Did we have to pay my deceased brother's tickets to transfer title and register his car in California?

Asked over 1 year ago - Pleasanton, CA

Our brother died a few weeks ago . His car needs to be driven a few hundred miles to our home and sold to help cover funeral costs . There were four outstanding tickets totaling about $ 400 . The police and DIV said we had to pay the first three tickets before the car could be registered . Once the car is registered , we have to then pay the ticket for expired tags . They also said that the title can't be transferred until the tickets are all paid and the registration renewed . Yesterday we paid $ 384 for the registration and late fees , only to learn that we now need proof of insurance to complete the registration so that we can pay the last ticket . . . only to learn that we didn't have to pay for ANY of his tickets OR the registration . We are very upset . Could you set us straight on this please ?

Additional information

PLEASE NOTE: The car is already in California, just to clarify. My brother lived in southern California, and we live in northern California. Thank you.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Robin Mashal

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

    I am sorry for your loss. The outstanding citations would have been liens on the vehicle's title, so they had to be paid off before the DMV would allow a transfer of title. Also, your brother's assets cannot be transferred to his heirs until your brother's liabilities have been satisfied. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

  2. Clayton Harold Walker Jr.


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You might have been able to tow the vehicle home and register it in your new state without every paying anything to California. Of course the cost u haul equipment to get the towing done could have been more expensive that the tickets and registration. As long as the vehicle is out on the open road, you're going to want insurance on the vehicle anyway.

    If you find an answer helpful please mark it as such or as the Best Answer. You have asked us to state an opinion... more

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