4 Tips for Removing a Name From a Car Title

It is possible to have a car title issued in the name of more than one person. Many people add more than one person to title for emergency purposes. If you would like to later remove the name of the other person, you need to do so with the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state. The process for doing this is simple, but there are several areas where you can make a mistake if you are not careful.

#1 Check the Phrasing of Your Title

The most important thing to check before starting the re-titling process is how the initial title was ordered. You may have a title that says "Your Name AND/OR Another Name." In this case, either one of you has the right to claim the title solely without the other person's permission. In this case, you can go straight to step 3 and file the change with your DMV. If the title is phrased "Your Name AND Another Name (or is omitted)" then you need permission of the other party in order to have the title changed.

#2 Sign Over the Title

The other party must sign the title over to you. There is a place on the back of the car title to do this. You should be aware, however, that there are exact rules for how to sign over the title. It must be done in pen. There should not be other markings on the car title. You are permitted to cross out any mistake, but scratching out a mistake is not permitted. If you scratch out a mistake, the DMV may feel you are trying to hide what was initially written. Simply cross out the error. This way, the office can still see what was previously written and then crossed out. Once the title is signed over, you can proceed to the next step.

#3 Re-File with the DMV

You need to go to your local office of the DMV in order to have a new title issued. You may need to make an appointment ahead of time if you would like to do so. If you do not have an appointment, you may be turned away or forced to wait many hours to speak with a representative. The DMV is notoriously over crowded. Make an appointment before you get there to avoid the wait and lines. You can make an appointment by phone or online directly through the DMV website.

#4 Consider your Car Loan

Changing over your title is not the same thing as taking a name off of your car loan. Even if the ownership of the vehicle is relinquished to one party, the loan document may still hold two names. If this is the case, you should consider whether it is also necessary to change your car loan from two signers to one singer. If you are the one signing over a title, you should be particularly careful to assure you are additionally removed from any debt obligation. You will need to modify the contract in order to make this change, which is often more complicated than modifying the title on you loan.


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