- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A low car titling fee in Nebraska likely prompted an out-of-state dealership to turn to the Lancaster County Department of Motor Vehicles for such certificates.

LaBelle Chevrolet of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, has requested and received nearly 3,000 car titles from the Lancaster County DMV since February, said Don Arp, motor vehicle manager for the Lancaster County Treasurer’s office.

The Nebraska DMV charges just $10 per title, while Massachusetts charges $75, the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1JvvOkF ) reported.

Nebraska allows out-of-state companies to get newly purchased vehicles inspected outside of Nebraska and then have those inspection documents sent to DMV offices in Nebraska for titling.

LaBelle has established a subsidiary with a Lincoln office that provides the dealership a local presence required for it to request and receive car titles from Nebraska, Arp said.



Law enforcement in Massachusetts inspects the cars that LaBelle imports from Canada, and LaBelle sends the inspection documents to its Lincoln office. Staff in that office then takes them to the Nebraska State Patrol for review, before handing them off to the Lancaster County DMV for titling.

Once the vehicles are titled, LaBelle sells them in Massachusetts by auction or at its dealership.

“The vehicles actually never come here, but they’re titled here,” Arp said. “It’s legal. He’s just using what’s available to him.”

The practice creates a burden on the Lancaster County DMV office, where one worker spends about four hours a day processing LaBelle titles.

County Treasurer Andy Stebbing said he wants the state’s titling fee to be raised to $25 to discourage such practices.

“Titling cars from outside of Nebraska for the purpose of the company trying to save money is becoming burdensome on my office,” he said. “We’re hoping to seek a change in statute where we would be more competitive with other states.”

The county doesn’t get to collect sales tax on the LaBelle vehicles it titles since they aren’t purchased or sold in Nebraska.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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