To Transfer Title From A Deceased Owner?

The required documentation listed below may vary if the next of kin or executor of the estate are titling and tag in their name versus selling it to a third party.  If you are the next of kin or executor titling a vehicle from a deceased owner into your name we encourage you to contact one of our offices for instructions.

Single Ownership:
No Will, or Will That Does Not Require Probate:

  • Original Title
  • Original Death Certificate
  • MVT-5-6 (Next of Kin form) completed and notarized
  • One and the Same affidavit completed if name is different on death certificate and title
  • Bill of Sale  or Gift Affidavit (applicable only if the vehicle is being sold and not being titled to the next of kin) 
  • A valid (non-expired) Driver’s License or State issued ID for each owner. The names on the driver’s license/ID much match the names on the paperwork and must be the owner’s current legal name. 
  • Proof of Insurance  (insurance provider must be licensed to do business in Alabama)


Probated Will:

  • Original title properly signed by executor of the estate (name must be signed exactly as the name appears in the Letters of Testamentary or Letters of Administration)
  • Vehicles with an out of state title must be present for VIN inspection or an inspection form filled out and signed by an Alabama law enforcement officer.
  • Letters of Testamentary or Letters of Administration naming the executor of the estate (we will accept a legible photocopy)
  • Bill of Sale oGift Affidavit (applicable only if the vehicle is being sold and not being titled to the next of kin) 
  • A valid (non-expired) Driver’s License or State issued ID for each owner. The names on the driver’s license/ID must match the names on the paperwork and must be the owner’s current legal name. 
  • Proof of Insurance 

Dual Ownership:

If the vehicle has dual ownership and the names are joined on the title with an “or” or “and/or” the co-owner becomes the sole owner of the vehicle immediately upon the death of the co-owner. The surviving owner shall present an application for certificate of title within 30 days of obtaining ownership.
To transfer ownership from the deceased owner, the surviving owner must bring in the original title and original death certificate of deceased owner for transfer of title.

If the names are joined on the title with “and” or nothing separating the names, it is presumed by the state to be “AND”. In this case, the deceased owner’s interest in the vehicle becomes part of their estate upon death and single ownership rules will apply.
In the event both owners are deceased, the estate of the last surviving owner shall determine ownership and rules of single ownership shall apply.

 Download a printable checklist here
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This information provided by the Shelby County License Department is the most current and thorough information available to help expedite your transaction. The license department regards every transaction as unique however we have only addressed the most common types of transactions and provided you the basic information to assist you with the documents needed before your visit to our license offices. Since every situation cannot be foreseen we encourage you to include any additional documentation you may deem pertinent to your transaction. For your convenience we also encourage you to use the printable checklists that are available within the text.