Transfer vehicle registration for a deceased estate
If you are settling a deceased estate and need to transfer registration of a vehicle, there are a number of steps depending on the circumstances.
Who is this for
People who need to transfer vehicle registration, as part of settling a deceased estate:
- between joint owners
- to one or more beneficiaries
- to someone buying the vehicle.
What you need
Births, Deaths and Marriages notifies Service SA when a person has died.
If Service SA is yet to be notified you will also need one of these:
- a death certificate
- newspaper death notice
- letter from a solicitor.
For registration transfer
To transfer registration you will need the registration details certificate, completed in the new owner's name and signed by the executor of the estate.
Stamp duty exemption
Beneficiaries inheriting a vehicle may be eligible for full or partial exemption of stamp duty. To be exempt from stamp duty, you will need:
- proof of entitlement to the vehicle - eg a copy of the will or probate
- a completed application for Exemption from stamp duty (82.0 KB PDF).
Vehicles registered in joint names
If Service SA is notified that a member of a joint ownership has died, the vehicle registration will be automatically transferred to the surviving owner.
If Service SA is yet to be notified of the death, you may request the transfer by supplying one of the following:
- a death certificate
- a newspaper death notice
- a letter from a solicitor.
Contact Service SA if the vehicle has number plate rights assigned or is conditionally registered (eg a historic or special purpose vehicle).
Transferring to a beneficiary
A beneficiary of a deceased estate, may be fully or partially exempt from payment of stamp duty.
If there is one beneficiary, a full stamp duty exemption may be granted providing the will confirms entitlement to the vehicle.
If there are multiple beneficiaries, a partial stamp duty exemption may be granted. To register the vehicle to a single beneficiary, a signed statement from the beneficiaries relinquishing interest in the vehicle is also required.
Selling the vehicle to another person
If the vehicle is being transferred to a person who is not a beneficiary, the transfer application is to be signed by the executor of the estate. There are no stamp duty exemptions.
If there is no will
If there is no will, the following additional documents are required:
- Letters of Administration provided by the Courts Administration Authority
- A letter from the Administrator advising those entitled to the estate and the relationship to the deceased.
If the Administrator names multiple beneficiaries, a partial stamp duty exemption may be granted. If the vehicle is to be registered to a single beneficiary, a signed statement from the beneficiaries relinquishing interest in the vehicle is required.
If there is no will and the vehicle is being transferred to a person not named by the Administrator, the Administrator must sign the transfer application. There are no stamp duty exemptions.
If the estate is not finalised
If the vehicle requires registration and the estate is not finalised, the vehicle can be registered in ‘The Estate of [name of deceased]’. The vehicle can be registered in ‘The Estate of’ for up to 12 months.
Requirements for an unregistered vehicle
The registration details certificate is only required for currently registered vehicles. For unregistered vehicles, complete an Application for Registration and Third Party Insurance (74.6 KB PDF). Refer above for stamp duty exemption entitlements.
Contact Service SA
Only send general enquiries online. Service SA will respond within three working days.
If the matter is urgent or is specifically about your current licence or registration, phone or visit a customer service centre instead.
Call Service SA between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays:
- 13 10 84
- +61 8 8226 0206 (overseas callers).
Service SA Customer Service Centre locations and opening hours.