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Is the certified copy of the Divorce Decree accepted at a License Bureau when dealing with vehicle division in a divorce case?

Saint Paul, MN |

I got the certified copy of my divorce decree. Ex-husband gets one vehicle and I get the other (currently both vehicles are in both of our names). What is my next step when dividing the cars? When I go the license bureau to change the title (cars are both paid off with the bank) - will they accept the decree? What if he and I can not coordinate the time, so we are both at the Bureau to change the titles? I just need practical advice on how to make one car my own. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 5


The copy of the decree will be used to retitle the vehicles. Frankly, though, if you can coordinate a time to be there together, why can't you each just sign the other's title and have it done that way? You can get your car retitled with the decree, but they aren't going to retitle his. Also, the decree should have the year, make, model, and VIN of the vehicles to facilitate getting a new title.

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It would be much more simple and much more effective to simply sign over titles to the recipient from the other party. I am quite certain, you will encounter bureaucratic difficulty using a Certified copy of a decree in order to reissue title.

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If you use a certified copy of the divorce decree, they will require that the vehicle be identified by its Vehicle Identification Number in the decree itself. But you shouldn't both need to be there at the same time.


See prior response. If there is no cooperation between you and your former spouse, it is possible that this matter may require further order of the court. Tricia Dwyer Esq.

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The short answer is "Maybe."

Generally practice involves the decree providing the other party (see: the party losing interest and/or ownership of the vehicle) a specific period of time (e.g., 10 days from the date of the entry of judgement) to cooperate with the title transfer. If they do not act in this timeframe, and if your divorce decree identifies the vehicle and states that the decree allows for transfer, then a certified copy of the decree should be sufficient to transfer title.

Best of luck to you!

This free legal advice does not give create an attorney-client relationship or the privilege protections afforded thereunto.

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