus any liens and/or claims, and the title was issued in the name of the decedent alone (or all owners are deceased), the vehicle/motorboat may be transferred without probate to a claiming successor(s) by submitting an Affidavit for Transfer of Decedent's Vehicle/Motorboat. The title must be issued in the name of the successor(s) - it cannot be issued in the name of the purchaser. Note: Personal property does not include ownership in real estate property.
Before the person claiming to be the successor of the decedent submits the Affidavit, the following guidelines must be met:
- Thirty days must have elapsed since death
- No petition for the appointment of a Personal Representative, Administrator, Special Administrator, Executor or equivalent, is pending or has been granted
- The Nebraska Certificate of Title must accompany the Affidavit, if available. If the Nebraska title is not available, the DMV must be contacted so that a search can be made to verify that a Nebraska title exists
- The Death Certificate must be attached to the completed Affidavit
- Affidavit must be completed in full and the signature of the successor must be notarized on the form
The Affidavit for Transfer of Decedent's Vehicle/Motorboat and all supporting documentation is submitted to the County Treasurer in the county where the successor resides. If the Nebraska Certificate of Title is not available and the vehicle is a motor vehicle, the documentation must include an Odometer Disclosure Statement.
Certificates of Title From Another State : If the decedent and Certificate of Title are from another state and the survivor is a Nebraska resident, Nebraska will accept the title from the foreign state in the decedents name, properly assigned by an individual who has been appointed by the court to administer the estate of the deceased. The letter of appointment by the court for this individual must be attached to the foreign Certificate of Title when it is presented to the County Treasurer.
Questions regarding Decedent's Motor Vehicle may be addressed by email or by phone at 402.471.3918.
Certificate Of Title - Signatures
All signatures required on the Application for Certificate of Title and on the actual Certificate of Title when transferring ownership must be original signatures. No electronic signatures may be used.
- When transferring ownership and the Certificate of Title is issued in the name of a business, only a person who has authority to sign shall sign the Certificate of Title. The following format shall be used on the “Signature of Seller” line as well as the “Printed Name of Seller” line: ABC Corporation by John Smith.
- When a dealership is assigning or reassigning ownership, the name in which the dealer license is issued must be used along with the name of the person who has authority to sign. The following format shall be used on the “Signature of Seller” line as well as the “Printed Name of Seller” line: ABC Auto Group, Inc., by John Smith. The dealer number portion must be completed with the appropriate dealer license number.
- When transferring ownership and the signor has Power of Attorney for the owner or is the Personal Representative of the owner’s estate, the following format shall be used on the “Signature of Seller” line as well as the “Printed Name of Seller” line: John Q. Public by John Doe, POA (or PR).
Trade Ins/Private Sales
In a joint effort between the Department and the Department of Revenue the following dealer directives have been published:
A vehicle that is recorded on the Purchaser’s Agreement (which in turn is used to complete the Nebraska Sales/Use Tax and Tire Fee Statement for Motor Vehicle and Trailer Sales, Form 6) as a trade-in must be titled in the name of the purchaser. The exception to this is a vehicle that is currently titled in the name of the purchaser’s parent/guardian or child.
The purchaser must present to the dealer a certificate of title in his/her name that is properly assigned to the dealer for all trade-ins. If the vehicle is not titled in the name of the purchaser he/she is jumping title.
Possession of a certificate of title that does not comply with these requirements is a violation of the Certificate of Title Act, a Class III misdemeanor. [Neb.Rev.Stat. 60-139]
Any consumer who transfers ownership of a motor vehicle must first obtain a certificate of title in his or her name, register the vehicle and pay sales tax. Failure to do so is a Class IV felony. Licensed motor vehicle dealers are exempt from this requirement.