A death in the family can create a lot of mental distress. Aside from the emotional toll, there’s plenty to do across the various parts of the deceased person. In other words, what happens next? From funeral arrangements to the probate procedures if there’s a will to squaring off day-to-day matters, to distribution of assets, and more, the entire process is challenging, time-consuming, and raises many obstacles.
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If you’re an executor or a relative in charge of taking care of “things,” you probably have to handle the deceased person’s vehicles, from cars, to electric vehicles, to boats (it’s Florida after all!) and motorcycles. It’s unfortunate that while you grieve the loss of a loved one, you’ll also be responsible for everything they left behind. Think last will and testament, medical records, financial statements, and the transfer of their vehicle ownership known as a FL title transfer.
eTags.com transfers car titles online; no in-person visits, no lines
Selling? Gifting? Are you the living spouse?
Whether you want to keep the vehicle, or you’re interested in selling the deceased person’s car, or you want to gift the vehicle to a family member or even donate it to a nonprofit organization, you’ll have to first transfer the title. A surviving spouse could transfer the vehicle to a buyer or beneficiary without having to title the vehicle in their name first. As long as the heirs and spouse agree on the estate’s distribution and that it’s not in debt.
Probate court, the will, and a Florida car title transfer
The transfer of a motor vehicle after death in FL is governed by Section 319.28, Florida Statutes. When a car owner passes away, the executor or beneficiary has to apply for a new title certificate with The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). If the deceased person left a will, a copy of the will must accompany the title transfer in FL application.
A car title can’t be transferred in FL until the probate is completed
Probate is a legal process that handles how to administer the estate. It typically happens when there is no living spouse or beneficiary listed on the will. The probate proves that the will is legitimate, verifying the deceased person’s assets and property. A car title can’t be transferred until the probate is completed. Probate may only be avoided if the estate is not indebted. If the deceased person had any debts, the creditor claims must first be resolved.
Title transfer of a vehicle without a last will
If the deceased person died intestate (without a las will), you’ll need the following documentation to transfer the vehicle title in Florida.
• The completed application for the certificate of title, which you can find on the FL DMV website Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration (HSMV form 82040)
• The current certificate of title for the deceased person’s vehicle or other satisfactory proof of ownership or that he/she owns it
• Death certificate
• Proof of ID
• An affidavit that the estate is not indebted
• An affidavit that the surviving spouse, if any, and the heirs, if any, have agreed on how the estate assets will be divided
In Section 1 of Form 82040, when it asks for the owner’s name and address, it’s referring to the person who’s receiving the new title, so don’t put in the name of the original car owner who passed away
Title transfer of a vehicle with a last will
If the deceased person died testate, (with a last will), you’ll need the following documentation to transfer the vehicle title in Florida.
• The completed application “Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration” for the certificate of title; also known as HSMV form 82040
• You can find HSMV form 82040 on the FLHSMV website
• The current certificate of title for the deceased person’s vehicle or other satisfactory proof of ownership or that he/she owns it
• Death certificate
• Proof of ID
• If the will is being probated, a certified copy of the will and an affidavit that the estate is not indebted; or
• If the will is not being probated, a sworn copy of the will and an affidavit that the estate is not indebted
A marriage certificate is also required unless the name of the surviving spouse is shown on the death certificate
Convenient title transfer online with eTags
For a quick and easy vehicle title transfer in Florida, go to etags.com/app/fl for a convenient online experience. There’s no in-person visit, no waiting for your turn or lines, you don’t have to make an appointment or worry about social distancing. Your car title transfer can all be done online; you upload a few document and a title specialist reviews your order to ensure all the paperwork is correct and verified. You can transfer the title of an SUV, car, pickup truck, motorcycle, motorhome and more.
Hi my dad just passed away and had a car titled in his name with “or” and my moms name who is alive but has dementia and can’t talk. He ownes the car outright and I have the title so how can I get the title changed in my name so I can keep it and get it registered.
Hey there, you’ll need a POA from your mother to request the title. In regards to the title transfer, you can also sign as the POA as long as mileage is not recorded (on vehicles 2010 and older).
MY ex wife who was not married died of breast cancer recently. She has two children Robert who is taking care of all the arrangements and a daughter whom the car is to be given to..She left no will.
