How to Change the Name on a Pennsylvania Car Title

A car title name change in Pennsylvania is an important part of making sure your vehicle information is updated with the state. Having an accurate title is vital when you decide you want to sell your motor vehicle. Without your proper name appearing on your title, you will not be able to transfer it over to the new owner. There are various reasons for someone to require changing name on car title information. The state of Pennsylvania understands the various needs for making these changes, and makes it a fairly straightforward process to accomplish. However, a legal name change is not as simple as updating name on car title procedures at the state level. Before you can begin following the steps to changing your name on vehicle documents at the state level, you must first take care of doing so at the federal level with the Social Security Administration (SSA). To learn more about changing name on car title documents in Pennsylvania and how to go about doing it, read the sections outlined below.

Social Security Name Changes in Pennsylvania

If you wish to update name on car title documents after you legally changed your name because you got married or divorced, or because of a court order or any other reason, you must first do so with the Social Security Administration. Changing your name with the Social Security Administration in the pursuit of updating your name on a car title is free, and there is no charge for a replacement Social Security card once you complete the name change. However, you may not file for a change of name to your Social Security card online. In order to change your name legally before your car title name change, you will need required documents that may vary, according to your situation. For natural-born U.S. citizens, you must first have proof of citizenship, and something to prove your age is also required, as well as your identity. Passports and birth certificates can satisfy all three, but for those who do not have these documents, a photo ID card, such as a PA drivers license may be used for the age and identity requirements. Other forms, such as military and school ID cards, may work as well.

Note that foreign-born residents may be asked to provide additional documentation to affirm their citizenship and immigration statuses.

Before updating your name on a car title, you must finish the Social Security application to change your name. The application, itself, you can download from the SSA website. The instructions for how to fill it out before handling your DMV name change are included in the PDF that you will fill out and return to the SSA. Once you have completed the change of name application in full, you may mail it to the SSA or take it in person to your local SSA office. The supporting documents you provide may not be photocopies, even if they are notarized. They must be originals. Learn more about the process surrounding a legal name change by downloading our free guide.

Change Name on Car Title Information in Pennsylvania

Vehicle owners seeking information on how to change name on car title documentation will have a fairly easy time carrying out the task. Once you have made the change with the Social Security Administration, you may use that information to get the update name on car title process started with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). The Pennsylvania DOT requires that you send notice in the event of a car title name change for any reason, including marriage or divorce, or court orders. You will be required to change your name on a car title, as well as all other relevant DMV documents, including your driver's license or driver's permit, car registration and photo ID card. You should start by changing your name on your driver's license. You may use your new Social Security card to effect this change. However, you may not complete this name change online - you must do so in person at a DMV office or by regular mail.

You may make the car title name change once you have completed your SSA change, as well as your drivers license name change. However, you may not complete a name change for your vehicle title online. This must be done in person at a DOT office or by regular mail. Your car title name change will require documents, and depending on why your name changed, the documents required may vary. In addition to changing name on car title application documents, you must submit your new Social Security card with your changed name. Furthermore, changing names on car titles applications requires the court order showing that your name was legally changed, whether by way of a marriage or divorce decree, or a common law court order. To learn more about the requirements for updating names on car titles, download our complimentary guide.