Registration - Private Party, Family Sales & Gifts

Know Before You Buy!

Private party vehicle sale scams are on the rise. Many "too good to be true," limited-time, or cash-only deals posted to social media are often scams to sell vehicles that have been stolen and had their VINs switched or odometers tampered with. Make sure to:

  • Obtain a photo of the seller's ID.
  • Get the seller's contact information.
  • Never interact with a third party who is not the seller you contacted.
  • Meet at a DMV VIN inspection station to have the VIN checked. If this isn't possible, utilize the VIN history tools available through other parties.
  • Accept no excuses if the seller doesn't have the vehicle's title. Walk away.
  • Sellers must provide a vehicle title. A Bill of Sale by itself is not acceptable. See Buying and Selling below.

    Follow these links if you have one of the vehicles listed:

    Insurance and Movement Permits

    You must have liability insurance to drive any vehicle on public streets. Obtain insurance before you take delivery of the vehicle.

    The seller should keep his or her license plates and surrender the plates or use them on another vehicle.

    You may drive a recently-purchased vehicle without a movement permit for three days after the date of purchase if you carry, in the vehicle, proof of ownership or purchase and proof of liability insurance.

    You must have a permit to drive the vehicle more than three days after purchase. You can obtain a movement permit at any DMV office without an appointment. Bring proof of ownership or, if possible, everything you need to register the vehicle.

    Register your Vehicle

    Register the vehicle at a DMV office within 30 days of the purchase. Make an appointment at our offices in Carson City, Henderson, Las Vegas or Reno.

    Get an Estimate of Registration Fees online. Sales taxes are not charged on private party vehicle sales, family sales or gifts.

    The vehicle buyer must bring the following:

    • Vehicle Title, or a security agreement from a financial institution (see Titles below)
    • Nevada Evidence of Insurance
    • Nevada Emissions Vehicle Inspection Report if needed
    • Current Odometer Reading (motorcycles, mopeds and RVs are exempt)
    • Vehicle Inspection Certificate (VP 015) if the vehicle has never been registered or titled in Nevada
    • Tax Exemption Number or Forms, if any
    • Current Registration, if transferring plates
    • License Plate Forms for new personalized or specialty plates

    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. Out-of-state insurance is not accepted.

    You must apply any tax exemption at the time of registration. We do not issue refunds or apply exemptions retroactively.

    VIN Inspection

    A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) inspection is required on all vehicles that have never been registered or titled in Nevada. All DMV offices conduct inspections.

    Larger DMV offices have a separate VIN Inspection Station. You can obtain an inspection at any time without an appointment prior to registering the vehicle.

    At rural and County Assessor offices, the VIN inspection is completed at the same time you are registering the vehicle.

    You may also have a sworn law enforcement officer complete the inspection and complete the VP 015 form.

    Tax Exemptions & Forms

    You must apply any tax exemption at the time of registration. We do not issue refunds or apply exemptions retroactively.

    Tax exemptions for Veterans, Surviving Spouses and the Blind are granted by Nevada County Assessors. The Assessor will issue an exemption number you may use at registration.

    Here are forms for other exemptions:

    License Plates

    Standard Nevada plates cost $7 for a set of two large plates or $3.50 for a single small plate. Personalized and specialty plates carry additional fees.

    Browse Plates by Category

    Loans, Liens and Title

    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 the buyer is paying in full and there is no new lien on the vehicle, the title will be mailed to the new owner four to six weeks after registration.

    If there is a private arrangement for payments or other interest in the vehicle, anyone may become a lienholder on the vehicle by completing the lienholder section of the title. The new title is mailed to the lienholder, who must release the lien once any terms are satisfied. See Loan Payoffs.

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

    Trusts and Transfer on Death

    To register and title a vehicle to a family trust, you need a Trustee Appointment and Powers Affidavit (VP 188) or court-certified trust documents in addition to all other requirements.

    The name of a trustee can be added to the registration.

    The name of the insured on the Nevada Evidence of Insurance must match either a name of a trustee on the registration or the trust to which the vehicle will be registered and titled.

    The Trust Affidavit for Exemptions (VP 242) allows you to transfer a tax exemption for veterans, surviving spouse or the blind.

    Transfer on Death is an option to allow listed a listed a beneficiary to claim ownership of a vehicle upon the death of the owner(s). The vehicle must have no liens. Use the Transfer on Death Application (VP 239).

    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.

    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 and kiosks.

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

    I Don't Have a Title

    Do not buy a vehicle from a private party who doesn't have a title. If you have already purchased it, here are some options.

    Contact the Seller

    The seller may apply for a duplicate title if the vehicle is titled in Nevada. See Titles.

    If the vehicle is a 2010 model or older, you may be able to submit the duplicate title forms and a Bill of Sale (VP 104) to transfer ownership. We suggest the buyer and seller complete the transaction at a DMV office. A Bill of Sale by itself is not acceptable.

    If the vehicle is a 2011 model or newer, the seller must obtain a paper title to comply with the federal odometer disclosure laws.

    The seller can't be contacted or is uncooperative

    Contact the DMV Title Research Section at (775) 684-4810 in Northern Nevada, (702) 486-4368 option 3 in Southern Nevada, 8:00 am to 4:00 p.m. Have the Vehicle Identification Number ready and any documents you may have. You may also visit a DMV 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.


    Registration documents and glove box

    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. You will not receive the title if you have a loan or lease on the vehicle.

    Buying and Selling

    Laws You Should Know

    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.

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

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

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

    Vehicle History Checks

    The DMV does not disclose owner information to potential buyers. However, you may bring the vehicle and paperwork to the VIN Inspection Station at larger DMV offices for review. No appointment is necessary.

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

    Seller Responsibilities

    Sellers should:

    The Bill of Sale, Registration Cancellation and Vehicle Resale Notification are your proof that you sold the vehicle. The information from the resale notification will be provided to wreckers and tow car operators in the event the vehicle is abandoned.

    Keep Your License Plates

    Nevada law requires sellers to keep the 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).


    Sellers 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. See 50 State DMV Links.

    The only exception is if the vehicle was 1) last titled in Nevada, 2) is model year 2010 or older, 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. The owner must obtain an actual title on vehicles 2011 and newer and enter the mileage in the Odometer Reading section.

    See Titles for more information.

    Odometer Disclosure

    Avoid repeat DMV visits! Complete the Odometer Reading section of the title on any 2011 or newer vehicle.

    Effective January 1, 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires odometer disclosures until vehicles are 20 years old, beginning with vehicles of the 2011 model year. The previous rule was 10 years.

    • If your vehicle is a 2011 model or newer, you must enter the current mileage in the Odometer Reading section of the title upon sale of the vehicle.
    • If your vehicle is a 2010 model or older, you may check the exempt box on the title.

    You must disclose the mileage even if the title says "Exempt - Model year over 9 years old."

    Video - How to Complete a Title