Estate Planning 101

Notifying the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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The loss of a loved one triggers a multitude of responsibilities, one of which involves notifying various organizations. If your loved one was a resident of Delaware and held a driver's license or state ID, you will need to inform the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Who Should Be Notified

The Delaware DMV is the state agency responsible for issuing driver's licenses and state identification cards. If your loved one held a Delaware driver's license or state ID, it's important to notify the DMV to prevent misuse of the deceased's identification and to update their records.

When to Notify

You should notify the Delaware DMV as soon as practical after the death of your loved one. This helps to prevent potential identity theft and ensures the DMV's records are up-to-date.

How to Notify

To notify the Delaware DMV, you can mail a copy of the death certificate along with a brief letter stating the deceased's name, date of birth, and driver's license or ID number, if available. The letter should also request the cancellation of the deceased's driver's license or ID.

What to Expect After Notification

Once the Delaware DMV receives the notification, they will update their records, cancel the driver's license or ID, and prevent any potential misuse of the deceased's identification.

Tips for Notification

Remember to keep a copy of the letter and death certificate you sent to the DMV, along with any correspondence you receive from them. This could be helpful if there are any discrepancies or issues in the future.

Conclusion

Notifying the Delaware DMV about the death of a loved one is a crucial step to prevent potential identity theft and to ensure their records are accurate. While it may seem like a daunting task amid a difficult time, it's a necessary part of settling your loved one's affairs.

FAQ

Q: Can I notify the Delaware DMV online or by phone?
A: Currently, the Delaware DMV requires notification of a death by mail.

Q: What if I can't find my loved one's driver's license or ID number?
A: If you don't have the driver's license or ID number, the DMV can usually locate the deceased's record using their full name and date of birth.

Q: What if my loved one also owned a vehicle?
A: If the deceased owned a vehicle, the title will need to be transferred. The DMV can provide guidance on how to do this.