Chapter 8, Section D:
Registration Valid After Death of Owner

Revised July 12, 2012

Registration Continues to be Valid after Death of Owner (66-3-122)

Upon the death of a vehicle's registered owner, the vehicle's registration continues to be valid

  1. until the end of the current registration period; or
  2. until ownership of the vehicle is transferred by the personal representative of the deceased owner's estate or by a legatee or distributee of the estate; or
  3. until ownership is transferred by the survivor of two joint owners of the vehicle.

Transfer of Title to the Personal Representative

If the vehicle is transferred into the name of the personal representative (administrator, executor, executrix), the personal representative will pay registration and title fees. No excise tax is applicable. The transferee will be liable for late registration fees if the vehicle was operated after the registration period paid in the name of the deceased has expired.

Transfer Other Than to the Personal Representative

If this vehicle is transferred to a party other than the estate's personal representative, the new owner must pay registration, title fees, and excise tax. The new owner will also be liable for late registration and transfer penalties as evidenced by documents showing a date of sale or date of assignment.

Actual Mileage or Not Actual Mileage

Per PQU#139 (July 12, 2012), whoever has the legal ability to transfer title also has the ability to assert actual mileage (“to the best of my knowledge”), except when there is a gap in the vehicle’s ownership history such that the transferor cannot reasonably claim to have knowledge of the vehicle’s actual mileage. Accordingly, the personal representative of a vehicle owner who is deceased may assert actual mileage (AM).

Specific Title Transfer Requirements

For specific title transfer requirements when a vehicle's registered owner is deceased, see Section E (Deceased Owner/Court Appointed Personal Representative), Section F (Deceased Owner with No Will or Unprobated Will) or Section G (Transfer through Court Adjudication of Probate) of this chapter.