49-514. Transfer of ownership by operation of law — Liens — Vehicles registered in foreign state — Certificates of title. In the event of the transfer of ownership of a vehicle by operation of law, as upon inheritance, devise or bequest, order in bankruptcy, insolvency, replevin, or execution sale, or whenever a vehicle is sold to satisfy storage or repair charges, or if the interest of the owner is terminated or the vehicle is sold under a security agreement, the department may upon the surrender of the prior certificate of title, or when that is not possible, upon presentation of satisfactory proof to the department of ownership and right to possession of the vehicle and presentation of an application for a certificate of title, issue to the applicant a certificate of title. Only an affidavit by the person or agent of the person to whom possession of the vehicle so passed, setting forth facts entitling him to possession and ownership, together with a copy of the journal entry, court order or instrument upon which the claim of possession and ownership is founded, shall be considered satisfactory proof of ownership and right of possession. If the applicant cannot produce proof of ownership he may apply directly to the department and submit any evidence as he may have, and the department shall, if it finds the evidence sufficient, issue a certificate of title to the applicant.
If from the records in the office of the department there appears to be any prior lien or liens on the vehicle, the certificate of title shall contain a statement of those liens, unless the application is accompanied by proper evidence of their satisfaction or discharge.
Upon the death of the owner of one (1) or more registered vehicles, the following heirs of the owner, to wit: the surviving spouse, the children, lawful issue of the deceased children, the parents, the brothers or sisters, or the guardian of the estate of any minor or insane or incompetent person having such relationship to the owner, if such person has a right to succeed to the property of the owner, may secure a transfer of the certificate or certificates of title of the owner to the vehicle or vehicles, upon presenting to the department the appropriate certificate or certificates of title, if available, and an affidavit of the person or persons setting forth the fact of survivorship or heirship, the names and addresses of any other heirs, that the decedent died intestate, that the decedent has no creditors, that the decedent did not leave other property necessitating probate, and if required by the department, a certificate of the death of the deceased. The department, when satisfied of the genuineness and regularity of the transfer, shall transfer the registrations and titles accordingly.
[49-514, added 1988, ch. 265, sec. 129, p. 649; am. 1991, ch. 153, sec. 7, p. 366; am. 1994, ch. 70, sec. 1, p. 147; am. 1998, ch. 392, sec. 19, p. 1224.]