How to transfer the car title of a deceased person

Updated April 17, 2017

There are few details that need to be cleared when transferring the car title of a deceased person. The vehicle becomes a part of the estate after death of the owner. The probate court (each county has its own probate court) that deals with estate execution after death appoints an executor of the deceased owner's estate by certifying such a position in an official letter. Then the executor is able to transfer the car title to someone specified in a will. If there is no will, then the probate court will appoint a personal representative who will administer the estate, including passing the estate, such as house, vehicles and other property, to the heirs after paying out the debts of the deceased person. After taking care of the legal matters, you will then need to transfer title to the car.

Visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Inform the DMV agent of the situation. Present the agent with the official letter from probate court and your ID.

Request the documents for Transfer of Vehicle Ownership Title. Keep in mind that each state will have its own variation.

Fill the documents out appointing the beneficiary as the person to whom the title is being transferred to.

Pay the required fee, which varies from state to state, but is usually within the £32 limit.


Contact your probate court for information on estate execution after the owner's death.


Contact your attorney to get more detailed information.

Things You'll Need

  • Title and registration for the vehicle
  • Letter certifying you as executor of the owner's estate or a personal representative of the estate
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About the Author

Writing out of Los Angeles, Tim Mammadov has been a professional writer since 2010. The majority of his articles are related to computer troubleshooting and spyware protection. Mammadov graduated from the University of Maryland, majoring in finance.