Estate Planning 101

Notifying the Michigan Secretary of State Driver and Vehicle Records After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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In the wake of a loved one's passing, several administrative tasks must be taken care of, including notifying various organizations and agencies. One such entity is the Michigan Secretary of State Driver and Vehicle Records Division if the deceased was a resident of Michigan. This is important to prevent misuse of the deceased's driving credentials and to manage any vehicle titles or registrations.

Who Should Be Notified

The Michigan Secretary of State Driver and Vehicle Records Division should be notified if the deceased held a Michigan driver's license or state ID, or if they owned any vehicles registered in Michigan.

When to Notify

You should inform the Michigan Secretary of State Driver and Vehicle Records Division as soon as feasibly possible following the death of the individual.

How to Notify

Notification should be done by mail. You'll need to provide a copy of the death certificate along with a letter containing the deceased's full name, date of birth, Michigan driver's license or state ID number, and vehicle registration information. The letter should be mailed to Michigan Department of State, Record Lookup Unit, 7064 Crowner Drive, Lansing, MI 48918.

What to Expect After Notification

After the notification, the deceased's driving record will be closed, and their driver's license or state ID will be canceled. If the deceased owned any vehicles, the titles will be marked as "deceased". You may then proceed with transferring the vehicle titles following Michigan's legal process.

Tips for Notification

Maintain copies of any documents and correspondence you send for your records. Also, be sure to use certified mail, as it provides proof of your notification.

Conclusion

Informing the Michigan Secretary of State Driver and Vehicle Records Division of a loved one's death is an important step in settling their affairs. It ensures the appropriate closure of their driving records and allows for the legal transfer of any vehicles they owned.

FAQ

Q: Can I notify the Michigan Secretary of State online?
A: Currently, the Michigan Secretary of State requires notification of a driver's death by mail.

Q: What if I don’t have the deceased's driver's license or state ID number?
A: If you don't have access to the deceased's driver's license or state ID number, providing their full name and date of birth should allow the Driver and Vehicle Records Division to locate the correct record.

Q: Who can transfer the deceased's vehicle title?
A: The transfer of a vehicle title after the owner's death typically falls to the estate's executor or the next of kin, but the exact process can depend on several factors, including whether the vehicle was solely or jointly owned. It's recommended to consult with an attorney or the probate court for guidance.