Estate Planning 101

Notifying the Texas Department of Public Safety Driver License Division After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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When a loved one passes away, there are several formalities to be taken care of, including notifying various institutions. If the deceased was a driver or vehicle owner in Texas, it's important to inform the Texas Department of Public Safety Driver License Division.

Who Should Be Notified

The Texas Department of Public Safety Driver License Division should be notified in the event of a driver's death. This department maintains accurate records of driver licenses and vehicle registrations, which need to be updated or cancelled following a death.

When to Notify

The department should be notified as soon as possible following the death of the individual. This helps prevent any misuse of the deceased's driver's license and assists in the transfer or sale of any vehicles they owned.

How to Notify

To report a death, you can mail a copy of the death certificate to Texas Department of Public Safety, Central Cash Receiving, P.O. Box 15999, Austin, TX, 78761-5999. If a vehicle is involved, you may need to complete a Vehicle Transfer Notification within 30 days of the sale or transfer of the vehicle.

What to Expect After Notification

Once notified, the department will update the deceased's driving record. If they owned a vehicle, the title can be transferred to the new owner or sold. The department can guide you through these steps.

Tips for Notification

When notifying the Texas Department of Public Safety, keep copies of all correspondence and forms you submit. It's also advisable to ask about the completion timeline to stay informed. Remember to ask about any potential vehicle property taxes that may apply.

Conclusion

Though it may seem overwhelming, notifying the Texas Department of Public Safety Driver License Division after a death is a crucial step. It ensures the accurate update of driver and vehicle records, and helps facilitate the smooth transfer of vehicle ownership.

FAQ

Q: Can I report a death to the Texas Department of Public Safety online?
A: Currently, there is no online process to report a death. You must mail a copy of the death certificate to the department.

Q: What if I don't have the deceased's driver license number?
A: The department can look up the individual's record using their full name and date of birth. However, having the driver license number can expedite the process.

Q: What happens to the license plates of the deceased's vehicle?
A: The license plates should be removed at the time of sale or transfer. They can be transferred to a new vehicle, returned to a license office, or destroyed.