Surviving spouse/Heirship/Inheritance

Learn about transferring the certificate of title of a vehicle following the death of the owner.

The following people can transfer the certificate of title following the death of the owner:

  • A surviving spouse

  • The executor of the decedent's estate

  • A court appointed administrator

Surviving spouse

To qualify as a surviving spouse, you must have been married to the deceased person at the time of death. Live-in companions and ex-spouses do not qualify.

To obtain a new title and registration for your vehicle, you must submit the following in person at any RMV Service Center:

  • An application for registration title (RMV-1 form) completed and signed by the owner. It must be stamped by an authorized agent of the insurance company if the vehicle is to remain registered

  • Decedent's certificate of title assigned by surviving spouse

  • An affidavit of surviving spouse

  • A copy of the death certificate listing the name of the spouse

Additional Resources for Surviving spouse

Heirship (will)

If a decedent has left a will, the executor of the estate may transfer ownership of the vehicle. He/she must give the following documents to the new owner:

  • A copy of the appointment of executor

  • Decedent's certificate of title assigned by the executor

Inheritance

If a decedent has not left a will, the court appointed administrator may transfer the title. He/she must provide the following documents:

  • A copy of the appointment of administrator

  • Decedent's certificate of title assigned by the administrator

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