V C Section 5910.5 Vehicles Owned in Beneficiary Form

Vehicles Owned in Beneficiary Form

5910.5.  (a) On death of the owner of a vehicle owned in beneficiary form, the vehicle belongs to the surviving beneficiary, if any. If there is no surviving beneficiary, the vehicle belongs to the estate of the deceased owner or of the last coowner to die.

(b) A certificate of ownership in beneficiary form may be revoked or the beneficiary changed at any time before the death of the owner by either of the following methods:

(1) By sale of the vehicle with proper assignment and delivery of the certificate of ownership to another person.

(2) By application for a new certificate of ownership without designation of a beneficiary or with the designation of a different beneficiary.

(c) Except as provided in subdivision (b), designation of a beneficiary in a certificate of ownership issued in beneficiary form may not be changed or revoked by will, by any other instrument, by a change of circumstances, or otherwise.

(d) The beneficiary's interest in the vehicle at death of the owner is subject to any contract of sale, assignment, or security interest to which the owner was subject during his or her lifetime.

(e) The surviving beneficiary may secure a transfer of ownership for the vehicle upon presenting to the department all of the following:

(1) The appropriate certificate of ownership.

(2) A certificate under penalty of perjury stating the date and place of the owner's death and that the declarant is entitled to the vehicle as the designated beneficiary.

(3) If required by the department, a certificate of the death of the owner.

(f) After the death of the owner, the surviving beneficiary may transfer his or her interest in the vehicle to another person without securing transfer of ownership into his or her own name by appropriately signing the certificate of ownership for the vehicle and delivering the document to the transferee for forwarding to the department with appropriate fees. The transferee may secure a transfer of ownership upon presenting to the department (1) the certificate of ownership signed by the beneficiary, (2) the certificate described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) executed by the beneficiary under penalty of perjury; and (3) if required by the department, a certificate of death of the owner.

(g) A transfer at death pursuant to this section is effective by reason of this section, and shall not be deemed to be a testamentary disposition of property. The right of the designated beneficiary to the vehicle shall not be denied, abridged, or affected on the grounds that the right has not been created by a writing executed in accordance with the laws of this state prescribing the requirements to effect a valid testamentary disposition of property.

(h) A transfer at death pursuant to this section is subject to Section 9653 of the Probate Code.

(i) If there is no surviving beneficiary, the person or persons described in Section 5910 may secure transfer of the vehicle as provided in that section.

(j) The department may prescribe forms for use pursuant to this section.

Added Ch. 1055, Stats. 1991. Effective January 1, 1993.