Overview of Transferring a Vehicle’s Title to the Beneficiary after the Probate Process

Transferring a vehicle’s title in Nevada after probate is completed is a relatively simple process if you have all the important documents before you start. The first step is gathering the required information and documents.

Information Required to Complete the Application for Vehicle Registration

  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) which can usually be found on a stamped metal plate on the driver’s side of the dashboard. Visually verify that the VIN on the vehicle matches the VIN on the title.
  • A description of the vehicle including its year, make, and model.
  • Include the new owner’s address and county where the vehicle will be located.
  • The new owner’s full legal name

Required Documents:

Gather these documents before you go to DMV.

  • A certified copy of the death certificate of the prior owner of the vehicle.
  • The declaration from the court showing that you are the party who is entitled to inherit the vehicle from the decedent’s estate.
  • The current title for the vehicle.
  • You may have to complete the Seller Information, including the odometer reading if the Executor did not complete the information.
  • Physically verify the reading and then sign the odometer certification verifying that the reading the Executor wrote accurately reflects the mileage.
  • Include the new owner’s address.
  • Proof that you have insurance on the vehicle from your Nevada insurance company or proof of self-insurance that meets Nevada’s requirements.
  • Completed Application for Vehicle Registration.
  • Include the name of the beneficiary if a transfer on death designation is to be included.
  • Emissions (SMOG) inspection, if required.

Non-operational Vehicles

If you inherited a vehicle that does not run, such as a partially restored Silver Ghost, you are not required to obtain insurance when you register the vehicle. Before the vehicle may be operated on the public roadways, you must ensure it. If you need to have it inspected in order to register a restored vehicle, you must obtain a movement permit from the DMV before driving it to an inspection station. You may also be required to have a safety inspection.

You will be required to visit a DMV office in order to obtain a movement permit. Only registered owners can obtain a movement permit online.


When transferring a vehicle’s title after the estate has been probated, the title should be free and clear of liens. In this case, the section of the title where a lienholder is named should state “None.” Loans cannot be assumed by the new owner. If the loan is not or cannot be satisfied during the probate process, the executor will need to make arrangements with the lender. It may be necessary for the new owner to refinance the vehicle. If this isn’t possible, the vehicle will need to be sold in order to pay off the lien.

Transferring a Vehicle to a Different State

If the heir resides in a state other than Nevada, the vehicle must be registered in the state where the heir resides. If the vehicle registration expired during the final illness or while it was stored during the probate process, you’ll need to obtain a drive away permit that allows you to legally drive the unregistered vehicle out of Nevada.

In order to obtain a movement permit, including a drive away permit, proof of your legal right to the vehicle must be presented. The death certificate, a copy of the court documents from probate, and your legal identification will be required.

If the Title was Lost

If the title to the vehicle is lost, a duplicate should be obtained by the Executor before the title is transferred.

Make an Appointment at the DMV

Some locations in Nevada allow you to make an appointment at the DMV to reduce waiting times.

Don’t go to the DMV without the required documents. The DMV won’t make exceptions because the requirements are dictated by law.

Contact a Las Vegas estate planning lawyer for assistance with all your estate planning and probate needs, including transferring the title on a vehicle you’ve inherited.

For more than 30 years, Attorney Lee A. Drizin has practiced in the areas of estate planning, probate, trusts, guardianship and real estate matters representing clients throughout the state of Nevada.

Drizin Law is providing this information for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. This information is based on general principles of Nevada law at the time it was created and you should be aware laws frequently change. Moreover, the laws affecting you may differ depending on the circumstances. You should consult with a qualified attorney in your own state or jurisdiction concerning your particular situation. Review of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.