Your car’s Certificate of Title, commonly referred to as a car title or pink slip, dictates the legal ownership of your vehicle. It is a required document to transfer ownership to another party. If you own your vehicle outright, your car’s title will be in your name.
You may decide you want to add somebody else’s name to your car title in case something happens to you or to give the person equal ownership in the vehicle. This can be because:
- You have recently married
- You want to allow a family member to use your vehicle regularly
- You are gifting the vehicle to another person but want to retain ownership
To add someone’s name to a car title isn’t a complex process, but you must follow a few procedures to ensure it’s done legally and with the approval of all involved parties.
Part 1 of 3: Check for requirements and procedures
Step 1: Decide who you want to add to the title. If you just got married, it may be a spouse or you may want to add your children if they are now old enough to drive the vehicle or you want them to become owners if you should be incapacitated.
Step 2: Determine requirements. Contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to find out requirements for adding someone’s name to the title.
Each state has its own rules you must follow. You can check the online resources for your particular state.
Perform an online search for your state’s name and department of motor vehicles.
For example, if you are in Delaware, search “Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles”. The first result is “Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles”.
Search their site for the correct form to add a name to your car title. It may be the same for as required to apply for a car title.
Step 3: Check with the lienholder if you have a loan on the car.
Some lenders won’t allow you to add a name because it changes the terms of the loan.
Step 4: Alert insurance provider. Alert your insurance provider of your intent to add a name to the title.
- Note: Some states require you to show proof of insurance coverage for the new person being added before you can request the new title.
Part 2 of 3: Fill out the application for a new title
Step 1: Fill out application. Fill out an application for registration, which you may find online or obtain from your local DMV office.
Step 2: Fill out the back of the title. Fill out the information on the back of the title if you have it.
Both you and the other person will need to sign.
You also want to make sure to add your name to the section with the requested change to ensure you’re still listed as the owner.
Step 3: Determine signing requirements. Find out if you must sign in front of a notary or at the DMV office before you sign the back of the title and the application.
Part 3 of 3: Submit the application for a new title
Step 1: Bring your application to the DMV office. Bring your application, title, proof of insurance and payment for any fees associated with the name change to your local DMV office.
You may also have the option to mail the paperwork in.
Step 2: Wait for the new title to arrive. Expect to receive the new title within four weeks.
Adding someone to your car title is relatively straightforward but does require some research and filling out some paperwork. Make sure you read all the regulations carefully before submitting any forms to your local DMV to prevent any confusion down the road.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Add Someone to Your Car Title and was authored by Jason Unrau.