Surviving Spouse

A surviving spouse may elect to transfer automobiles and one boat and/or outboard motor into their name without going through probate court provided that none of these items are disposed of by a will.

Ohio Revised Code 2106.19 and 4505.10 indicates that a person may transfer vehicles, excluding recreational vehicles, mobile homes/manufactured home or a Non Commercial Truck  by a Surviving Spouse Affidavit as long as the combined value of these vehicles not exceed $65,000.00.

A person using the “Surviving Spouse Affidavit” form must:

  • Be completed by the Surviving spouse, signed by the surviving spouse & notarized. The surviving spouse’s social security number must be included on the application.
  • The odometer reading is not required to be disclosed
  • No tax is due. No tax form is required.
  • If there is a lien on the decedent’s title then it will be carried forward
  • A copy of the death certificate is required.
  1. Automobile-includes a motorcycle and a truck (one ton or less).   Does not include a Semi-Truck, motor home and a manufactured home.
  2. Watercraft—Ohio law provides that a surviving spouse is entitled to one watercraft and one outboard motor owned by their deceased spouse. (O.R.C. 2106.19). A 12 digit hull identification number is needed to do a watercraft Ohio Title.
  3. O.R.C. 4501.01 H indicates –“Non Commercial Truck, means any motor vehicle, including a farm truck, that is designed by the manufacturer to carry a load of no more than (1) ton and used exclusively for purposes other than engaging in business for profit”.

Transfer on Death (TOD):

Allows a sole owner of a motor vehicle, watercraft, or an outboard motor to designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries for that title.  (O.R.C. 2131.13)

Sole owner needs to make an application for a new title to list the beneficiary or beneficiaries on the front of the title.

Information needed:

  • Title Document
  • Legal Name, SSN, address & date of birth for each beneficiary

Upon death of sole owner, beneficiary or beneficiaries will need to bring a certified copy of the death certificate and make an application for the title in their name.

With Right of Survivorship (WROS):

This process must be showing on the Ohio title before one of the parties dies. (O.R.C. 2131.12) WROS applies to a motor vehicle, watercraft or outboard motor

Owners do not need to be related by either marriage or blood, but both parties are required to sign and list WROS after their name on the Ohio title.

When the owner is deceased the survivor must apply for a new Ohio Title providing the Clerk of Courts of Common Pleas Court the following documentation:

Title—original WROS title

Death Certificate for the deceased

Identification—picture/signature type identification of the survivor


Estates with Administration and with No Administration:

Contact your attorney and/or Wood County Probate Court.

The Contact information for Wood County Probate Court is:
1 Courthouse Square
Second Floor
Bowling Green, OH 43402
Phone: (419) 354-9230
Fax: (419) 354-9357

Wood County Probate Court