How To Transfer Vehicle Ownership

Transferring the ownership of the deceased’s vehicles where the deceased specifically named a beneficiary in the will takes time and professional knowledge.

Process of transferring car ownership’s title depends on whether it was registered in the name of the deceased person only or whether it was a joint ownership. In case a close relative or beloved one has passed away without probating vehicle in a lawful way, it may cause some troubles when it comes to selling it.

By Ontario Law in order to redirect a car ownership title you must have an executor of the will to go to the local Ministry of Transportation office.  A list of standards required documents that have to be presented are as follows:

  • The Executor will need to attend in person at a branch of Service Ontario with the following documentation in hand:
  • A copy of the Will or the Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will
  • Proof of Death Certificate
  • Vehicle ownership papers
  • Personal identification (Executor)
  • Proof of insurance on the deceased’s vehicle
  • Safety Standards Certificate
  • Emissions test
  • A completed Sworn Statement for the Transfer of a Used Vehicle in the Province of Ontario
  • A completed plate transfer declaration if you are also transferring license plates.

To transfer vehicle ownership to non-family members in Ontario, a seller must provide:

  • A used vehicle information package.
  • A signed bill of sale that includes the seller’s name, the buyer’s name, address, the purchase price and the transaction date.
  • Transfer application. This information can be found on the back of the vehicle ownership document.
  • A safety standards certificate – This shows that the vehicle being transferred meets the required safety standards in Ontario. Any licensed mechanic from an Ontario Motor Vehicle Inspection Station can carry out the vehicle safety inspection.

Transferring Vehicle Ownership To A Family Member In Ontario

This process can be done with less formality compared to transferring to non-family members. However, the government requires inter-family vehicle ownership transfers to be done once per 12 months.

The vehicle ownership process will only be initiated if the following details are provided:

  • Proof of vehicle insurance in Ontario
  • Ontario Driver’s license
  • Vehicle Ownership permit
  • A declaration of vehicle plate transfer
  • A sworn and notarized statement for a family gift in the case of a used motor vehicle
  • Drive clean test results- This will only apply to persons exempted from retail tax and where the vehicle is due for a dive clean test.
  • Safety standards certificate. Inter-spouse transfers will not be needed provided a notarized spousal declaration is signed.


If you are experiencing any troubles with vehicle title transfer, do not hesitate to contact our office for professional legal guidance.


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