Requirements for Titling a Vehicle After an Owner Dies

Once a vehicle owner has passed away, the process for transferring the car title of the deceased person varies.

FOR SURVIVING SPOUSE
A surviving spouse may title the vehicle in his or her name only by submitting a title application in the spouse's name (no fee is required if at the time of death, the deceased was a Maine resident and the vehicle was registered and titled in Maine), the vehicle's title, and an MVT-22 completed by the spouse. If the vehicle was financed, the spouse must submit a lien release or obtain consent from the lien holder to title in the spouse's name (form MVT-27).
If a surviving spouse sells the vehicle, the spouse should provide the buyer with the title transferred to the buyer, a release of any lien and form MVT-22 completed by the spouse.

INFORMATION CONCERNING JOINT OR COMMON OWNERSHIP OF A VEHICLE
Under the terms of "joint" ownership, when a joint owner dies the surviving owner(s) retains complete ownership of the
vehicle. In the case of common ownership, if one of the common owners dies, the surviving common owner(s) and the deceased's estate own equal shares of the vehicle.

FOR JOINT OWNERS (Title states "joint ownership")
A surviving joint owner may title the vehicle in his or her name by submitting a title application in the survivor's name, the title fee, the vehicle's title and a copy of the deceased's death certificate or form MVT-22 completed by the survivor. If the vehicle was financed, the survivor must submit a lien release or obtain consent from the lien holder to title in the survivor's name alone. (form MVT-27) If a surviving joint owner sells the vehicle, the survivor should provide the buyer with the title transferred to the buyer, a release of any lien and a copy of the deceased's death certificate or form MVT-22 completed by the survivor.

FOR OWNERS IN COMMON OTHER THAN SPOUSES (There are two or more names listed on the title as owners
and the title does not state joint ownership.)
A surviving common owner may title the vehicle in his or her name by submitting a title application in the survivor's
name, the title fee, the vehicle's title, form MVT-22 completed by the Personal Representative of the deceased and a transfer of ownership from the Personal Representative (a copy of the Probate Court appointment must be attached). If there is no court appointed Personal Representative, the survivor must submit a letter from Probate Court stating there is no will of the deceased's being probated and a transfer to the survivor from all immediate heirs of the deceased. In addition, any lien holder must release the lien or provide consent to title the vehicle in the survivor's name alone. (form MVT-27) If a surviving common owner sells the vehicle, the survivor must provide the buyer with all material as listed in the paragraph above except the title application and fee, as well as a transfer from the survivor to the buyer.

FOR PERSONS PURCHASING A VEHICLE FROM A DECEASED INDIVIDUAL'S ESTATE
A person purchasing a vehicle from an estate must obtain the title to the vehicle transferred by the Personal Representative of the estate and a copy of the Personal Representative's appointment from Probate Court. If there is no Personal Representative appointed by Probate Court, the buyer must obtain a transfer from all immediate heirs of the deceased and form MVT-22 must be signed by all immediate heirs with a statement from the court that no will is being probated.

Requirements for Titling a Vehicle After an Owner Dies
Death of an Owner - Surviving Spouse

Keeping Vehicle:
1. Title
2. MVT-22 completed by surviving spouse
3. MVT -2 in surviving spouses name


Keeping Vehicle (Maine Title Lost):

1. MVT-8 in prior owner's name(s) signed by the surviving spouse
2. MVT-22 completed by surviving spouse
MVT-2 in surviving spouse's name

Selling Vehicle - Provide New owner the following:
1. Title
2. MVT-22 completed by surviving spouse
3. Transfer of ownership to new owner

Selling Vehicle (Maine Title Lost):
Surviving spouse must obtain a title in their name first before selling
1. See "Keeping Vehicle (Maine Title is Lost)"
2. Title (in surviving spouses name)
3. Transfer of ownership from all owners named on new title to new owner

Death of an Owner - Joint Owner
Keeping Vehicle:
1. Title
2. Copy of death certificate
3. MVT-2 in joint owner's name
Keeping Vehicle (Maine Title Lost):
1. MVT-8 in prior owner's names signed by the surviving joint owner
2. copy of death certificate
3. MVT-2 in surviving joint owner's name
Selling Vehicle - Provide new owner the following:
1. Title
2.Copy of death certificate
3. Transfer of ownership from surviving joint owner to new owner
Selling Vehicle (Maine Title Lost):
Surviving joint owner must obtain a title in their name before selling
1. See "Keeping Vehicle (Maine Title is Lost)"
2. Title in joint owner's name
3. Transfer of ownership from all owners named on new title to new owner
Death of an Owner - Personal Representative
Keeping Vehicle:
1. Title
2. Copy of personal rep's court appointment
3. MVT-2 in personal rep's name(s)
Keeping Vehicle (Maine Title Lost):
1. MVT-8 in prior owner's name(s) signed by the personal rep
2. Copy of personal rep's court appointment
3. MVT-2 in personal rep's name(s).
Selling Vehicle - Provide new owner the following:
1. Title
2. Copy of personal rep's court appointment
3. Transfer of ownership from personal rep(s) to new owner
Selling Vehicle (Maine Title Lost):
Personal Rep(s) must obtain a title in their name before selling
1. See "Keeping Vehicle (Maine Title Lost)"
2. Title in personal rep's name(s)
3. Transfer of ownership from all owners named on new title to new owner
Heirs of the Deceased - No Personal Representative Appointed by the Court
Keeping Vehicle:
1. Title
2. MVT-22 completed by all immediate heirs
a. spouse
b. children
c. parent(s)
d. sibling(s)
3. Statement from probate court, no will probated
4. Transfer of ownership (when required)
5. MVT-2 in heir's name(s)
Keeping Vehicle (Maine Title Lost):
1. MVT-8 in prior owner's name signed by all heirs
2. MVT-22 completed by all immediate heirs
a. spouse
b. children
c. parent(s)
d. sibling(s)
3. Statement from probate court, no will probated
4. MVT-2 in heir's name(s)
5. Transfer of ownership (when required)
Selling Vehicle - Provide new owner the following:
1. Title
2. MVT-22 completed by all immediate heirs
a. spouse
b. children
c. parent(s)
d. sibling(s)
3. Statement from probate court, no will probated
4. Transfer of ownership from heir(s) to new owner
Selling Vehicle (Maine Title Lost):
Heir(s) must obtain a title in their name before selling
1. See "Keeping Vehicle (Maine Title Lost)"
2. Title in heir's name(s)
3. Transfer of ownership from all owners named on new title to new owner

Note: your situation may differ from the examples provided. If they do, please contact the title section by calling 207-624-9000 ext. 52138 or by emailing them at: titles.bmv@maine.gov

Title Examination & Information Unit
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
29 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0029