Inheriting a Vehicle - Registration Status

When a vehicle owner dies, the surviving spouse, or, if no spouse, the next closest kin inherit the vehicle if the owner's estate is not probated.  When the deceased's title is transferred to the spouse's name or next closest kin's name, the license plate remains on the vehicle and is transferred into the relative's name.  The title fee is $15.  There is no fee for transferring the license plate when it is inherited.

 

If the surviving spouse or next closest kin elects to sell the vehicle rather than titling it in their name, the license plate can be transferred to the new owner if the new owner is a relative of the deceased vehicle owner.

 

If the vehicle owner's estate is being probated, the Personal Representative appointed by Probate Court distributes all assets of the deceased, including vehicles.  If the Personal Representative assigns the deceased's title to a relative of the deceased, the relative may inherit the license plate.  If the Personal Representative assigns the deceased's title to a non-relative of the deceased, the license plate cannot be used by the new owner.  The new owner will need to purchase a new license plate or transfer a plate they already own.