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INSTRUCTIONS FOR FAMILY MEMBERS ON HOW TO TRANSFER MOTOR VEHICLE TITLES AFTER DEATH

When a family member or friend passes away, one of the difficult tasks for survivors is dealing with the individual's estate. If the deceased left a vehicle, the title must be transferred to a Surviving Spouse and/or a beneficiary to utilize or sell the vehicle. The State of Ohio allows Surviving Spouses of the deceased to transfer the title and keep the current license plates for a small transfer fee. Ohio requires new registration and license plates when transferring to an heir or beneficiary or a WROS (With Rights of Survivorship) or TOD (Transfer On Death) designee.

THINGS YOU'LL NEED

  1. Original Certificate of Title (if available);
  2. Certified Copy of  Death Certificate;
  3. Release From Administration Entry; and/or
  4. Letters of Authority and/or Certificate of Transfer Entry;
  5. Driver’s License or Photo identification.

FOR TRANSFER TO A SURVIVING SPOUSE
(2 vehicles, 1 Watercraft)

If the Death Certificate indicates that you are still legally married at the time of death, apply for a Certificate of Title as Surviving Spouse at the County Clerks of Court Title Office. The Surviving Spouse may transfer up to two (2) vehicles valued up to $40,000 (both values total) to your name and one (1) watercraft. The County Clerk of Courts Title Office requires a photo identification card, a Certified Copy of the Death Certificate and the original title (if available). The Deputy Clerk will print a Surviving Spouse Affidavit listing the vehicles that require ownership transfer. Provide all vehicle information, including make and model and the value of the vehicle and the current Ohio Certificate of Title number. There will be a $17.00 fee for obtaining the new title.  The Trumbull County Clerk of Courts Auto Title Department accepts CASH ONLY.

Take the NEW Certificate of Title to an Ohio Deputy Registrar License Agency to transfer the registration to your name. You do not need new license plates.  The transfer fee is $4.50. *Note: Some Title Offices are also Limited Authority Deputy Registrars and may be able to transfer the plates at the same time they are transferring the title into the Surviving Spouse’s name.  Trumbull County Auto Title Department is an LADR and this transaction can be completed at their office.

FOR TRANSFER WHEN THERE IS NO SURVIVING SPOUSE

Decedents should abide by the direction of the Executor of the will if the deceased left a will. The Executor handles the Estate, which includes the transfer of the title from the Probate Court (where the deceased resided)  to the beneficiary based on the provisions of the will. A Decedent can obtain a Release from Administration with Authority to Transfer from the county Probate Court if the deceased did not leave a will.

Once completed, the Executor (and/or Administrator and/or Commissioner) should present the Release from Administration with Authority to Transfer form or the Certificate of Transfer form and the original title of the vehicle should be presented to the Clerk of Courts Title Office for transfer to the purchaser.  The Executor/Administrator/ Commissioner will need to sign off for the Estate in front of a Notary Public and/or Deputy Clerk.  The purchaser will need to sign off in front of a Notary or Deputy Clerk on the “application” part of the Ohio Title. There will be a $16.00 fee for obtaining the new title.  The Trumbull County Clerk of Courts Auto Title Department accepts CASH ONLY.

Once completed, the purchaser can take the title to an Ohio Deputy Registrar License Agency to register the vehicle in their name, and obtain new license plates. *Note: Some Title Offices are also Limited Authority Deputy Registrars and may be able to transfer plates that are currently unexpired (in the Purchaser’s name) and/or order new plates at the same time they are performing title transactions.  Trumbull County Auto Title Department is an LADR and this transaction can be completed at their office.

FOR TRANSFER WHEN THERE IS A WITH RIGHTS OF SURVIVORSHIP AND/OR TOD DESIGNATION ON THE CERTIFICATE OF TITLE

Bring the original Certificate of Title with the WROS (With Rights of Survivorship) or TOD (Transfer On Death) designee and apply for a Certificate of Title as Surviving Spouse at the County Clerks of Court Title Office.  A certified copy of the Death Certificate is also required.  There will be a $16.00 fee for obtaining the new title.  The Trumbull County Clerk of Courts Auto Title Department accepts CASH ONLY.

Once completed, the designee can take their NEW title to an Ohio Deputy Registrar License Agency to register the vehicle in their name, and obtain new license plates. *Note: Some Title Offices are also Limited Authority Deputy Registrars and may be able to transfer plates that are currently unexpired (in the Purchaser’s name) and/or order new plates at the same time they are performing title transactions.  Trumbull County Auto Title Department is an LADR and this transaction can be completed at their office.