What to do when a loved one dies

Losing a loved one is never easy and is often complicated, but the Colorado DMV does its best to make the process as easy as possible. By closing out a driver license, identification card and/or an instruction permit, you are protecting your loved one’s identity. 

We understand if reaching out to the DMV is too emotionally difficult as you grieve. If you are unable to inform the DMV for any reason, please know the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will notify the DMV as well. For more information about vital records, visit the CDPHE website.

What to do
For a card holder who has passed, a family member, guardian and/or power of attorney can provide the DMV a valid and legible death certificate in a few ways and include:

These are processed between 7 to 10 business days; however, in most cases, the DMV processes the request in 2 business days or less.
 

white glass candles burning on a white background with a soft glow of amber light

How to transfer a title from a deceased owner

Please note: all title transfers must be completed at your county motor vehicle office.

 

  • If the vehicle is in the deceased’s name only, you will need to bring the following to your county motor vehicle office

    • a death certificate,

    • Letters of Testamentary, Letters of Administration or Small Estates proceedings showing the new beneficiary for the vehicle. The beneficiary could then sign the title as the new owner. 

  • If the title lists two vehicle owners, and it is in “joint tenancy with rights of survivorship”, the surviving owner needs to bring a copy of the death certificate. 

  • However, if the two owners are in “tenants in common”, then Letters of Testamentary, Letters of Administration or Small Estates proceedings or the will showing who the beneficiary is of that half of the vehicle is, along with the death certificate. The beneficiary and the other original owner could then sign.

  • If there are two owners and one is deceased and the surviving owner is incapacitated (for instance, in a coma) and has a Power of Attorney, a court order such as, Letters of Testamentary, Letters of Administration or Small Estates proceedings would be needed for the deceased owner and the Power of Attorney would be needed for the surviving owner to show who can sign the title.

Please note: A DR 2009 State of Colorado Transfer of Title Upon Death Designated Beneficiary Form can be used in lieu of Letters of Testamentary, Administration or Small Estates and was previously completed by the deceased owner.