Proof of vehicle ownership

When transferring the registration of a vehicle in the Northern Territory (NT), you need to supply proof that you:

  • are the current owner or
  • have the right to own the vehicle.

What you need

You can use any of the following documents as proof of ownership:

  • the most recent registration certificate in the name of, and signed by, the former owner
  • a bill of sale from a recognised auction house or a licensed motor vehicle dealer
  • documents from a court of law allocating ownership of a vehicle
  • a letter, receipt or notice of disposal from the former owner, clearly identifying the:
    • full names of both the seller and the buyer
    • signatures of both the seller and the buyer
    • registration number
    • vehicle identification number (VIN) or chassis number
    • engine number
    • date of sale
    • purchase price of the vehicle
  • a statutory declaration - if your vehicle is homemade and has never been registered.

If it's a deceased estate

When a person dies, you must have documents as proof that:

If a will exists, you must provide all of the below:

  • a copy of a will and grant of probate
  • original or certified copy of the death certificate
  • letter from the executor - if you're the beneficiary of the estate.

If you're a beneficiary and want to relinquish your interest in the vehicle, you must provide a signed letter of authority to transfer or sell the vehicle. This also applies if the vehicle is sold to a third party.

If a will doesn't exist, you must provide any of the below:

  • formal letters of administration
  • written advice from a solicitor
  • a letter from the Public Trustee
  • a letter from the administrator - if you're not the administrator of the estate
  • an original or certified copy of the death certificate.

MVR may ask you to supply additional documents to support your application.

Exemption from stamp duty

Where vehicle ownership is under a deceased estate, an exemption from stamp duty can be claimed by any of the below:

  • executor
  • administrator
  • beneficiary.

When applying for transfer, you must also submit a completed application for stamp duty exemption PDF (195.5 KB).

Vehicles registered in joint names

For vehicles where a joint owner has died, the surviving owner can automatically transfer the vehicle registration into their name.

They must supply an original or certified copy of the death certificate to MVR.

Selling the vehicle to a third party

Before selling the vehicle to a third party, the executor or administrator must supply the above documents to MVR to confirm they have the authority to sell the vehicle on behalf of the estate.

You must also submit a notice of disposal or supply the new owner with proof of ownership. Read seller or former owner responsibilities.


For deceased estate enquiries, contact the Public Trustee.

For general enquiries, email or call 1300 654 628 (8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday).

Last updated: 06 May 2021

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