What are the steps please..We are waiting on death certificate, copy of title, thank you
The person listed as the informant on her death certificate is eligible to sign the title over to whomever they please. Once you have the title and the death certificate, please feel free to use this link to place an order for title transfer. You’ll need insurance and the daughter’s driver’ license as well.
I am looking at a car to buy from a private owner. The owner of the car bought it 2 months ago from a friend whose grandfather passed. He has the title in his name. Is there any way to find out if this is a legal title? Or if the friend forged the grandfather’s name to sell the car fast. And if I buy the car, if the title looks perfect, can they come after me and take the car away? Is there a way for me to find out if the car was legally sold? And what are my rights?
Whoever’s name is printed on the most recently issued title is the legal owner of the vehicle.
This is slightly complicated. I live in Florida, and my friend’s dad, who lived in Illinois, passed away over 2 years ago. When he passed my friend (who also lives in Florida) sold me the car, but couldn’t actually sign over the title until getting the estate handled. It took over two years but it is now handled and he can now officially sell the car. So I need to get the car in my name, what is the best way to proceed?
Hi there! Since the estate business has been handled. The executor of the estate simply needs to sign over the title to you. Once you have the signed title, you can place an order for title transfer (with registration) here on our site. Please let me know if you have any questions!
Hello there! This would be a question for a lawyer or even law enforcement. Unfortunately, eTags can’t offer any legal advice. Good luck!
I sold my vehicle to my father a few years ago and transferred to his name. He recently passed away with no will or executors. I am unable to find the title to the vehicle, only the registration and insurance. How do I go about obtaining a new title and transferring to my name in order to sell the vehicle?
Hello there, you can set up an appointment with the court and take the death certificate with you, and a document that proves you are the daughter. You’ll be given a legal document or probate will that will allow you to get the replacement title (also called a duplicate title) and transfer the vehicle to your name. You can get a duplicate title, title transfer into your name, and registration online with eTags. Before you register, you’ll need FL auto insurance too.
My father passed away in August. He did not have a will. No spouse. I am his sole heir. He had a lein on the car that I paid off but the finance company released the title but I never recieved it. What do I need to register the vehicle and get the title in my name?
You’ll need the title, insurance, driver’s license, and death certificate in order to register the vehicle. You can place an order on our site to print the title. If you do, you’ll need the lien release letter from the finance company as well. I hope this is helpful!
complicated situation here . my mothers oldfriend passed away after agreeing to sell his car to us here in Delaware … his ex wife living in florida sent over the title he had and registration and sold us the car . she NEVER transferred ownership and then she died as well . the title got lost in the process of exchanging and giving us our vehicle we purchased from them . we have a bill of sale signed by my other and the exwife , we have the registration and we have the vehicle but no title and it is still in the deceased mans name registered to Florida , delaware doesnt accept at BOS for duplicate title . what can i do to get another title and register and tag my vehicle ?? seems there is no one else to contact ive tried for months now
If the ex-wife is willing, she can apply for a new title and sign it over to you again. In fact, she’s the only one who can help in this capacity.
I am the executor and beneficiary on my brothers will in FL. I have the original car title. I have a buyer for the vehicle who also lives in Fl. Do I have to re-title the vehicle in my name or can it be sold without re-title to me first?
There is also a second vehicle which I plan on gifting to an individual who lives in PA. Can I gift this vehicle to the PA resident without re-titling to myself first?
Hi there! No need to re-title in your name. You’ll simply sign the title over with your name -executor. The same would be true for the gifted vehicle. Good luck!
No probate, no debt. Heirs are 18 and 5 from 2 different mother’s. Does the 5 year old have to go on the title? Does that mean the 5 year old’s mother has rights to that vehicle?
Hi Melissa! This is a question better suited for a lawyer. What I can say is that if there’s a will, the DMV will transfer the title to whoever is on the will, meaning both the 18-year-old and the 5-year-old. This wouldn’t mean the mother has rights to the vehicle but I would contact a lawyer to define what it means for the 5-year-old. I hope this helps!
My brother in Florida passed away Jan 6, and in his will he left me his vehicle. He lived at a veteran’s home, his car was his only asset. I live in Ohio, how do I go about transferring the title to my name. Thank you for your help.
