How to Remove a Name From a Car Title

There are many reasons one may want or need to remove a name from a title, such as a divorce, death, inheritance, selling a personal vehicle, or giving the vehicle to someone else, to name just a few. This is also known as transferring the title. Continue below to find the steps to remove a name from a car title.

Overview: Removing a Name from a Car Title

Under most circumstances, removing a name from a car title is straightforward. A title transfer is like a sale where the name you remove is the seller, and the remaining name(s) is the buyer.

  1. On the back of the title certificate, complete the outlined form.
  2. Take the completed form to the DMV to be issued a new title with the correct names on the title.

Be careful! The DMV might not accept mistakes or alterations on your title transfer. Each state will have specific steps or instructions on how to fill out and file a title transfer. Make sure you are aware of such tasks.

What You May Need: 

  • If you are removing a name due to a death, you will most likely need a death certificate for verification.
  • If it is because of an inheritance, you may need to present the will as proof.
  • If for divorce, you will need settlement papers.

To Begin the Process:

  1. The person who is requesting the name removal needs to fill out the section of the title, which reads: CAR SELLER.
    • The name that stays on the title is known as the BUYER. 
    • Check to see if there is a lienholder listed (the entity that owns the vehicle until all payments have been made). If there is, the person who remains on the title (the buyer) will be responsible for making the payments on the vehicle.
    • In some states, you can’t alter a title at all if the vehicle has a lienholder. The vehicle must be paid off in full first.
  2. Check to see if you need permission from the other party listed. (See the section below on AND/OR vs. AND).
  3. If a signature is needed from the other party listed on the title, have them sign the back, signifying they agree with the revision. (If they’re out of state, you can mail the title and have them send it back to you after they sign it).
  4. Take the title to the DMV and inform them that you want to be the only person listed on the title and you have signed it over.
  5. The DMV agent will order a new title with just your name and issue your new tags. 

Removing Your Name

If you want to remove YOUR name from the title, you must sign the back, where instructed, to sign it over to the other party listed.

Important Difference Between AND/OR and AND

  • If the title is in two names and reads “Jane Doe AND/OR John Doe,” you can remove either name without permission from the other party.
  • If the title reads “Jane Doe AND John Doe,” you will need permission and a signature from the other party to remove a name from a title.

The Difference Between States

This process may differ depending on the state you reside in, as each state has dissimilar rules governing titles and transfers. Be sure to check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for their requirements, plus any documents you may need.

They will also tell you if this process requires notarizing documents and if all parties must be physically present at the DMV to finalize this request, or if this transaction can be achieved through the mail. 

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