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Transfer on Death

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  • Current: Transfer on Death

Transfer on Death (TOD) Beneficiary

The owner(s) of a vehicle may create an interest in the vehicle that is transferable on death of the owner(s) by obtaining a Certificate of Title conveying the interest in the vehicle to one or more persons as transfer on death beneficiaries (each a “TOD Beneficiary”).

When an owner requests to add one or more persons to the vehicle Certificate of Title as a TOD Beneficiary, the resulting title prints a statement similar to the following:

“[Owner] transfers on death to [TOD Beneficiary];” or

“[Owner] and [Owner] transfer on death to [TOD Beneficiary].”

A TOD Beneficiary designation that is printed on an Indiana Certificate of Title is not valid unless the vehicle owner(s) had signed the TOD statement prior to their death.

Adding a TOD Beneficiary

A TOD Beneficiary may be added to an Indiana Certificate of Title at the time of purchase (title transfer), or, if you already have title to the vehicle, you may apply for new title containing the TOD designation. Bring your proof of title transfer/Certificate of Title to your local BMV license branch. Once the new title is issued containing the TOD designation, the owner must sign and date the TOD signature line on the face of the title.

TOD Beneficiary Taking Ownership

A TOD Beneficiary who has acquired ownership of a vehicle, as a result of being listed on the vehicle’s Indiana Certificate of Title as a TOD beneficiary, must take the Indiana title containing the TOD designation and a copy of the decedent’s death certificate to a BMV license branch to apply for a new Indiana title.

Ownership of the vehicle must be transferred according to the laws and policies of the decedent’s state of residence.  Refer to the decedent’s state of residence or visit your local BMV license branch for more information.