I am a CA resident and I inherited a van TX title, did the needed paperwork for it, but CA DMV won't title in my name. What should I do?

I am a California resident, and I have been trying to title my mom's old van that I inherited from her after she died, but have been having trouble doing so. I have the title in hand. It's a Texas title with my mom's name and her Ex on it. Her Ex signed off his name during the divorce, but mom died before she signed her's. I have followed all the DMV rules, but California DMV insists that I have to have Texas transfer and title my name. Texas claims that since I am a California resident that they can't and that California should do it. No matter how much paperwork I fill out and explain, I keep getting tossed back and forth between Texas and California DMV with them always passing the buck of responsibility so to say. By California dmv's website rules, I have all the required paperwork and I should be able to title it in my name. But every time I go there I am always told no and that Texas is supposed to title. What should I do?

8 Answer(s)

What a mess ! I would ask to speak with the highest ranking Texas DMV honcho I could get to.

Although I think Texas may be (partially) correct in this, they don't go far enough to explain how to proceed in this exceptional situation. . You are probably speaking to a "line clerk" and need to speak with someone MUCH higher up; the highest DMV "specialist" you can find. I'm thinking that although you are not a Texas resident (which seems to be the sticking point) you ought to be able to get a Texas title simply BECAUSE you are the HEIR and EXECUTOR of her estate, Getting the Texas title in your name will satisfy California (presumably you've already been told that) and allow you to easily get a Californian title.

If all else fails, I shudder to suggest it but hiring a lawyer may be necessary

I am the one asking this question. Thank you for your advice. I will try to talk to someone higher up again this time when I go into the DMV. Last time it was my 3rd time into the DMV and one of their supervisor told me that I had to do it with TX first again. I called TX for the fourth time and they actually took time to look into it and told me that California is the one that's supposed to title it since I live in California.
The van is only worth $3,500 and has over 200,000 miles on it. I really wouldn't bother with it and just sell it, but it's not even in my name to sell. There's two names on the title; my mom who's past away, and her horrible Ex that took all her money and left her for a younger woman when my mom was sick and dying. He was ordered by the court to sign off on the title for my mom. After that he disappeared. So if I can't get it in my name, and I can't legally sell it even though I already invested money into it, then I don't know what to do with it?

If you want legal advice, go talk to a lawyer.

Speak to the executor of your mother's estate, and have whomever that is get you the needed certified copy of the certificate of death and the paper showing the asset of her vehicle was assigned to you in probate. Take the title, death certificate, and assignment of vehicle to you to the CA DMV supervisor and get the transfer done. You now have a legal court order and if they refuse they are in contempt of court, see an attorney.

don't know if you have looked at the dmv site for "how to register a non resident vehicle" or not, but here's that site - https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&...

depending on whether the vehicle is worth keeping - does it run, how many miles, etc etc - it might be better to forget about it

What you need to do is stop talking to the drones at the front counter and and talk to someone higher on the authority ladder.

Seriously, those people out front don't have the authority or training to deal with anything more than those forms they hand you and you fill them out and hand them back. If they don't have a little check-box on their form for inherited vehicles from other states, you might as well be asking them for the moon itself. It's just not within their authority, and they really don't care.

What you need is a higher up. A supervisor, a regional manager, a staff coordinator, whatever they call it, that's who you want. You need someone who can think above and beyond the little check boxes, and has the authority to tell you exactly how to get this through the system. You may have to proceed through several layers of middle management, but you'll find someone.

Obviously TX can not title the vehicle in your name since you do not live in TX. A probate court is TX will probably have to "sign" the title in your mother's name and then list you as a buyer. Then CA should issue a title in your name.

Neither TX nor CA DMV can or will act unless and until you prove you are the actual executor of the estate, or have equivalent power to act as such. Apparently NOTHING was ever done wrt probate of Mom's estate. That is the root problem; GO SOLVE IT.
It is sad, but not surprising, that none of the damn DMV drones knew enough to simply tell you "go get probate paper or something like it and you get the juice to make things happen"
One DMV or the other should be willing to title the heap in your name once you have the probate paper.