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Vehicle Title Transfer After a Death

With Probate

Did the individual’s death go through probate? If so, the person(s) assigned as the executor(s) must use their Letter of Appointment to properly assign the title to a new owner. The Letter of Appointment must be provided with the title to the new owner. If the title is not available, the executor(s) can apply for a replacement title using the Letter of Appointment and the Application for Replacement of Iowa Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle (Duplicate Title Application) (Iowa DOT form 411033).

Without Probate

If the individual’s death did not go through probate, the vehicle transfers to the next of kin using Affidavit of Death Intestate (Iowa DOT form 411088) or Certification of Death Testate (With a Will) (Iowa DOT form 411083).  If the person entitled to the vehicle is not the next of kin but are given the vehicle per the Will, then they also will use Certification of Death Testate (With a Will).  A copy of the death certificate must be provided at the time of transfer.  If there are any unreleased security interests on the vehicle, those will carry forward to the new owner unless a separate, notarized Cancellation of Security Interest (Iowa DOT form 411168) or an original letter on the lien holder’s letterhead paper releases interest. The letter must contain the following information: make, year, VIN, owner’s name(s) and address, signature of authorized person, and the letter must be notarized.


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