Sorry to hear of your brother’s passing. You’ll need to get the title, a copy of the will, death certificate, and take a visit to the title bureau. If there’s an executor, they may need to sign the title over to you. It would be best to contact the title bureau in OH directly and ask before signing anything as sometimes depending on circumstances, probate is involved. Good luck!
If my husband passed away I have death certificate can I get car transfer in my name with new title??
Yes! As long as the death certificate names you as the informant and there’s no will stating the vehicle belongs to anyone else, you can take the title and transfer it to your name. If you’re looking to complete this transaction, eTags can help. Place an order in Florida for title transfer using this link! Let me know when you’ve placed the order and I can help you to complete it. I hope this helps!
My Aunt passed in Florida in Dec 2022. I am in NY and executor of her estate. The car was solely left to me. The Will has cleared probate. How do I get the Florida title in my name. Or the easiest way to transfer it to NY title in my name.
As long as you have the will/death certificate and any probate information along with the current title, you can transfer to yourself in New York. If the goal is to title and register the vehicle in NY, this is the fastest way. You can use our website to complete a transaction like this and avoid the DMV in NY! Place an order using this link and choose “Transfer title and registration” as the service option. If you decide to place an order, please let me know and I can personally monitor your order and provide you with any help you may need along the way! I hope this is helpful.
Complicated situation… the owner (deceased) of a motor home signed over the title to my mother (living) and brother (deceased). I have two receipts showing the transfer. It was part of a land parcel sale. The title was not found when my brother died. My mother wrote an affidavit stating its lost. What do we need to do to get a title reissued in my mother’s name?
In this case, I’d recommend taking all the documents you have to the DMV directly to see if there’s a way to proceed without the title. The receipts may help you as it was part of the land parcel sale.
My mom has moved to FL and living with me, her Vermont registered vehicle is here. But her and my dads name are listed on the registration and he passed away. Can we get the car registered in FL with all the documents that we have, ie. Death certificate etc. Also, will FL waive the registration fee for surviving spouses of 100% disabled veterans who passed with a service connected illness?
Good morning Laura,
Thank you for your question. I’ve sent you an email with further details regarding how to complete this transaction and how eTags can help! Talk soon!
My mom passed away Dec 12. I am the executor on her will. She only has her car which she owns in Florida no title She has 6 kids and my father and her are legally separated over 36 years. How do I go about getting a title in my name. I live in nj
Hi Ellie! I’m sorry to hear of your mom’s passing! The short answer is, we can help! The first step would be for you to get the Florida title. This is the part we can help with. As long as you’re the only executor and the will went through probate, you’re entitled to a copy of the title. I’ll shoot you an email explaining how! Once you have the title, you can go through the DMV in NJ to transfer it, which I’ll also provide information for via email. I hope this helps!
My mom passed away this past September. My brother and I are the heirs to her estate–which includes her car. She left a will and there will be NO probate. I live in NJ. She wanted me to have the car. How do I transfer the title and register it in NJ? Any tips greatly appreciated. Hoping I don’t have to go to Florida to do this.
Sorry to hear that your mom passed away recently. I’m happy to get you started with getting her title transferred to you. Please check your email as I sent you a few beginning steps on how to get this done! Please let me know if you have questions!
I am in a similar situation, but, with the will naming my brother and I 50/50 for vehicle. It is titled in FL, I live in WI and he in AK. He wants to relinquish his rights to the vehicle. How do I proceed. Thanks for your help.
Your brother can simply sign the title over to you and then you can take that title and transfer it to your name solely in WI.
I am needing to transfer a title out of my deceased aunt’s name into mine with a will. The form 82040 asks for Florida driver’s license #…..I am in Ohio. Don’t know what to do in that spot-it’s right at the top of the ppw where it says owner’s name. you said to put person who is taking over the title in that spot. Also, how do I go about getting the title in my name so I can then transfer the title into a person down in Florida who wants the car. We are gifting the car to her since it doesn’t run and is old. Her son likes to work on cars so it’s a win win, but I am out of my mind trying to figure this process out! Am I to go the the Title agency here in Ohio and bring them this ppw or does it need to be mailed somehwhere???
Hello! When you place an order with eTags, we pre-fill all the documents you need to complete your transfer. Once the title is in your name, you can transfer it to whomever you’d like! Use this link to place an order with eTags. After, please send me an email so I can personally assist you with your order. I hope this helps!
