DC Title Work and Estates

DC Title Work for Vehicles Acquired through Death of the Owner

Your vehicle’s title is a legal document that demonstrates you are the proper owner of your vehicle. Every vehicle title should have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and other information noted on it. If you acquire a vehicle through the death of the owner, you will need to obtain a title for the car.

Who Can Acquire Titles in This Manner?

A surviving joint owner of the vehicle can apply for a DC title certificate by showing the title with them listed as a joint owner and a death certificate. Whenever this scenario occurs, the title will be exempt from excise tax.

If you are not a surviving joint owner, you will need to bring numerous documents along (listed below) to transfer the vehicle.

Your Checklist

Below is a list of the things we’ll need from you to help complete the title process in the event that you are not a surviving joint owner but have rightful ownership of a vehicle. Please read this list carefully and ensure that you have each item:

  • An assignment of title that has been executed by the deceased’s personal representative or the executor of the estate
  • An authenticated copy of a small estate order that includes the vehicle in question as an asset of the estate or the trust agreement that shows the decedent as the rightful owner
  • A copy of the deceased’s death certificate
  • 2 photocopies of your DC driver’s license 
  • Completed Power of Attorney form
  • Completed Certificate of Title/Temporary Tag Application: Completed Certificate of Title/Temporary Tag Application: If you have trouble with either this or the Power of Attorney form, we can help walk you through the process
  • A signed blank check made out to the DC Treasurer that will be used to pay for your title work and additional services

Don’t Forget!

Typically, your title will be mailed to you within 15 days of the service being completed. However, if you do not receive it after those business days, we will make a courtesy trip back to the DMV to ensure that the title has been mailed properly.

If you are only looking for the title to the vehicle and will not be operating it in the District, the vehicle will not technically need to be insured or pass inspection. However, if you want to operate the vehicle inside of the District, you will also need valid registration and inspection.

DC Title Work Is Easy with USVRS

USVRS has streamlined the process of obtaining vehicle titles through the DMV as much as possible, even in complicated situations like death or divorce. You don’t need to worry about standing in line, bringing the wrong documents with you, or dealing with all of the stress that a trip to the DMV typically involves.

USVRS is built around one concept—that your time is better spent anywhere but the Department of Motor Vehicles. We specialize in helping our valued customers in Washington, D.C. including Spring Valley, Van Ness, and Dupont Circle. If you need title work, just give us a call! We’d love to give you back your time.