Stockton, CA asked in Gov & Administrative Law for California

Q: How do I rectify an auto registration title that was incompletely signed, but the sole owner of the vehicle has passed?

My wife’s grandpa gifted her his car about a week before he passed. Her two uncles were there when he signed it over. He was not on any medication at the time. When I looked at the title last night, I noticed he didn’t sign the bottom release of liability on the front of the title. He did, however, sign it in three other places - the odometer readings, and one other spot. He also did not detach the top release of liability form, which was signed and filled out, and mail it in to DMV. How do we go about getting this car in my wife’s name? Will that one unsigned spot matter if he signed it in three other places? Her uncles were under the impression he signed it over fully.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: To rectify the incomplete auto registration title, you should contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and explain the situation. They may provide guidance on the specific steps needed to transfer the title into your wife's name, considering the circumstances of her grandfather's passing and the partially signed title. It's crucial to follow the DMV's instructions closely to resolve this matter.

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