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Inheriting a Vehicle (Survivorship)

Overview

This page provides information about the disposition of a deceased person's vehicle, i.e., inheriting a vehicle.

Of primary concern is the vehicle title and registration. Title and registration requirements for the Oregon-titled vehicle of a deceased person depends on whether survivorship is listed on the title and whether the estate is probated or not probated.

Use the links below to go directly to any section:

Survivorship
When there is more than one owner, they may indicate whether they want their Oregon title to show survivorship. Survivorship means there is co-ownership of the vehicle. Other states may call this joint ownership or joint tenancy. See Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 105.920 for Oregon's legal definition of survivorship. If survivorship has been selected, it will reflect on the vehicle title and record.
Title WITH Survivorship
One of the Owners Is Deceased
If one or more, but not all of the owners are deceased, you must: All Owners Are Deceased
If all owners are deceased then Contact DMV at (503) 945-5000 for more information.

Title WITHOUT Survivorship
Estate of the Deceased is being Probated
If the estate is being probated, you must:
  • Provide a copy of the court-issued Letter of Testamentary or equivalent document appointing the personal representative of the estate;
  • Provide the Oregon Title (if available);
  • Provide a release of interest by the personal representative:
    • On the title (if available), or
    • On a separate Bill of Sale (Form 735-501); if the court appoints more than one person, each person must sign to release the interest for the deceased;
  • Fill out an Application for Title and Registration (Form 735-226):
  • Provide any other supporting documents needed to transfer the title (see Title Requirements for more information);
  • Figure and pay all applicable fees;
  • Submit your completed application, supporting materials and payment to DMV.   
Estate was Probated but has been Closed
If the estate was probated but it has already been closed, you must: Estate is NOT being Probated
If the estate is not being probated, you must:
  • Provide notarized Inheritance Affidavits (Form 735-516) listing who is awarded the vehicle from each heir;
  • Provide the Oregon Title (if available);
  • Provide, if there is a security interest in the vehicle, the following:
    • Evidence that all security interests in the vehicle have been satisfied, or
    • Written consent from the security interest holder to transfer the title to new owner;
  • Fill out an Application for Title and Registration (Form 735-226):
  • Provide any other supporting documents needed to transfer the title (see Title Requirements for more information);
  • Figure and pay all applicable fees;
  • Submit your completed application, supporting materials and payment to DMV.
How to Submit Your Application
You may submit your completed title and registration application, supporting materials and payment to a DMV office (if all is in order, you may be able to get plates or stickers at the office), or mail your materials to the address below:
Oregon DMV
1905 Lana Ave NE
Salem, OR 97314
Make checks or money orders payable to "Oregon DMV."
 
Note: Due to the added costs of merchant fees, DMV offices only accept cash or checks and do not accept credit or debit cards; however, ATMs are available at most offices.

How Long Will It Take
If your paperwork is accurate and complete when received at DMV Headquarters in Salem, and your payment is correct, your plates are generally mailed within 5-10 business days. 
 
Titles are generally mailed to applicants about three to five weeks after DMV receives the necessary paperwork. Delays may occur during peak processing months.

More Information
For more information about DMV requirements, please contact DMV at (503) 945-5000, or in Portland Metro Area at (503) 299-9999.

Note: DMV cannot provide legal advice.

Related Information

Additional information that may be relevant includes: