Chapter 8, Section F:
Deceased Owner, No Will or Unprobated Will - Claiming Successor

Revised July 12, 2012

If the owner of a vehicle or vessel dies and leaves no will, or the will has not been probated, there are two ways to accomplish a transfer of title: Claiming Successor and Transfer Without Probate (Section G).

Claiming Successor (Sec. 45-3-1201)

When the net estate value of the deceased owner is no more than $50,000, the claiming successor may apply for title.

Note: The dollar limit on the net estate value increased from $30,000 to $50,000 effective January 1, 2012.

Section 45-3-1201(A) NMSA 1978 - Collection of personal property by affidavit.

A. Thirty days after the death of a decedent, any person indebted to the decedent or having possession of tangible personal property or an instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock or chose in action belonging to the decedent shall make payment of the indebtedness or deliver the tangible personal property or an instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock or chose in action to a person claiming to be the successor of the decedent upon being presented an affidavit made by or on behalf of the successor stating that:

  1. the value of the entire estate of the decedent, wherever located, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed $50,000;
  2. 30 days have elapsed since the death of the decedent;
  3. no application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted in any jurisdiction; and
  4. the claiming successor is entitled to payment or delivery of the property.


  • Certificate of Title
  • Affidavit of Claiming Successor (MVD-10013)
  • Original or Certified Copy of Death Certificate or, for military personnel, DD Form 1300 Report of Casualty
  • Release of Lien, if a lien is reflected
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement (MVD-10187) Must be provided for all motor vehicles, except off-highway vehicles. Per PQU#139 (July 12, 2012), the personal representative may assert actual mileage (AM).
  • NCIC check

If title is lost, claiming successor may apply for a duplicate Title. Clerk will process transaction as a title transfer and add in duplicate title fees.

NOTES: Claimant does not need to be related to the deceased. Field office personnel must certify on the copy, that they have viewed the original or a certified copy of the Death Certificate or DD Form 1300.