Transferring a Vehicle Following Death
In the event of a vehicle owner passing away, there is a standard procedure for having the vehicle ownership transferred to a living beneficiary.
Article 609 of the Civil Code dictates the modes of acquiring ownership of property succession, and the administrative procedure set out in Article 32.6 of the Reglamento de Vehículos details the process.
PROVISIONAL TRANSFER OF A VEHICLE
Immediately after a death, the vehicle can be transferred to a new named owner who may not be the long-term benefactor, but may seek ownership on a temporary basis.
In this event, the temporary custodian of the vehicle has 90 days in which they must notify the traffic department of this temporary custody and their legal address.
The person registering the vehicle must produce the following to the traffic department:
- A formal request
- The payment for transfer (the prices in 2015 are 52.80€ for most vehicles, 26.40€ for mopeds)
- Identity documents
- Death certificate of the original owner or marriage certificate stating the death
- Document proving the possession of the vehicle
- Driving license
- ITV card or technical status document of the vehicle
- An appointment at the traffic office
The new provisional holder is deemed as the subject of any obligations corresponding to the holder of the vehicle.
FINAL TRANSFER OF THE VEHICLE
The intended permanent vehicle owner must apply for the final transfer of the vehicle within a 90 day period.
The intended permanent owner must submit the same documentation as above, but with two additions:
- Certificate of liquidation or exemption from inheritance tax.
- Declaration of heirs, or will, accompanied by a certificate of wills, or document stating the award of the vehicle.
You must also request a printed official form that will facilitate the transfer of the vehicle by the traffic department on behalf of the state. If the applicant is a minor or incapacitated, the documentation must also include the additional data and signature of the legal guardian or representative.
You will also have to pay the fees for the transfer.
If the applicant is an individual and a Spanish national, the National Identity Document (DNI) can be used in place of the driving license.
If the applicant is a person of foreign nationality, there are other processes to consider. If a Green Card is in force, that must also be presented, or, failing that, the official Identity of the country of origin (for citizens of other Member States of the European Union, the other States party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation) or Passport or Certificate of Citizenship if you are a citizen of a third country with the Foreigner Identification Number (NIE).
You may also have to produce the original document attesting to your home in Spain if you are not registered with foreign identity documents (e.g. certificate of ownership, lease, or police census card or certificate).
If the new owner is a legal entity or company, rather than an individual, you will also be required to produce the following:
- Original Tax identification card (CIF).
- Original ID, passport, identity card and NIE
- Original document attesting to power to act on behalf of the company (available from the www.dgt.es website).
The process seems a very complicated one, especially given the time frame in which it must be completed, but the process is also a standard administrative procedure and so your advisor or lawyer will be able to advise you further. Always obtain advice from registered, legal representatives in Spain if there is any doubt.
Our associates at PSI Consultants offer legal and fiscal advice for a range of different topics including wills, power of attorney, notarial services and more. Visit their website for more details, psiconsultants.es, or telephone 966 730 104.