TRENTON – The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) has recently announced a significant update that allows registered vehicle owners to designate a transfer on death (TOD) beneficiary. This means that upon the death of the last surviving owner, the designated beneficiary will receive ownership of the vehicle.
With this new provision, the vehicle in question will no longer be considered part of the owner’s estate, eliminating the need for letters of administration to transfer ownership. This streamlined process bypasses potentially lengthy probate court proceedings, simplifying the transfer of ownership after death.
To designate a TOD beneficiary, individuals with motor vehicles titled in New Jersey must complete the Transfer on Death Beneficiary Designation form. The form allows them to name a beneficiary who will assume ownership of the vehicle after the owner’s passing, while still subject to any existing lien holders’ rights. The completed form should be held by the owner and must be presented by the designated beneficiary, along with other necessary documentation, following the owner’s death.
It is important to note that the transfer only takes effect upon the owner’s death or, if applicable, the death of the last surviving co-owner of the vehicle.
This legislative change, authorized by Governor Phil Murphy through the signing of S906 (P.L.2022, c.13) in May 2022, is now in effect.
To access the Transfer on Death Beneficiary Designation form and find detailed information about the TOD beneficiary process, customers can visit the NJMVC website’s Transferring Vehicle Ownership webpage.