[1992/oagheade.htm]

OAG 92-15

February 6, 1992

Ruth L. Smith

Casey County Clerk

Liberty, Kentucky 42359

Dear Mrs. Smith:

You have asked whether a UCC filing statement must contain the signatures of both owners of a vehicle when the title shows the ownership to be in one party “or” the other.

We assume from your inquiry that there is no question regarding the necessity that the filing statement contain both signatures when the names are conjoined by the word “and”. You state that you “have run into some opposition” when a title bears the word “or.”

The use of “or” instead of “and” has no legal significance regarding the current ownership of property. The word “or” simply signifies that, at least in some contexts, the property is jointly held with the right of survivorship; that is to say, when one party dies, the deceased party's interest in the property passes to the other co-owners. Saylor v. Saylor, Ky., 389 S.W.2d 904 (1965). In the case of a motor vehicle title, the word “or” would simply indicate how the vehicle is to devolve upon the death of one of the joint owners; it would not signify that either owner has a greater or lesser current ownership interest than would be created by a title bearing the word “and.”

We conclude that for UCC filing purposes there is no distinction between “and” and “or” titles.

Sincerely,

Chris Gorman

Attorney General

Ross T. Carter

Assistant Attorney General