Chapter 11: Transfers
11.170 Transfer on Death (TOD) Beneficiary (CVC §§4150.7, 5910.5, 9852.7, and 9916.5)
The registered owner of a vehicle/vessel may designate a transfer on death (TOD) beneficiary to whom ownership of the vehicle/vessel may be transferred upon death of the owner. The TOD beneficiary is not a registered owner y the signature or consent of the beneficiary is not required for any transaction involving the vehicle/vessel during the lifetime of the registered owner.
Adding a TOD Beneficiary—To add a TOD beneficiary, the following must be submitted:
- The California Certificate of Title.
- New Registered Owner section completed.
First Line—The registered owner’s name is entered as usual. Only one registered owner name is permitted.
Second Line—The abbreviation “TOD” is entered followed by the beneficiary’s name. Only one beneficiary name is permitted. The TOD beneficiary may be an individual, corporation, trust, partnership, association, or other entity.
Third Line—The registered owner’s address is entered.
Signature Line—The registered owner’s signature is required.
Line 1—The registered owner does not have to sign line 1 to add a beneficiary.
The beneficiary’s signature is not required to add, change, or delete a beneficiary.
- A transfer fee to add, delete, or change a beneficiary in addition to any other fees. Refer to Appendix 1F for fees.
Changing or Revoking a TOD Beneficiary—During the lifetime of the registered owner, the owner may revoke a title held in beneficiary form or change the beneficiary name by selling or transferring the vehicle/vessel or by submitting an application for a new title completed without a TOD beneficiary designation.
Transfer of Ownership to Beneficiary—Upon the death of the registered owner, ownership may be transferred to the TOD beneficiary.
The following must be submitted:
- The California Certificate of Title. The beneficiary must sign the name of the registered owner and countersign on line 1.
- A Statement of Facts (REG 256) form completed by the beneficiary stating the date and place of the owner’s death and that they are entitled to the vehicle as the designated beneficiary.
Note: Ownership may be transferred to another person. The beneficiary must give the buyer the above documents and a bill of sale; two transfer fees are due.