Can My Name Be Removed From a Title & Registration Without My Permission?

Bankruptcy, divorce or criminal activity could end up costing you a sweet ride.
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Many things require your permission, such as school field trips, and it's usually as simple as signing a document. However, when it comes to removing your name from a title and registration, things get a little more complicated. Depending on your situation, you could find yourself without a vehicle regardless of whether you gave permission to have your name removed.

Courting the Issue

No layperson has the ability to simply take away your papers to a vehicle or strike your name from the documents. However, in some situations, such as a divorce, bankruptcy or a criminal offense, the court has the power to remove your name from the title and registration, essentially resulting in a loss of the vehicle.


During a divorce, things can get quite messy. However, things get even worse when assets are involved. If both people want a certain piece of property, such as a car, it's up to the judge to rule which one gets it. If the judge ends up ruling in favor of the spouse, you may lose your title and registration, as well as all rights to the vehicle. This may be a blessing if you have, say, that old Galaxie 500 you've been dying to get rid of. Sadly, in most cases, the car is an actual asset and a means of transportation.

Crime and Punishment

Doing the crime generally means doing the time. However, it can also mean losing the car, and if you are involved in certain criminal activities such as drug dealing, money laundering or anything equally shady, law enforcement officers have the right to seize your assets, including your vehicle. Once you receive a conviction, the court can legally remove your name from the title and registration.


There are two main type of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In Chapter 13, you can save your assets by making monthly payments with a debt repayment plan. However, if you miss a payment, you may be forced into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your assets are liquidated to repay your debts. As a car is generally an asset (even if it IS that old Galaxie 500), your name is taken off the title and registration and the vehicle then belongs to the creditor.

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