Nebraska Revised Statute 60-140

Chapter 60


Acquisition of vehicle; proof of ownership; effect.

(1) Except as provided in section 60-164, no person acquiring a vehicle from the owner thereof, whether such owner is a manufacturer, importer, dealer, or entity or person, shall acquire any right, title, claim, or interest in or to such vehicle until the acquiring person has had delivered to him or her physical possession of such vehicle and (a) a certificate of title or a duly executed manufacturer's or importer's certificate with such assignments as are necessary to show title in the purchaser, (b) a written instrument as required by section 60-1417, (c) an affidavit and notarized bill of sale as provided in section 60-142.01, or (d) a bill of sale for a parts vehicle as required by section 60-142.

(2) No waiver or estoppel shall operate in favor of such person against a person having physical possession of such vehicle and such documentation. No court shall recognize the right, title, claim, or interest of any person in or to a vehicle, for which a certificate of title has been issued in Nebraska, sold, disposed of, mortgaged, or encumbered, unless there is compliance with this section. Beginning on the implementation date of the electronic title and lien system designated by the director pursuant to section 60-164, an electronic certificate of title record shall be evidence of an owner's right, title, claim, or interest in a vehicle.


  • 1. Necessity of procurement

  • 2. Effect as evidence

  • 3. Miscellaneous

  • 1. Necessity of procurement

  • One who purchases an automobile and obtains possession thereof but does not obtain a duly assigned certificate of title thereto acquires no ownership interest in the automobile. Boren v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 225 Neb. 503, 406 N.W.2d 640 (1987).

  • Where automobiles are wrongfully sold by an agent, but no certificate of title is given, the owner of the certificate of title retains ownership and control of the automobiles. Wolfson Car Leasing Co., Inc. v. Weberg, 200 Neb. 420, 264 N.W.2d 178 (1978).

  • To be protected, issuance of certificate must be based upon a proper background of authority. Allstate Ins. Co. v. Enzolera, 164 Neb. 38, 81 N.W.2d 588 (1957).

  • A certificate of title is essential to sustain an allegation of general ownership of an automobile in a replevin action. State Farm Mutual Auto Ins. Co. v. Drawbaugh, 159 Neb. 149, 65 N.W.2d 542 (1954).

  • A purchaser who receives possession of an automobile without obtaining a certificate of title acquires no title or ownership. Loyal's Auto Exchange, Inc. v. Munch, 153 Neb. 628, 45 N.W.2d 913 (1951).

  • Certificate of title for a motor vehicle is a security within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. section 2311 (1976). United States v. Daly, 716 F.2d 1499 (9th Cir. 1983).

  • 2. Effect as evidence

  • A certificate of title is prima facie evidence, but is not conclusive proof of ownership between either a buyer and seller or a buyer and manufacturer of an allegedly defective motor vehicle. Hanson v. General Motors Corp., 241 Neb. 81, 486 N.W.2d 223 (1992).

  • As between the buyer and seller of a motor vehicle, the certificate of title is prima facie evidence, but is not conclusive proof, of ownership under the Nebraska certificate of title sections. Alford v. Neal, 229 Neb. 67, 425 N.W.2d 325 (1988).

  • A certificate of title to a motor vehicle is generally conclusive evidence of ownership of the vehicle, and exceptions to this rule apply only to prevent fraud and coercion. Kinkenon v. Hue, 207 Neb. 698, 301 N.W.2d 77 (1981).

  • Execution of a certificate of title is the exclusive method of conveying ownership of a motor vehicle, but the certificate is not in itself conclusive evidence of ownership. Weiss v. Union Ins. Co., 202 Neb. 469, 276 N.W.2d 88 (1979).

  • If dealer had actual possession of motor vehicle and a manufacturer's certificate, his name need not be shown as assignee in certificate to prove ownership. State v. Oltjenbruns, 187 Neb. 694, 193 N.W.2d 744 (1972).

  • Plaintiff did not show grounds why wife's name on title to car, which established ownership, should be removed. Forman v. Anderson, 183 Neb. 715, 163 N.W.2d 894 (1969).

