My Husband Died and My Name is Not on the Car Title

Death is not a beautiful thing, especially when it involves a loved one but, all the same, we have to be strong to be able to continue living.

Perhaps, your deceased husband left behind a car that doesn’t have your name titled on it, whether it’s a luxury or classic car, it can’t be left idle without anyone driving it. What should you do since your name is not on the title?

If your husband died and your name is not on the car title, you will have to contact a probate court and attorney to help transfer the title to your name, get all the documents needed to make the transfer successful and visit the title office with all documents to complete the transfer process.

What Happens if My Husband Died and My Name is Not on the Car Title?

If your name is not on the car title, it means you have no ownership over the said car, and for that to be changed, you will need to have a transfer of the car title to your name.

In the scenario when your husband passes and your name isn’t on the car title, the car will probably go into probate.

A “Probate” is a form of a legal process that allows the court to oversee the sharing and distribution of the deceased assets and how his debts will also be paid in the presence of a will or not.

I know you’re possibly wondering why his properties need to go through a probate. To answer your question, it is important to ensure there is orderliness after the owner has passed away.

Not all things will go through probate, a chair will probably not go through probate except if it is a golden chair laced with silver that is worth a fortune. But properties like estates, lands, and cars will surely pass through probate.

So automatically the property of a deceased is a probate asset, you’ll need to get them on a call first to have things ironed out.

A car in probate cannot be possessed until you have completed a title transfer. If you find yourself in this position, there is no reason to fret; neither should you be excessively anxious. Take a breath and reach out to your attorney for further instructions.

What Should I Do If My Husband Died And My Name Is Not On The Car Title?

My condolences. However, if your husband is dead and his car title is not in your name, you will need to transfer the car title to your name. This is the only way you can claim ownership of the car.

Moreover, it is important to note that, at first, the vehicle will be in probate until you contact the court or an attorney. Therefore, if your husband died and your name isn’t on the car title, the following steps are what you should try doing.

1. Contact A Probate Court And Attorney

When a person dies with his name engraved on the property, it can’t just be taken away without involving the governing bodies because automatically, the property goes to probate until someone comes to claim with credible documents.

After discovering that your late husband has only his name on the car title and you wish to transfer ownership to yourself, you’ll need to first complete probate. To do this, you will need to contact Probate Court or any attorney to get further instructions.

Calling an attorney is quite fast as the court might be a little delayed in giving you a response.

After making contact with an attorney, you should wear some armor of patience and resilience as getting the car title to bear your name isn’t a walk around the park, it is a complicated process depending on what situation you are in.

Once the probate is done, the next in line or whoever is in line to claim it can then have the car or possibly place it out for sale.

A probate may be the most straining part of the entire process of transferring the title of a deceased, you will need the help of an attorney who knows the law and can act the law inside out.

2. Get All Documents to Make the Transfer Successful

Laws are kept awoken by documents. So aside from you reaching out to an attorney, you sure want to have some documents scattered in your handbag ready to be presented at a mention.

Possibly you have the contact of the attorney to get the probate process done but don’t know what documents you need to find, here are a few documents recognized in most states.

  • An order from a probate court to transfer the Vehicle
  • A certificate of the title
  • An odometer disclosure statement
  • A Death Certificate (Certificate of the one who died)
  • Transfer fee

To be on the safer side, you can call the attorney to inquire about the document needed.

3. Make a Visit to the Title Office

This doesn’t have to strain you a bit. If you are the administrator of the deceased person’s car or other properties, you should visit the Title office with all documents intact to complete the transfer process. You should notify the DMV about the death as well.

Benefit Of Having Both Couple’s Names On Car Title

There are so many benefits to having both couples’ names on the car title. They are:

Full Rights to the Car

Nothing makes more sense than not going through the thick and thin of the entire probate process. At first, it will require some coins which are sacrificed as payment for a title transfer and other underlying expenses.

Aside from the payment to transfer the title, it is also a stressful procedure that will require you to be deeply involved in having the title moved.

You Both Bear the Cost of Maintenance

This also is quite an advantage because you’re both liable for whatever outcome you get from driving the car. The maintenance, insurance, fueling, and all other attached expenses are what you both will bear together.

This sounds a little interesting to see that you both grow stronger with trust and some sense of an economical approach to situations.

You Both Share in Trust

When couples own property together, they both cherish it with all they have got which in a sense ensures trust and transparency. That is to say that, if two names are on a car title, no one can sell the car without the consent of the other.


When your husband doesn’t have your name on the title of his car and he passes away, you will need to contact the probate court or seek the help of an attorney for further instructions on how to transfer the lost title to your name.