My aunt passed away. She lives in Florida. I live in Ohio. I am 1/2 beneficiary and executor of the estate. My mom is signing over her rights to the car. The car is old and doesn’t even run. I would like to gift this car to a lady who lives in florida. Do I need to title it in my name first then transfer or can I just transfer it straight to her?
The easiest way to do this is to title it to yourself in Ohio and then you can sign that title over to anyone you’d like. This can be completed as long as you have all the paperwork stating you’re the beneficiary. You may need a copy of the death certificate as well.
do I need an original title to be able to transfer into my name first? i have the copy. if so, how do i go about getting an original?
Do I “have to” transfer into my name first or can it go directly to the person I’m gifting it to in Florida? I have the will, and death certificate.
You will need the original title to be able to either transfer it to yourself or sell/gift it to another person. The good news is, you won’t need to transfer the title to yourself before gifting it. eTags can help you obtain the original title as long as you have the will, death certificate, and proper identification. Get started by placing an order on our site for a replacement title. Here’s the link! I’ll shoot you an email with some more details and helpful hints to get you to your end goal.
My son who is 25 just passed away this month . Lived in Florida and brought
a motorcycle then moved back home to New Jersey in June.. Now I’m trying to go thru his paperwork but I can’t seem to find his title. I seemed to think he said his plates was it???Not sure…please help. I in the process of surrogate court paperworks
If the motorcycle is in probate, you’ll need to wait for the court to settle before you can change any ownership. I don’t have any information on what kind of motorcycle it is however you can check the state’s site if you have the VIN.Florida VIN check
My aunt’s boyfriend died and wanted her to have his vehicle that was paid off. He signed the back of the title before he died and now she went with the vehicle to have it titled in her name in Florida. But his kids in Michigan wants the vehicle. He had no will but just verbally promised her the vehicle. Was it legal for her to title the car in her name and can the kids report the vehicle stolen and she get arrested!
We can’t provide any legal advice. However, it probably wasn’t a good idea for your aunt to go ahead and change the title. Technically, if no paperwork exists that states that the car goes to her, it actually belongs to his children. Good luck!
Hello, my brother passed and had a vehicle financed for our mothers use. He had a letter made up and notarized that the vehicle would go to her when paid in full. I have taken over the payments. Can anyone else step up and take this vehicle?
My uncle who lived in Florida died, and left his car at my parents house in Alabama. It has been here for eight years and there is no immediate next of kin. That thing has been here for eight years and I need to figure out a way to get rid of it but nobody will salvage it without a title.
If you don’t have the title or the ability to get it, you’re best bet would be to call the police and report it abandoned. They’ll likely tow it and sell it at an auction.
Hello. I purchases a vehicle cash with a bill of sale and was handed the title. Before i had the tag registered in my name or applied for a new one i was pulled over and the car ws towed to wrecker lot. They said the only person who can access the car or get it out is the last registered person in which just happened to out of the blue pass away!! What do i do? I dont know her family or anything and the title i did have is in the glovebox…. Help!!!
Hello! Sorry, you’re in this situation! Unfortunately, your only option will be to use the Bill of Sale to try and contact the family of the seller. The next of kin will be able to apply for a new title. After they receive it, they can sign it over to you. You should be able to use this to get your car out of the lot. Good luck!
Hello, my father passed away in Pa. There was no will, his wife opened an estate. I live in Fl. What documents do I need to transfer the car into my name here in Fl.
If the wife is the executor of the estate and she is listed on your father’s Death Certificate as the Surviving Spouse and informant, she will sign the title as the seller. To transfer the title , you will be required to provide the signed title (wife signs as seller and child signs as purchaser), your ID, proof of FL residence, and FL proof of insurance.
My mother in law passed away this month will be a year my husband sister is Supposed to be handling the probate paperwork in court but we have not heard anything regarding probate and we have heard nothing and we have her car and can do nothing with it we have had this vehicle for almost a year and would like to transfer the title over to us so that we can use it. What can we do or is there anything we can do. Please help! Rock in a hard place.
The Florida DMV requires either probate documents issued by a court stating who the beneficiary of the vehicle is or you an affidavit stating that there are no claims against the vehicle by a company or another individual/family member. We recommend that you seek legal counsel if you choose to use an affidavit and that you contact the DMV office you would visit to confirm that they would accept an affidavit. Best of luck and we hope you can resolve this soon.
