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If you have recently purchased a vehicle through a dealership or a private seller, you will need to apply for a car registration. All vehicles in your possession must be registered in your name to be driven legally in your state. You cannot typically apply for a new vehicle registration online or by mail. You must visit a DMV office in person to register a car. To make sure that you are fully prepared for the process, download our informative digital guide. Our guide contains everything you need to know to register your vehicle with ease. You will also learn how to replace or renew your car registration, and how to change your name or address.

2. By Mail

Some states allow residents to register cars by mail. However, these applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as temporarily residing out of state or having purchased the vehicle out of state. To obtain your new car registration by mail, you will need to send your completed application and all necessary documents (such as proof of ID, a bill of sale, an insurance card, etc.) to your local DMV office. You will also need to send in a check or money order for the full payment amount. Due to mailing and processing times, delays are common with the mail-in application method. It may take several weeks for you to receive your new car registration.

3. In Person at a DMV Office

In most instances, you will be required to get your car registration in person at a local DMV office. You must submit a filled-out application, proof of your identity, evidence of the car purchase and proof of auto insurance coverage for the vehicle. Additionally, you need to provide payment for all applicable fees, such as registration fees, titling fees and state taxes. Because many car owners are not sure which forms are required or which fees must be paid, application delays are common at the DMV. Additionally, any mistakes on DMV forms will add to your potential wait time for receiving your new registration.


The state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues Nebraska car registration documents to eligible vehicle owners who reside throughout the state. In general, a vehicle registration is required for most types of vehicles, and must be completed on a monthly or annual basis. To apply for this type of credential, vehicle owners must gather the necessary application paperwork and either bring it in person to a local DMV branch. Certain applicants may be eligible to send their application via mail.

A DMV registration in NE can be obtained by state residents by completing a few simple steps. However, this process may vary for different types of vehicle owners. For instance, active duty military service members can follow slightly different guidelines when obtaining a new car registration or requesting a renewal. Furthermore, motorists who are new to the state also have specific registration guidelines regarding how to register a car. Read on to discover more important details about auto registration procedures in Nebraska.

Nebraska Car Registration Requirements

To register a car in Nebraska, all vehicle owners must be able to provide specific types of documentation to the DMV when making the request. These requirements and associated car registration fees vary according to how the driver purchased the vehicle and whether he or she is a new or existing resident of the state. Most types of vehicle owners will be required to provide the following documentation with any vehicle registration request:

  • NE certificate of title or title application.
  • Proof of current valid auto insurance or acceptable proof of financial responsibility, in original form.
  • Proof that the necessary sales or excise taxes have been paid.
  • A copy of the signed lease agreement, if applicable.

New residents registering a car in Nebraska must also provide their current out-of-state registration certificate when requesting a cross-state transfer. Moreover, no registration application will be processed without the appropriate application fees.

Car Insurance Requirements for Registering a Car in Nebraska

Despite the fact that car registration online procedures not offered by the Nebraska DMV, vehicle owners can find adequate auto insurance coverage by submitting an application online. In general, motorists are required to meet the state’s minimum levels of coverage to register a vehicle in NE, which include obtaining liability insurance. The following types of proof of financial responsibility are accepted in the state:

  • Certificate of insurance (current and valid)
  • Bond
  • Property Bond
  • Certificate of deposit
  • Certificate of self-insurance, in certain cases

Vehicle Inspection Requirements in Nebraska

In addition to paying the car registration cost and submitting the complete application package, all new residents to Nebraska must pass a vehicle inspection. Before a new resident can apply for a DMV registration transfer, his or her car will be required to undergo inspections that check the background and safety of the vehicle. To complete an inspection, vehicle owners must bring proof of ownership, the proper application form and an acceptable payment method for the applicable fees.

Registering a Vehicle in Nebraska

The process of how to register a car in Nebraska is significantly different for owners of new cars bought from a dealership and motorists who bought used cars in private sales. Whether new, used or from out of state, all vehicles must be issued a valid NE car registration from the DMV within 30 days of the date of purchase or when they were transferred to the state. The DMV registers vehicles on a staggered monthly basis, unless a driver owns two or more vehicles, in which case they will be registered on an annual basis.

How to Register a New Car in Nebraska

Applicants often ask, “How much is car registration for new vehicles purchased from a dealership?” In most cases, new car owners do not need to pay car registration costs themselves, as the dealer applies for registration documents on their behalf. Thus, dealers typically ask for any necessary information related to a driver so that the registration procedure can be conducted.

The DMV can issue temporary tags for drivers who buy a car in Nebraska but who are not state residents. Overall, these types of tags are intended to allow the motorist to return home with his or her new vehicle, not to be transferred to a permanent NE registration.

Registering a Used Car in Nebraska

In order to get a vehicle registration for a recently purchased used car, NE drivers must submit a complete application packet in person or by mail to the DMV. It is important to note that vehicle owners must have already applied for a certificate of title before requesting a registration. Overall, residents can take the following steps to apply for a new vehicle registration in Nebraska:

  1. Gather proof of financial responsibility, such as the proper auto insurance coverage.
  2. Collect the required paperwork that is needed for this procedure, and include a check or money order for the necessary state taxes and applicable registration fees.
  3. Submit the registration packet to the DMV in person at your nearest county treasurer’s office or mail it to the following address:

Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles

Driver and Vehicle Records Division

301 Centennial Mall South

P.O. Box 94789

Lincoln, NE 68509-4789

How to Register a Car in Nebraska as a New Resident

New residents in Nebraska must access car registration services within 30 days of moving to the state to avoid having to pay late fees. Before a new resident can request a DMV registration, he or she must have already requested and received an NE title for his or her car.

Once prepared, new residents can follow the same application procedure as existing Nebraska residents registering a used car. Thus, these applicants must submit an application in person or by mail, as long as they also include the vehicle’s current title within the packet.

Vehicle Registration for Military Members in Nebraska

Military personnel who have kept their previous state’s residency status do not need to submit a car registration form in Nebraska. Instead, they can maintain their previous registration documents for the duration of their time in NE. Furthermore, military service members may be able to request non-resident license plates and be exempt from state taxes from the DMV if they meet certain requirements, such as being able to provide proof of ownership and a leave and earnings statement (LES).

Temporary DMV Registration in Nebraska

The DMV issues temporary registration documents to out-of-state drivers who purchase new vehicles in Nebraska. These temporary vehicle registration permits are valid for a maximum period of 30 days from the date of purchase, and cannot be issued to existing Nebraska residents. To obtain this type of credential, motorists must submit the vehicle’s title or manufacturer’s statement of origin (MSO) in person.

Nebraska License Plates

Vehicle registration details for receiving Nebraska license plates depend on what type of license plates the vehicle owner has requested. Standard plates, tags and registration documents are available immediately upon successfully submitting an application in person, or will be received via mail for applications submitted through that method. Drivers completing a vehicle registration renewal online or by mail and requesting new license plates can also expect to receive their plates by mail.

Nebraska Car Registration Fees

Car registration fees in Nebraska are a standard $15 fee for most passenger and leased vehicles. Additional fees collected at the time of registration include:

  • Emergency Medical System Operation Fund (collected by the Health and Human Services): $0.50
  • Department of Motor Vehicles Cash Fund (collected by the DMV): $2.00
  • State Recreation Road Fund (collected by Department of Roads): $1.50
  • County General Fund: $1.50 (resident) or $5.00 (non-resident)
  • Plate Fee per plate (for new, duplicate or replacement plates, collected by the Highway Trust Fund): $3.30
  • Non-Resident 30 Day plate fee: $20.10

Last updated on Tuesday, December 4 2018.

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