How To Transfer Ownership of Vehicle After Death of Owner

Rahul Jha
Rahul Jha

Updated on: 15th December, 2023 IST

How To Transfer Ownership of Vehicle After Death of Owner

The loss of a loved one leaves an indelible mark on our souls—as we grapple with sorrow, we must also confront the practical realities of transferring the title of a car when its owner is deceased. In this blog we shall navigate the process of car transfer after death in India.

Let us get started on this journey, where your memories meet legality, and learn how to transfer the ownership of a vehicle.

Documents Required For Transferring the Ownership of a Deceased Person's Car

When transferring the ownership of a car from a deceased person, you need to collect important documents that prove the legality of the process. These documents are essential for a smooth transition of ownership. They provide the necessary foundation for the transfer between the previous and new owner of the vehicle.

Here are the documents you'll need:

  • Death Certificate - This document confirms the passing of the car's owner and is necessary to initiate the ownership transfer process.
  • Probate or Succession Certificate - It establishes the rightful inheritance of the deceased's assets, including the vehicle, and authorises the executor or legal heirs to proceed with the transfer.
  • Will (if applicable) - A valid will outlines the distribution of assets, including the car, and simplifies the transfer process by specifying the intended recipient.
  • No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from Legal Heirs - If there is no will, an NOC from all legal heirs is required to show unanimous consent for the ownership transfer.
  • Identity and Address Proof of Legal Heirs - Valid identity and address proof documents of the legal heirs, such as an Aadhaar card, passport, or voter ID card, confirm their identities and addresses, supporting their claims during the transfer process.

Remember, the requirements for document submission may vary depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with the relevant authorities or seek legal counsel to ensure you possess all the necessary paperwork for a smooth ownership transfer.

Read More : The Best Way To Sell Your Used Car in India

Process of Transferring Ownership Of Vehicle After Death

Transferring the ownership of a vehicle after the owner's demise can be an intricate and time-consuming process. Here is a breakdown of the steps that you need to follow: 

STEP 1 : Acquire the necessary documents

Gather the essential documents such as the death certificate, probate or succession certificate, will (if applicable), NOC from legal heirs, and identity and address proof of legal heirs.

STEP 2 : Visit the local Regional Transport Office (RTO)

Pay a visit to the RTO within your jurisdiction where the vehicle is registered. Obtain the application form for ownership transfer (Form 29) and fill it out with utmost accuracy.

STEP 3 : Submit the required documents

Submit the completed application form along with the necessary documents to the RTO. Ensure that all documents are attested and carry the appropriate signatures.

STEP 4 : Payment of fees and taxes

Pay the prescribed fees and taxes as per the regional regulations. These charges may include transfer fees, road tax, and any outstanding dues on the vehicle.

STEP 5 : Verification and inspection

The RTO may conduct a thorough verification of the submitted documents and carry out a physical inspection of the vehicle. Ensure that the car is in roadworthy condition and meets the safety and emission standards set by the RTO.

STEP 6 : Removal of the deceased owner's name from RC

To complete the transfer process, it is essential to remove the deceased owner's name from the RC. Submit the required documents, including the old RC, along with an application for the removal of the deceased owner's name. The RTO will issue a revised RC, eliminating any traces of the previous ownership.

STEP 7 : Obtain the new Registration Certificate (RC)

Once the verification and inspection process is complete, you will be issued a new Registration Certificate (RC) in the name of the new owner. This document acts as a testament to the successful transfer of ownership, granting legal authority and responsibility over the vehicle.

STEP 8 : Update the insurance policy

Contact the insurance provider and inform them about the change in ownership. Provide the necessary documents, such as the new RC and death certificate, to update the policy. Ensuring a seamless transition of the insurance coverage protects both the new owner and the vehicle.

STEP 9 : Sell the vehicle or transfer it to the new owner

With the transfer of ownership complete, the vehicle can now be sold or transferred to the new owner. If the new owner is different from the legal heirs, follow the necessary procedures, such as signing a sale agreement or transferring the vehicle through a gift deed. If you are new to this, you can click here to read more about the process of RC transfer in Delhi. 

Read More : How To Transfer Car Insurance From Your Name After Selling The Vehicle

Fees for Transferring the Ownership Of a Vehicle After the Death of its Owner 

As we explore the path of transferring the ownership of a deceased person's car, it is crucial to acquaint ourselves with the financial aspects involved. Here, we present a breakdown of the fees typically associated with this process, providing you with a clear understanding of the monetary obligations. 

