Private Party Vehicle Sales

Laws You Should Know Top ↑

Car for sale

It is illegal to sell a vehicle on an empty lot in most circumstances. The DMV recommends private party sales be completed at a residence. Buyers may wish to check the seller’s ID.

Subleasing and “take over payments” arrangements are illegal. Any loan or lien on a vehicle must be satisfied before it can be sold.

It is illegal to sell more than three personally-owned vehicles per year without a dealer’s license.

Salvage vehicles should be rebuilt, inspected and titled as Rebuilt before being sold to a private party. A vehicle that has been issued a salvage title may not be sold or registered in Nevada until it has been repaired and inspected.

Odometer reading graphic

Odometer Readings Required! Have your current mileage ready when you register your vehicle. Motorcycles and mopeds are exempt. The Nevada DMV is required to collect mileage data to help legislators plan for future road construction. It’s the law! More info

Vehicle History Checks

Use the Vehicle Identification Number to query the following services. There are also any number of commercial services available.

Selling A Vehicle Top ↑

Family sales and gifts are handled exactly the same as a private party sale. There are no special requirements or forms.

Keep Your License Plates

Nevada law requires you to keep your plates and either use them on another vehicle or turn them in for cancellation within 60 days of the sale for standard issue plates or within 30 days for special plates.

See Plate Surrender/Registration Fee Refunds.

If you wish to transfer the plates to the buyer, for example a classic car, you may complete a License Plate Release (SP 67). Please note that registration fee credits will not transfer to the buyer.

If you have left the plates on a vehicle you sold, you may complete a Lost, Stolen or Mutilated License Plate Affidavit (VP 202). This must be notarized or signed in person at the DMV.

Seller Responsibilities

Sellers should:

You must provide a properly signed-off title to the buyer in private party sales, family sales or gifts. Any loan or other lien must be satisfied first.

  • If the title says ‘person 1’ AND ‘person 2’, both parties must sign it.
  • If the title says ‘person 1’ OR ‘person 2’, either party can sign without the other.

If you do not have a title, you (or the owner of record) will have to apply for a duplicate from the state where the vehicle was last titled.

The only exception is if the vehicle was 1) last titled in Nevada, 2) is more than 9 model years old and 3) has no liens or the owner of record has a lien release, the buyer and owner of record can then complete 1) an Application for Duplicate Title (VP 012) and 2) a Bill of Sale to transfer ownership. If the vehicle is 9 model years old or newer, you must obtain an actual title to comply with federal odometer disclosure laws.

The buyer is responsible for emission inspections in Nevada and for obtaining insurance and a movement permit to legally drive the vehicle on public streets.

The Bill of Sale and Online Sale Notification are your proof that you sold the vehicle. This is particularly important in case the vehicle is abandoned at a later date. If you complete the online notification, the new owner’s information you enter will be provided to wreckers and tow car operators in the event the vehicle is abandoned. NRS 706.4477 states it is presumed the registered owner of a vehicle is solely responsible for the cost of removal and storage for the vehicle if abandoned.

Buying A Vehicle Top ↑

Nevada Title


If you are buying a vehicle from a private party or receiving a vehicle as a gift, you must have a properly signed-off title to register the vehicle and transfer ownership. A Bill of Sale by itself is not acceptable. If the seller does not have a title, the owner of record will have to apply for a duplicate from the state where the vehicle was last titled.

Loans or Liens

If the seller has a loan or lease on the vehicle, this must be satisfied and the lienholder or lessor must deliver the title before the vehicle can be sold. This can be a lengthy process if the title has been misplaced or is being
held by an out-of-state lender or lessor. Subleasing and “take over payments” arrangements are illegal.

If there is a private arrangement for payments or the seller wishes to retain an interest in the vehicle
for any reason, the seller may become a lienholder on the vehicle by completing the lienholder section of the title.

If the buyer is obtaining outside financing, most financial institutions will require the title. The institution will submit the title to DMV, become a lienholder and receive the new title. In this case, the security agreement from a licensed financial institution can take the place of a title for registration.

Movement Permits

The seller must keep his or her license plates.

The buyer must obtain insurance and a movement permit to drive the vehicle on public streets. Present the signed-off title or other proof of ownership at a DMV office for a movement permit.


The buyer must register the vehicle at a DMV office within 30 days. Make an appointment at our offices in Carson City, Las Vegas or Reno.

If the vehicle has never been registered or titled in Nevada, you must have a VIN inspection completed at the DMV. At
larger offices, drive to the Inspection Station outside the main office first. You may also have a law enforcement officer

complete the Vehicle Inspection Certificate (VP 015).

Use our Online Registration Fee Estimate. This is an estimate only. Total fees will be higher due to a $29.25 title fee, license plate fees and miscellaneous charges. DMV field offices accept cash, checks, money orders for the exact amount, Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

You must have the following documents to register and title the vehicle:

  • Title, or a security agreement from a financial institution
  • Nevada Evidence of Insurance
  • Nevada Emission Vehicle Inspection Report if required
  • Vehicle Identification Number Inspection if required
  • Current Odometer Reading

You must obtain liability insurance from a Nevada-licensed carrier in the exact name(s) which will be on the registration and title. The effective date of the policy must be equal or previous to the registration date. Coverage is verified electronically with your insurance company.

Motorists who do not maintain Nevada liability insurance are subject to a registration suspension, reinstatement fee/fine, possible SR 22 requirement and driver’s license suspension.

Out-of-state insurance is not accepted. See Vehicle Insurance Requirements. You must present Nevada Evidence of Insurance at registration and carry one in your vehicle at all times.

Emissions tests must be dated within the past 90 days.

Third-Party Registration

A third party may register the vehicle for you. The person must also present an Application for Vehicle Registration (VP 222) signed by the owner. Or, the third party may present a completed Power of Attorney (VP 136) or a General Power of Attorney instead of a VP 222. Any Power of Attorney must be notarized and be an original or certified copy.

No Title?

If you do not have a vehicle title or adequate proof of ownership, you should bring any documentation you may have to a DMV Full Service office. We will instruct you how to attempt to locate and contact the previous owner.

If you are unable to contact the previous owner, you may be able to apply for a Bonded Title.

Three-Year Trailer Registration

Recreational and utility trailers can be registered for either one year or three years at a time.

  • You will be issued a three-year decal.
  • Registration credits can be applied.
  • County-issued tax exemptions can be applied to the first year’s fees only. Exemptions issued in the second and third years cannot be applied retroactively or refunded.
  • Three-year registrations are available at original registration and at renewals including online, mailed, in-person and kiosks at DMV offices.

Visit Online Fee Estimates to compare one-year and three-year fees.

Sales Taxes

Sales taxes are not collected on private party vehicle sales that occurred on or after January 1, 2006.

Vehicle Title

The new title will be mailed to the registered owner if there is no lienholder. You may request expedited title processing using the VP 265 form. Expedited processing is optional.

Application for Expedited Processing/Shipping of Nevada Title (VP 265)

To expedite the processing and/or shipping of your title for additional fee(s).

If there is a lienholder, the title will be mailed to the lienholder or processed through Electronic Lien and Title if the lender chooses.


Registration and Glovebox

The vehicle registration gives you the right to drive the car or truck on public highways. The Certificate of Registration and your Nevada Evidence of Insurance must be kept in the vehicle.

The vehicle title shows ownership. It should be stored with your other important papers and not kept in the vehicle.

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