(Closed) Fights over family and car licenses

posted 9 years ago in Relationships
  • poll: Would you allow SIL to keep car in FH's name?
    sure, no big deal, I am overreacting : (1 votes)
    7 %
    sure, not ideal, but nothing serious will happen, not worth a fight : (4 votes)
    29 %
    don't do it, can land you in serious problems (please explain) : (9 votes)
    64 %
    other (please explain) : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    18628 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    I think the driver is the one liable, not the owner.  But she might get in trouble for not being the owner of the car is something happens.

    Post # 4
    2867 posts
    Sugar bee

    It’s not you and your Fiance’s responsibility to ensure that the car she purchased is licensed.  I’d also refuse.  She needs to pay for the repairs.  You two are responsible if she does something with that car as well as her.  Seeing how she’s doing this unethically, she could also fink on paying for insurance if she has a fight with either of you as a way to to “punish.”  My advice is reimburse her and sell the car, or split the cost of the repairs.  Both unfavorable but could save you potential trouble.

    Post # 5
    5822 posts
    Bee Keeper

    Legally there is nothing wrong with your SIL driving a car which your FH owns.  The driver of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring the car is registered and insured the minimum amount under the state law.  The car doesn’t have to belong to the driver, but the driver does need to be insured.  If she gets into an accident, as the driver, SHE is liable for it, not the owner of the vehicle.  There is no situation in which the owner of the vehicle would be held liable for HER actions.  If she paid him for the vehicle, then there isn’t anything she can do to him if she gets mad at him.  Actually it’s the other way around since as the owner of the vehicle he can claim it was stolen.

    I don’t see why you would be opposed to the arrangement unless you didn’t like Future Sister-In-Law.  It wouldn’t impact you at all, especially if she already paid you for the vehicle.

    Post # 7
    18628 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    I don’t think you would have to claim that the car was stolen if she was in an accident, her insurance should cover any accident charges.  If she isn’t insured, they might go after her assets and possibly take the car but that shouldn’t hurt you.

    Post # 8
    8351 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2011

    Liability apparently varies with each state. In our state, if you get in an accident, you are liable too. It is the owner’s responsibility to make sure the car has valid insurance and registration. If she gets in an accident and doesn’t have the money to pay for the other person’s part of the accident, if she is at fault, your FH can be sued.

    Post # 9
    3871 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    The only thing I would be concerned about is if his SIL does get in accident and I don’t know if she is the type to not get insurance for it, so the person who got in the accident with her, tries to get money for the accident.  They don’t have proof that she owns the car now, so they might go after the official owner of your car, which is your future husband.

    Also, can you insure a car that is not under your name, unless you are a teenager or something?

    I think she should learn that there are responsibilities  to owning a car.  If getting an inspection and fixing what needs to be fix on it, is one of them, then do it. I don’t know what needs to be fixed but what about getting oil changes and stuff.  Can she afford those basic maintainance items?

    Plus, is she going to register the car under her name.  Because the tags will stil have your FH as the owner unless she changes the registration, too.

    Maybe she can just change her name and not the address and maybe say that she lives with you.  But it sounds a bit illegal to me to do that.

    Post # 11
    1102 posts
    Bumble bee

    I don’t know how it works over there with speed or red light cameras, but in Australia the owner of the car is liable for those. A ticket is sent to the house where the car is registered. If the person who owns the car wasn’t driving it they have to go through a whole process to make sure it’s the driver who pays the fine and loses the license points. That would be more of a worry to me, but I don’t know how it works in the US.

    I don’t understand why she wouldn’t just fork over the money to get the car a) safe and b) in her own name. It would make me feel icky too, I mean it’s her car so she needs to take responsibility for it. It’s called being an adult!

    Post # 12
    825 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2010

    It’s different for every state as to whether the owner vs. the driver would be responsible. Some insurance companies also have loopholes where they won’t cover something if you’re not the owner. 

    Post # 14
    617 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2010

    I hate to break it to you, but the owner is ultimately responsible. I worked for a very large insurance company for 5 years before changing career paths and I worked in the liability claims department. Sure, if she causes an accident, it’s her fault, but the person who owns the car (registered owner) is ultimately responsible. If she has an accident and the car is insured, yes the insurance will pay for the damages, but if, for example, the damages exceed the liability coverage limit for the policy the OWNER is absolutely responsible. My suggestion is always to register it in her name. I actually had a claim where the dealer made a clerical error and the co-signer on the loan was registered as the owner, the person who should have been listed as the owner had a very serious accident causing a lot of damage that exceeded the property damage limit and they came after both people, but ultimately it went back to who was registered as the owner on the day and time of the accident. So, to reiterate – yes, he is absolutely ultimately responsible for what happens with that vehicle, get his name off of it asap and have her register it in her own name.

    Post # 15
    617 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2010

    @guitargirl – Maine was one of the states I handled claims for. PM me if you have any questions.

    Post # 16
    2203 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I wouldn’t feel comfortable with it being in my FH’s name if it were me. The owner can be held ultimately responsible…it’s just too messy, why deal with it?

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