Does the DMV Know When Someone Dies

The DMV is responsible for registering and licensing vehicles and vehicle owners, the DMV doesn’t immediately have access to information about a person if this information hasn’t been directly passed across to them. So, does the DMV know when someone dies?

The DMV does not know when someone dies until you notify Social Security about the death of the person. The DMV can also be notified by calling them in case you need to get rid of any sensitive records.

Who are The DMV?

The DMV simply means the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV was created to attend to the needs of car drivers.

They attend to everything that has to do with registering vehicles, licensing drivers, organizing tests for drivers that want to get a license, conducting driver’s tests, and every other thing that has to do with cars and registration.

The DMV takes all the records and is also in charge of bleeping the records.

These records include the information of every registered car and driver so that the state can be accountable for every vehicle moving on the streets and every person that is driving a car.

They have the right to use the information that is given by car owners and drivers when there is a need to use it and the use of this information has to be legal.

They also update their records of car owners and drivers consistently as different things happen.

Accidents, violations of driving rules and regulations, convictions, and all other notable happenings would be added to the record of every citizen by the staff of the DMV.

DMV officials are also in charge of handing out licenses to companies that manufacture cars and their distributors.

They give licenses to all that are in the business of cars and every car-related job ranging from driving schools, their instructors, and every other car-related area of expertise.

The DMV looks into the complaints that are made by the consumers concerning vehicles and also rectify the mistakes that were complained about so that the same complaint isn’t lodged twice.

All licensing, regulations, investigations, and information accessing that is done by the DMV are done according to and within the confines of the laws of the state.

Does the DMV Know When Someone Dies?

The DMV isn’t immediately notified about the death of a person, although they would eventually be notified.

If the DMV isn’t notified by the person, it usually takes time before they know that someone whose records they keep is dead.

Notifying the DMV isn’t compulsory but it should be done just so the identity of the deceased is kept safe.

It is important to also notify the DMV so that the necessary change of name can be made to the plates(if it was registered with the name of the deceased).

Also, the registration name and title can be amended and updated to the name of someone who’s still alive or the person that’s using the vehicle.

How Do I Notify the DMV When Someone Dies?

Reporting a death can vary from state to state but it doesn’t have to be difficult. You can check for your state’s requirements before heading to or putting a call through to the DMV.

Although requirements carry for different states, there are a few documents that are generally needed when planning to notify the DMV about someone’s death.

  • Death certificate of the deceased
  • Driver’s license of the deceased
  • Vehicle registration and title of the deceased
  • License plates of the deceased
  • Permits that were gotten by the deceased.

All of these documents are required in most places to be able to report a death at the DMV.

However, at some DMV you can report the death via their call center and you’ll be asked to send the documents needed via email.

Sometimes they ask that the documents be mailed along with a letter stating what you want them to do.

What Happens if I Don’t Notify the DMV About a Death?

When the DMV is not notified about the death of a person, their records won’t have the record.

If a property of the deceased, maybe the car of the deceased is being driven around by another person, the person can be stopped and delayed or even accused of theft except if the person driving is an immediate family member of the deceased.

That way, some of their names correlate but will still be delayed and questioned just to ensure the car is not stolen.

All of this is just the standard procedure and is a result of not informing the DMV about the demise of the car owner.

What Happens When the DMV is Notified of a Death?

When the DMV is notified of the death of a registered car owner, they will begin a procedure to settle all the records of the deceased.

The procedures are;

1. Canceling the Driver’s License of the Deceased

After submitting all the necessary documents, the DMV employee would remove the name of the deceased from their records and mailing list so that the name of that person cannot be used by anyone for fraudulent purposes.

2. Reassign the Vehicle’s Registration

The name that was used for the registration of the vehicle would be changed to the name of the beneficiary

3. Transfer Vehicle Ownership

The name of the beneficiary is retitled as the new owner of the vehicle, to do this you’d be asked to submit the death certificate, driver’s license, vehicle title papers, and receipt of payment of the appropriate fees.

Pros of Notifying DMV of a Death

  • Discourages Impersonation: When the DMV has been notified of the death of an individual, they would have gone through the necessary procedure of marking the person’s file as “deceased”.
  • When someone else tries to get any sort of information, such a person can be quickly apprehended because they’ll know that the person is dead and whoever is asking is impersonating.
  • It also discourages people from using the person’s Identity for fraud.
  • Saves Relatives or The Driver from Embarrassment: When the death of a car owner hasn’t been reported, the DMV’s records have not been updated and the car hasn’t been reassigned to a new person.
  • When they’re stopped by law enforcement officials, they can be delayed and questioned just to confirm the authenticity of whatever they’re telling the law enforcement officers.

Cons of Not Notifying the DMV of a Death

It is not compulsory in most places but when a car owner passes on, the DMV should be notified so that they can have up-to-date records of people and they’re not missing out on any information.

This way, they can be held responsible for any harassment and unnecessary delay that comes from not having up-to-date information. If they haven’t been informed, there’s nothing they can or could’ve done about it.

Final thoughts

Losing a person, especially a relative can be carried sad and draining, both emotionally and physically but you should try to set things in order so that nobody will have issues with law enforcement officials.