How to Change the Name on Your Car Title
Reasons to change name on car title may include having gotten married, divorced or simply having legally changed your name to better reflect yourself. Changing name on car title must occur once you have legally changed your name so this important documentation matches your other records. The car title name change process is quick, easy and very important when it comes to keeping accurate records of vehicle ownership. To learn how to change name on car title, continue reading the sections below.
When to Change the Name on a Car Title
You will need to update name on car title when or if you get ever get married and change your last name, if you ever get divorced and go back to the last name you had before or if you ever have a title with a misspelling in your name that you would like to correct. Not updating name on car title may cause legal issues in the future, especially if the name does not match your vehicle registration, so make sure to update the name on your car title as soon as you have completed a legal name change.
How to Change Names on a Car Title
If for any reason you need to complete a car title name change, there is only one way you can do so. To change name on car title, you will need to visit your local DMV office to fill out and submit the proper paperwork and present the necessary items of proof. What you need to fill out for a car title name change may vary depending on what state you live in. Certain states, such as Pennsylvania and Vermont, require you to fill out an application before you can request a name change. Other states may not require this step.
When you go to the DMV to update the name on your car title, you will need to bring the appropriate documentation with you that shows your new name. Depending on your state and your DMV, to change name on car title, you may need more than one type of documentation. In most cases, your DMV may not accept duplicates or copies of the documents you plan to use as proof of your name change, so you will need to have originals of any documents you need that display the name you want your vehicle title to reflect. Before changing name on car title, check with your local DMV office before visiting to find out which version of documentation they require. You can also complete this when you decide to change your name on your vehicle registration. Some states may have an online application to begin the car title name change process or a way to do the name change on your vehicle title by mail if you wish. Check with your local DMV to find out what options are available to you.
Citizenship Status Information
Some states have certain rules about how to change name on car title depending on your status as a citizen. For basic information on each status, see below.
What do I do if I am a United States citizen?
If you would like to update the name on your title, you will need to bring documentation that shows the name you have legally changed yours to as well as a document, such as a birth certificate, to show proof that you are a natural born citizen. You may also need to complete an application or form requesting a name change.
If you became a United States citizen through naturalization, depending on where you live in the United States, a car title name change you may only need to bring a “Certificate of Citizenship” or a similar document, such as your official naturalization document, to the DVM office. Some states will not allow you update name on car title unless the documents or proofs you use to prove your name has changed display your new name.
What do I do if I am a non-United States citizen?
If you are a non-United States citizen and you need to complete a car title name change, you will need to check with your local DMV office to see what the necessary requirements/qualifications are to do so.
The Importance of Changing the Name on Your Car Title
Changing name on car title is important because car titles are what prove that the car the title relates to legally belongs to you. Updating name on car title is also important because it signifies the final transfer of one person to the next. Updating this information is what will allow the DMV to keep track of the registered vehicles in the area. A car title name change will also let local law enforcement know if the driver of any vehicle they may pull over is the legal and rightful owner of the vehicle. If the name has not been changed, then this may cause issue for the new owner.