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Vehicle Transfer on Death

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Transfer on Death allows vehicle owners to add or remove a beneficiary to the title of a motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer. The vehicle owner must be an individual, not a business. However, a business can be listed as the beneficiary.

Ownership of the vehicle passes to the beneficiary upon the death of all legal owners. The beneficiary must apply for a new title to complete the process. The new owner also must obtain a new registration in order to drive the vehicle on public streets.

Vehicles with a lienholder, lessor or titled as Tenants in Common may not carry a Transfer on Death beneficiary. A maximum of three vehicle owners and the beneficiary can be listed on a Certificate of Title.

Adding or Removing a Beneficiary

Only one beneficiary may be designated. Multiple vehicle owners cannot each have a different beneficiary. The beneficiary may be added (or removed) by a legal owner at any time, including during other transactions such as applying for a duplicate title or when removing a lienholder or buying out a lease.

The owner must submit the Certificate of Title, a Transfer on Death Application (VP 239) and a $20 Title Fee. We will mail the new title with the beneficiary listed in approximately eight weeks. It is not necessary to renew or update the vehicle registration.

All owner(s) may have to sign the Transfer on Death Application (VP 239) depending on how they are listed on the title. Owners should not sign the title itself.

If you do not have the existing Certificate of Title, you must submit an Application for Duplicate Title and, if necessary, a Lien Release. This is for vehicles that were last titled in Nevada. If the vehicle was last titled in another state, you must obtain a duplicate title from that state and then obtain a Nevada title.

You may submit the title or other forms, the Transfer on Death Application and title fee at any DMV Full Service Office or by mail.

If you choose the mail, for your protection, we suggest you use registered or certified mail. Please include an explanation letter with your full name, current address, daytime telephone number and Nevada license plate number. Mail this, the above documents and a check or money order payable to DMV or a Payment Authorization for $20 to:

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Department of Motor Vehicles
Title Processing
555 Wright Way
Carson City, NV 89711

The procedures to remove or change a beneficiary are the same as above. Check the appropriate box on the Transfer on Death Application.

The beneficiary will be removed if a lienholder or lessor is later added to the title (e.g. a loan is taken out on the vehicle).

The Transfer on Death designation must be added prior to the death of the legal owner. Nevada laws apply only to vehicles titled in Nevada. A vehicle titled in another state is subject to the laws of that state.

Transferring a Vehicle

Beneficiaries have no ownership interest in, or control of, the vehicle until after all owners have died. A beneficiary wishing to claim ownership of a vehicle must have a certified copy of the Death Certificate(s) of the owner(s).

The beneficiary must surrender the license plates. See Plate Surrender/Refunds. The deceased person's Driver License must also be surrendered to the DMV for cancellation.

The beneficiary must submit the Death Certificate(s) to the DMV along with the Certificate of Title and a $20 Title Fee. If the title is not available, a Transfer On Death - Beneficiary’s Affidavit For Title (VP 241) form may be submitted in its place. An Application for Duplicate Title is not necessary. The new title will be mailed in approximately eight weeks.

You may submit the Certificate of Title or VP 241, the certified copy of the Death Certificate(s) and the Title Fee in person at any DMV Full Service Office. You may use the mail as outlined above if you are transferring the title only. If you wish to register and drive the vehicle, you must visit a DMV office.

The beneficiary must obtain insurance and a movement permit or vehicle registration to drive the vehicle on any public street. To register the vehicle, you must obtain an emissions inspection if required, pay the normal registration fees and obtain new license plates. Fee credits from the deceased person's registration do not transfer to the beneficiary.

Living Will Lockbox

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You may also wish to visit the Nevada Living Will Lockbox, an official Secretary of State website where you can file directives such as living wills and “do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders for access by designated health care professionals and family.