I have a quick question – Trying to help a friend.
The ex-husband died unexpectedly.
He has 2 children – a 21 and a 25 year old.
There car was financed but the payoff is more than the car is worth. It is a FL car.
There is no will.
The children have the car and keys but they do Not want it as to pay it off it will cost more than the car is worth.
Can they just bring the car and keys with a copy of the death certificate to the dealer and walk away?
Our condolences for the family’s loss. We recommend you seek legal counsel so that the lease or finance agreement can be reviewed by a professional. You may also try contacting the dealer first to see what options they may provide.
My son has passed away- I am the informant on death certificate. there is no will no probate, I am next surviving relative. His father has no connect for years and no way to get a hold of him even. As informant in the state of florida can I transfer title?
Yes as the informant and mother of deceased you’re able to transfer the title.
Just go online to etags and choose Transfer title with New Plate
Documents Required:Title, death Certificate, ID/drivers license
Hey, my grandmother passed away in 2020 and left her car to my father her oldest without a will in Florida. We don’t have a copy of the title to get the car put in his name how would we go about doing that and we live in NC. Also he wants to get the car put in my name because he already has one so would it have to go to him then me or straight to me
Thanks for your question! My advice would be to contact the DMV in NC and find out what their guidelines are as far as transferring the title of a deceased person. You’ll have trouble getting the title in Florida without a will or at least being named the informant on the death certificate. I hope this helps!
Hi – my father passed away with a will and I’m an heir and the executor. My dad was in Florida and the car is registered in Florida but I live in Maryland. Do I transfer the title in Florida or Maryland? The estate is not in probate.
Here’s an answer from one of our eTags Specialists: It would probably be easier for the customer to transfer and register in Florida. In Maryland, if the person/ vehicle is flagged as deceased, then they will have to go to the DMV and can’t do it online.
In FL, with the death certificate, will and documentation that shows this person is authorized as executor, then the process is pretty straight forward. You can transfer your title in florida online with eTags
Hi – my uncle passed away in FL with no will. He had purchased a car in his name only, my aunt’s name is not on it. The car is not yet paid off. My aunt would like to re-title the car in her name and continue making payments. Is she able to do this?
Considering the vehicle is financed, you must have the lien holder make changes of ownership on the title.
Haven’t received a response.
My sister passed away with a will leaving everything to me. No spouse or children. There is debit owed against the estate. We plan on paying the debt with the sale money from the cars. We have ltrs of admn. Probate is not quite done but, lawyer says we can sell the cars. How do I handle the titles? Checks will be made out to her estate.
Typically, you would transfer the title yourself, then sell the vehicle. Usually, with these cases, the name on title death certificate and probate is requested. Also, if there is a unsatisfied lien on the vehicle, it needs to be paid off before selling.
My sister passed away. She was not married and had no children. I’m her executor and have a will leaving everything to me. She has 4 cars we would like to sell. There is debt against the estate which will be covered once the cars are sold. I have letters of admin. Do I need to transfer the titles into my name? Or can we sell them and sign the titles as executor.
Because the car has a lien, you won’t be able to obtain a Florida registration or tag in your name without going through the lien holder. If, for example, the lien is from an institution that financed the purchase of the vehicle, you could contact the lien holder to see about refinancing the loan to be in your name or both your names. Then, you can obtain a Florida registration. Alternatively, if your father has any intent to move to Florida, then the vehicle can be registered with FL tags without making changes to the lien.
Good sunday. My mother and father passed. They left a mustang to me. My 3 brothers are in agreement with the transfer of title. There is no will. How can I get the vehicle transferred to my name. Thank you!
We’re sorry for your loss. You can go to etags online and click on Register Vehicle for a title transfer + registration. You must have possession of the title & a copy of both parent’s death certificate. On the application for title form 82040, all siblings must sign off their rights to the vehicle on section 13 and the individual taking title must sign section 12.
My husband passed away owing thousands of dollars on his vehicle. My name was not on his purchase agreement and we did not have a will. This is my vehicle I use to get back and forth from work. Since I paid off the rest of the balance on this vehicle and I do not desire in a community property state, will I be allowed to keep the vehicle or does it have to go through probate.