Often, motor vehicles are transferred through the Louisiana succession process in the same way as other property. However, sometimes, a motor vehicle’s title needs to be transferred more quickly than other types of property. For example, a spouse or another heir may need the title transferred as soon as possible for insurance purposes or to sell the vehicle.
Eligibility to Transfer a Vehicle Title by Affidavit
An affidavit allows everyone who has a legal interest in the vehicle to legally and officially transfer ownership to one person.
If the vehicle owner died with a will, that will should determine who gets the car, truck, motorcycle, or other type of motor vehicle. If the will doesn’t address who should get the motor vehicle, the surviving spouse should get ownership unless the spouse’s rights are revoked.
If the vehicle owner died without a will, then in many cases, the surviving spouse may register the vehicle in his or her name. Alternatively, the surviving spouse and the decedent’s children may file an affidavit for joint ownership. If a spouse does not survive the decedent, a child of the decedent may file an affidavit. However, if more than one child applies for ownership, those children will be considered equal owners. Additional rules determine who may file an affidavit for transfer of vehicle title if there is no surviving spouse or child. Once eligibility is determined, an affidavit may be filed.
Requirements for Transferring a Vehicle Title by Affidavit
According to the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles, an affidavit of heirship must include the following:
- Appropriate signatures as required by law
- A copy of the decedent’s will or notarized statement about the will’s contents regarding motor vehicles, if a will exists
- The vehicle’s Louisiana title and registration certificate, if it is available
- The vehicle’s current mileage or an odometer disclosure form
- Original or certified copy of any loans or liens on the vehicle
- A copy of a renunciation document, if applicable
- A completed vehicle application form
- Any applicable fees and taxes
- A copy of each vehicle owner’s photo identification or driver’s license
If you need the title to a motor vehicle quickly, we encourage you to contact our New Orleans succession attorneys as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.