Chapter 8, Section I:
Transfer through Court Order

Revised August 13, 2008

Court orders are decisions by the courts establishing ownership of certain tangible properties including motor vehicles. The court order awards ownership of a vehicle to an individual or business in cases such as divorces, ownership disputes, forfeitures, etc.


  • Certificate of Title – The current title must be surrendered. In cases where the title is lost, stolen, etc., the recipient may obtain a duplicate title. The transaction shall be processed as a title transfer with the duplicate title fee being added in. Begin transaction with a vehicle inquiry and print the vehicle record.
  • Original or Certified Copy of Court Order, which names the recipient of the vehicle AND identifies the vehicle(s) by vehicle identification number (VIN). In cases where the court order has an error or errors in the identification of the vehicle(s), the recipient must obtain an amended court order indicating the correct vehicle information.
  • Release of Lien, if the title shows a lien holder, unless the court orders MVD to issue a “lien-free” title. Otherwise, carry the lien over to the new title.
  • Fees – Normal registration and title fees are applicable. If the applicant is the recipient named in a Will, no excise tax is applicable.
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement (motor vehicles, except off-highway vehicles) – (If the owner of record is not signing the Odometer Disclosure Statement as seller, the odometer reading must be recorded as NM - not actual miles.)
  • Bill of Sale – The recipient of the vehicle may transfer ownership to another individual. This transaction will be processed as a “double transfer”, assessing the title fee to the original recipient and another title fee to the new owner. Tax and registration fees will be assessed as applicable to the new owner only.
  • NCIC check