Please note that the fees mentioned below are approximates and may vary based on regional regulations:

  1. Transfer Fee: ₹300-₹500
  1. Road Tax: Calculated based on the value of the vehicle and the state-specific tax rates. It can range from a few thousand rupees to a substantial amount, depending on the car's worth.
  1. Hypothecation Removal Fee (if applicable): ₹500-₹1,000
  1. Fitness Certificate (if required): ₹200-₹400
  1. Re-registration Fee (if transferring to another state): Varies based on the state and the age of the vehicle. It can range from a few thousand rupees to a significant sum.

Please bear in mind that the fees mentioned are indicative and subject to change. It is advisable to consult the respective Regional Transport Office (RTO) to ascertain the current fees applicable in your region.

Read More : How To Sell Your Car In India – A Step By Step Guide

What are Some Other Important Aspects of This Process

While comprehending the process of transferring the ownership of a deceased person's car, it is essential to acknowledge several other vital aspects that contribute to a smooth and lawful transition. Beyond the requisite documents and fees, here are some additional factors to consider:

  • Loans and Liabilities

If the deceased person had availed a loan against the car, it is crucial to settle any outstanding dues with the financing institution before initiating the ownership transfer process.

  • Outstanding Fines and Penalties

Before commencing the ownership transfer, clear any pending traffic fines or penalties associated with the vehicle. 

  • Vehicle Evaluation

Assess the condition of the car and determine its market value. This step aids in determining a fair price for potential buyers or when transferring the vehicle to the legal heirs.

  • Sale or Transfer Agreement

If the vehicle is being sold to a third party, draft a comprehensive sale agreement that clearly outlines the terms and conditions of the transaction. This agreement helps safeguard the interests of both the seller and the buyer, ensuring a transparent and legally binding transfer of ownership.

  • Professional Assistance

Engaging the services of a legal professional or a qualified chartered accountant can offer invaluable guidance throughout the process. Their expertise can ensure adherence to legal formalities and a comprehensive understanding of the financial implications.

The Bottom Line 

The task of transferring ownership of a loved one's car after they've passed away, may seem like a difficult journey. Yet, armed with knowledge, patience, and an unwavering commitment to fulfilling our responsibilities, we can undertake this journey with grace and determination. 

Through the labyrinthine corridors of paperwork and emotions, we find solace in the knowledge that this process is a testament to the love and memories that reside within the vehicle. May each step we take be guided by reverence, compassion, and the enduring spirit of those we hold dear.


Q. What happens when the owner of a car dies?

When the owner of a car dies, the process of transferring ownership begins. The legal heirs or executors of the deceased person's estate typically initiate this process. It involves gathering the necessary documents, such as the death certificate, probate or succession certificate, will (if applicable), and obtaining a new Registration Certificate (RC) in the name of the new owner. The transfer ensures that the vehicle is legally passed on to the rightful inheritor or sold as per the deceased person's wishes.

Q. What is the penalty for the late transfer of a vehicle after death in India?

In India, the penalty for the late transfer of a vehicle after the death of the owner can vary based on regional regulations and the duration of the delay. Generally, the penalty is imposed in the form of fines or late fees. These penalties can accumulate over time, increasing the financial burden. To avoid such penalties, it is advisable to initiate the ownership transfer process within the stipulated time frame.

Q. Can you go to jail if someone dies in a car accident in India?

In India, involvement in a car accident resulting in someone's death can lead to legal consequences. Depending on the circumstances, if it is determined that the driver was at fault or engaged in negligent driving, they may be charged with offences such as rash driving, causing death by negligence, or culpable homicide not amounting to murder, according to Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The severity of the charges and the ensuing penalties, including the possibility of imprisonment, are determined by the legal system based on the specific details of the case.

Q. How do you transfer a car title when the owner is deceased?

To transfer a deceased person's car title in India, obtain the death certificate and gather necessary documents including registration certificate, insurance papers, PAN card, Aadhaar card of the deceased, and identification/address proof of legal heirs. Apply for ownership transfer at the RTO or online, submitting required documents and paying fees. After document verification and possible vehicle inspection, a new registration certificate (RC) will be issued in the new owner's name, completing the transfer.

Q. Can a nominee claim car insurance?

Yes, a nominee can claim car insurance in the event of the policyholder's death. A nominee is a person chosen by the policyholder to receive the insurance proceeds in case of their demise. Upon the death of the policyholder, the nominee must contact the insurance company and provide the necessary documents, such as the death certificate, policy documents, and proof of identity. The insurance company will assess the claim and, if valid, disburse the insurance amount to the nominee. It is important to ensure that the nominee is updated in the insurance policy to facilitate a smooth claims process.

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