Lost Car Title? What to do when you can’t find your Certificate of Title for a car owned by an estate

Inheriting a car but can't find the Title? Check out our guide on what to do.
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Lost Car Title? What to do when you can’t find your Certificate of Title for a car owned by an estate

Jenna Mendelsohn
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Regardless if you reside in Maryland, New York, or South Dakota, the proper steps and protocols must be followed when transferring the vehicle of a deceased person. As you review this guide, consider local and state-specific laws to determine the proper steps to take to transfer a title across different circumstances. As you read through the various scenarios, review the lists of items needed to transfer the Certificate of Title. Before going through this process, be sure to physically hold the Certificate of Title and follow the steps outlined below to obtain that document. 

Missing title illustration


If you are not able to locate the Certificate of Title in hand STOP and make an appointment at the Motor Vehicles Association. When attending this appointment, bring the following: 

  1. An original death certificate
  2. Original Letters of Administration or Letters Testamentary
  3. The vehicle’s VIN
  4. Your driver’s license

Once you arrive with these items, they should be able to generate a new Certificate of Title for you with ease! 

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