Since vehicles transferred after the death of someone are most typical without probate, that is to say without any legal process or court proceedings, in California, the CA DMV has simple steps for a title transfer. Thanks to a form called REG 5 named Affidavit for Transfer Without Probate California Titled Vehicle or Vessels Only, you can easily transfer the ownership of a car of a deceased loved one.
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Nearly 15 million registered vehicles in CA
The Golden State is home to the most registered vehicles. In fact, in 2021 Statista reported 14, 268, 528 vehicle registrations. To give you some perspective, Florida which ranks second only had 7,853, 979 registered vehicles! Safe to say that REG 5 form is a pretty common way to transfer car titles in a convenient way. The CA DMV’s form can be sued by a relative, beneficiary in the will, or a designated trustee.
In 2022, life expectancy at birth was 77.5 years old, going up by 1.1 years from 76.4 in 2021 according to the CDC; for females, life expectancy increased to 80.2 years old
Just a few stipulations for using REG 5 form
You have to meet some conditions if using the Affidavit for Transfer Without Probate California Titled Vehicle or Vessels Only:
• Only 40 days have passed since the death of the loved one and owner of the car
• The vehicle is titled in California and is not an out-of-state title
• The decedent’s property doesn’t exceed $166,250, previously $150,000 (not including vehicles, vessels like a boat, commercial coaches, manufactured or mobile homes)
If the stipulations above are met, you can apply for a REG 5 form without getting letters of administration, testamentary or wait for probate of the will. The Affidavit for Transfer Without Probate California Titled Vehicle or Vessels Only has just two sections for you to complete, and one that provides important info. Section 1 includes details about the vehicle in question like license plate number, the make, the name of the deceased and place of death. The second section of the REG 5 form provides details about the person who’ll be transferring the title. Name, phone number and signature.
SEE ALSO: TITLING USED VEHICLE WHEN BUYING FROM PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL
Have the California title, death certificate and more
To complete a transfer of ownership, you must have the California title and sign the deceased owner’s name plus countersign on line 1. The heir should also complete plus sign the back of the title. You need a completed/signed REG 5. The original or certified copy of the death certificate, plus an odometer disclosure if car is less than 10 years old.
According to Spectrum Local News, Through the first six months of 2023, Toyota was the best-selling automaker in California with 14.7% of all new vehicle sales; but was outpaced by Tesla between April and June
California car registration if you’re not selling the vehicle
If you’re going to keep the vehicle, you must also register it on top of applying for a title transfer. You can execute at same time and even apply for registration online with a company like eTags. You’ll get a registration card, license plates and sticker to legal be allowed to drive on California roads. If you intend to sell the car, you’ll need a bill of sale that’s to be completed by both you (the heir) and your buyer known as REG 135. The buyer will then go onto transfer the title themselves as you transferred into from the deceased to you. Your buyer will transfer the ownership from you to them.