The procedure to remove a name from a vehicle's registration depends on the state and the circumstances, but in most cases, all owners must sign the title and the new registrant must complete the necessary forms to change the title. Most states follow separate procedures for the removal of a deceased person or a lien holder. For example, in the state of Connecticut, a registrant must present a qualifying probate document to remove a deceased person from a title.
The process involved in removing a name after a divorce depends on the wording used on the title as well as the state. In Alaska, both spouses must sign the title when their names are joined with "and." A court order that grants ownership of the vehicle to one spouse may be used instead, as long as the document is a certified copy and contains a matching vehicle identification number to that listed on the title.
In the state of Washington, all registered owners must sign the vehicle title and present a valid Washington state driver's license to remove a name from the title. The title must be signed in person before a vehicle licensing agent or in front of a licensed notary public. New registered owners must complete a vehicle certificate of ownership application form and pay any applicable fees.
Some states simplify the process. Indiana requires the person whose name is removed from the registration to complete the seller section of the title. The remaining registrant completes the buyer portion and takes the title to a Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch to apply for a new vehicle registration.