How can I get a vehicle back from my ex-girlfriend if I have the title but it is in my mother’s name?

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How can I get a vehicle back from my ex-girlfriend if I have the title but it is in my mother’s name?

Basically my mother moved out of state and left me the title and the keys to use her vehicle. However, my ex-girlfriend and I separated; she kicked me out and

refused to give me the keys. How can I get the vehicle back if I have the title in hand but the vehicle isn’t in my name and my mother lives in another state.

Asked on March 13, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Having the title "in hand" is irrelevant: the person in whose name the vehicle is titled is the one who owns it and who can determine who can use it. Your mother can sue your ex-girlfriend for the vehicle's return, and can get a court order requiring its return if she can prove that she owned the vehicle and has not given/gifted it to the ex-girlfriend; you, however, cannot do anything about the vehicle, because you are not the legal owner. You need your mother's help to recove the vehicle--either to file the suit, or to transfer title to you, which would then let you act.


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