  • Certificate of title was conclusive on question of ownership of motor vehicle. Turpin v. Standard Reliance Ins. Co., 169 Neb. 233, 99 N.W.2d 26 (1959).

  • A certificate of title is generally conclusive evidence of ownership. Terry Bros. & Meves v. National Auto Ins. Co., 160 Neb. 110, 69 N.W.2d 361 (1955).

  • Certificate of title is not conclusive of ownership. Snyder v. Lincoln, 156 Neb. 190, 55 N.W.2d 614 (1952); Snyder v. Lincoln, 150 Neb. 580, 35 N.W.2d 483 (1948).

  • Certificate of title was evidence of ownership of motor vehicle. Garbark v. Newman, 155 Neb. 188, 51 N.W.2d 315 (1952).

  • 3. Miscellaneous

  • Proof of possession of a vehicle, together with a bill of sale which complies with section 60-1417 (Reissue 1978), is sufficient to prove ownership of the vehicle under this section. Worley v. Schaefer, 228 Neb. 484, 423 N.W.2d 748 (1988).

  • A buyer in the ordinary course of business who purchases from a dealer having the authority to expose vehicles for sale pursuant to the entrustment section of the U.C.C., section 2-403, does not fall within the intended purview of this section. Dugdale of Nebraska v. First State Bank, 227 Neb. 729, 420 N.W.2d 273 (1988).

  • Absent notarization of the seller's signature on the certificate of title, the certificate is not duly executed and ownership may not yet pass to the buyer; a purchaser who receives possession of an automobile without also obtaining a certificate of title properly notarized and duly executed in accordance with the statutes then in effect acquires no right, title, claim, or interest in or to the motor vehicle. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Fitzgerald, 214 Neb. 226, 334 N.W.2d 168 (1983).

  • Where plaintiff did not file a security agreement or lien and did not simultaneously have legal title and physical possession as required by section 60-105, R.R.S.1943, it did not meet its burden of proof for a replevin action. The Cornhusker Bank of Omaha v. McNamara, 205 Neb. 504, 288 N.W.2d 287 (1980).

  • For there to be delivery of an executed certificate of title to a motor vehicle, there must be an intent on the part of the grantor that the instrument operate as a monument of title to take effect presently and an acceptance of the instrument by the grantee with the intent to take title. Weiss v. Union Ins. Co., 202 Neb. 469, 276 N.W.2d 88 (1979).

  • There is no legal requirement that a lien be noted on a certificate of title purportedly covering property not subject to the Certificate of Title Act, even though a certificate of title for such property has been issued. Cushman Sales & Service of Nebraska, Inc. v. Muirhead, 201 Neb. 495, 268 N.W.2d 440 (1978).

  • Under the Nebraska Certificate of Title Act, a certificate of title is the exclusive method provided by statute for the transfer of title to an automobile, but it is not conclusive of ownership. First Nat. Bank & Trust Co. v. Ohio Cas. Ins. Co., 196 Neb. 595, 244 N.W.2d 209 (1976).

  • An agreement which fully complied with the provisions of section 60-1417, R.S.Supp.,1967, constituted a valid agreement of sale and excluded insurance coverage of transferor of automobile. Dyas v. Morris, 194 Neb. 773, 235 N.W.2d 636 (1975).

  • Where mortgagee failed to have lien noted upon certificate of title, it was not entitled to recover against innocent purchaser of automobile. First Nat. Bank v. Provident Finance Co., 176 Neb. 45, 125 N.W.2d 78 (1963).

  • Liability of county clerk for erroneously issuing a certificate of title is for a failure to exercise due diligence. Burns v. Commonwealth Trailer Sales, 163 Neb. 308, 79 N.W.2d 563 (1956).

  • Dealer is required to have chattel mortgage noted on certificate of title. Bank of Keystone v. Kayton, 155 Neb. 79, 50 N.W.2d 511 (1951).

  • A provision in an automobile liability insurance policy providing automatic insurance on a newly acquired automobile is effective from the date of acquisition of the newly acquired automobile notwithstanding the existence of infirmities in the title thereto. Blixt v. Home Mutual Ins. Co., 145 Neb. 717, 18 N.W.2d 78 (1945).