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Buying or Selling a Motor Vehicle: Tips for Title Transfer

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Buying or Selling a Motor Vehicle: Tips for Title Transfer

Minnesota titles cars, trucks, motorcyles, busses, vans and large trailers. Except in special situations, the transfer of ownership must take place on the certificate of title. Minnesota does not title utility, boat, or snowmobile trailers with a gross vehicle weight less than 3,000 pounds unless there is a lien on the vehicle or the vehicle has been previously titled.

Where Do You Go to Transfer Vehicle Ownership?

You many transfer the ownership of a motor vehicle at any of the nearly 200 deputy registrar offices located throughout the state. You will find the office locations and hours online at www.mndriveinfo.org or by calling 651-297-2005.

Titled Vehicles

  • If you are the buyer, make sure you have the vehicle title before taking possession of the vehicle and that the owner's name printed on the front of the title is the person selling the vehicle to you.
  • Verify that the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the dashboard matches the number printed on the title.
  • Be sure you have a signed lien release card or notarized lien release form for all secured parties (lien holders). The name of the first secured party is printed on the front of the title, as is the total number of liens on the vehicle.
Seller Buyer

All sellers must handprint their name and sign in the assignment area of the title.

The seller must list the sales price of the vehicle in the sales tax description area on the back of the certificate of title.

The seller must enter the date of sale and complete any disclosure statements that apply

  • Odometer Disclosure. Required for all vehicles except those that are ten years old or older, vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 16,000 pounds, or vehicles that are not self-propelled
  • Damage Disclosure. Required for all vehicles except those that are six years old or older, and commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or more

All buyers must complete the assignment and application portions of the title

  • Full name, date of birth and signature is required for all buyers
  • If there is more than one buyer, the new owners may indicate rights of survivorship by using the conjuction "OR" between their names
  • The first owner on the application must list his/her residential address. If the post office will only deliver to a post office box, the applicant must submit a written statement attesting to that with the transfer
  • Buyers must indicate whether the vehicle is subject to a security agreement (loan) and all buyers must sign the application area
  • For motorcycles, the buyer must write the engine number on the face of the title
  • If the vehicle is operated commerically and the gross weight is more than 10,000, a USDOT number is required


Non-titled Vehicles

What You Need to Know

  • If the vehicle has been issued a title, the transfer must take place on that title. If the title has been lost, the titled owner of the vehicle must obtain a duplicate title
  • If the vehicle has never been titled, the Minnesota registration card is acceptable proof of ownership
  • A foreign state registration card is not acceptable proof of ownership, even if the state that issued it does not issue a title to that particular type or model year vehicle. Please refer to "No Proof of Ownership"

Transfer of Vehicle Not Subject to Titling

  • The seller may assign ownership on the back of the Minnesota registration card, on an application for Minnesota registration (PS2000) or on a bill of sale that identifies the vehicle being sold and includes the date of sale and the name of the buyer
  • All buyers must complete an application to register a motor vehicle (PS2000)
    • Full name, date of birth and signature is required for all buyers
    • If there is more than one buyer, the new owners may indicate rights of survivorship by using the conjuction "OR" between their names
    • The buyers must list their residential address. If the post office will only deliver to a post office box, the buyer must provide a written statement attesting to that 
    • Buyers must indicate whether the vehicle is subject to a security agreement (loan) and all buyers must sign the application area
    • For motorcycles, the buyer must write the engine number on the face of the title
    • If the vehicle is operated commerically and the gross weight is more than 10,000, a USDOT number is required


No Proof of Ownership

When tangible proof of ownership for a vehicle cannot be established, Minnesota has no record of the vehicle, and the owner is not aware of any registration or title issued in another state, the vehicle may be issued a title if certain criteria are met. 

For more information about this process, please contact Driver and Vehicle Services or your local deputy registrar office.

Typical Fees

Typical transfer fees for a titled vehicle are:

  • $8 title fee
  • $2 for each lien recorded
  • $10 transfer tax
  • $3.50 Public Safety vehicle fee
  • $8.00 filing fee
  • Sales Tax - six and a half percent of purchase price

Questions?

Call DVS at 651-297-2126 or email motor.vehicles@state.mn.us

Office Location Information 

By phone: 651-297-2005
Online: www.mndriveinfo.org

- Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Driver and Vehicle Services Division