Minnesota Vehicle Registration

Minnesota Vehicle Registration: Complete Guide

Leave no stone unturned in search of the best possible cars. Take your time and effort in learning more about your options. Review vehicle records, check cars up close and test drive them. This is how you exercise due diligence before letting go of your hard-earned money. A VIN lookup can definitely help you unlock the secrets of any car with a 17-digit VIN in seconds.

A great car may be any man’s fondest dream. But it could also be his worst nightmare if he is not lucky. To get the better side of it, every car buyer should exercise the utmost caution before driving their baby home. Always be attentive to details when inspecting a car and signing up paperwork. The tiniest of mistakes can cost you a lot.

If you intend to buy a car, you should first ask around. Talk to your friends. Find out if they have a recommendation in mind. Ask car owners about their experiences with their cars. The information you can get from them may lead you to the wisest possible choice. However, if you are buying a secondhand car, it might not be that simple. A car, no matter how great, can only be as good as how the owner took care of it.

Run a Free Vehicle Report:

To be allowed to roll your car around, vehicle owners in Minnesota must register their car with Minnesota Driver & Vehicle Services. This is especially true if you are planning to stay in Minnesota for an indefinite period. In registering your car, the first step would be to bring the car to an official registration office and present all pertinent vehicle documents to an authorized agent.

Check out all the information you need here at VINCheck.info if you want to:

  • register your car in the state
  • renew your registration
  • transfer vehicle ownership in Minnesota
  • change your address or name on car registration documents

Minnesota License Plates

The Minnesota DVS issues the official license plates of all vehicles registered in Minnesota. The agency embeds each plate with 6 digits of alphanumeric codes. And both ends of the vehicle must contain a license plate. In other words, two plates must be issued for each unit. But for vehicles with the year model of 1972 and older, only a single license plate is issued.

If one of your Minnesota license plates were damaged or missing, you may accomplish a request form and submit it to a DVS office agent. If your inquiry is honored, you will get your replacement plates/stickers for a fee.

If for some reasons you can not do it in person, you may also mail your request to the address below:

Driver & Vehicle Services
445 Minnesota Street Saint Paul
MN 55101-5160

Minnesota Vehicle Registration & Renewal

Registration and titling are often part of the same process in Minnesota. To begin the application, the owner must complete the application form at an authorized Minnesota DVS branch. If you are a new resident, you have 60 days to register your vehicles. The same number of days for you to establish your residence in Minnesota if you really want to stay for good.

Before heading out to register your car in Minnesota, you must first get a driver’s permit. Minnesota dealers can provide a 21-day temporary permit to buyers. You can use the permit to bring your vehicle to your home state. You can also use it to drive your vehicle in Minnesota while waiting for the official license plates to arrive. Otherwise, non-resident vehicle owners may also purchase a 31-day temporary permit from the DVS if your stay is temporary.

General Registration Requirements

  • Title/Registration Application Form (PS2000)
  • Proof of Ownership, for instance:
    • Title Certificate
    • Registration Card
  • Proof of Identity, such as:
    • Driver’s License
    • US Birth Certificate
    • Valid US Passport
    • Others
  • Current Odometer Reading
  • Valid Minnesota Insurance
  • Fees & Taxes
  • Lien Release (if applicable)
  • Lienholder’s name (if applicable)
  • Lienholder’s address (if applicable

Registration Renewal

Vehicle registration is to be renewed annually. You will know if your car is due for renewal by checking the vehicle tabs which indicate the expiration date. A vehicle’s registration can be renewed weeks before expiration at a deputy registrar office.

Registering Your Vehicle as a Military Personnel in Minnesota

Military personnel who want to register their cars in Minnesota are exempted from registration tax. But, they will only qualify for the exemption if they were active in the service. Personnel who were released from active service (but is still within 3 months after discharge from service) are still qualified for this exemption. The DVS will check on the copy of military orders containing the dates covering the registrant’s active duty. This can be acquired from the base commander.

Military personnel must also meet these conditions to be exempted from sales tax:

  • They must be the vehicle owner/co-owner
  • Vehicle must be from out-of-state or overseas

Minnesota Vehicle Insurance

Minimum Vehicle Insurance Coverage

Personal Injury Protection
  • $40,000 per person in an accident
  • $20,000 for hospital/medical expenses
  • $20,000 for non-medical expenses
  • $30,000 for injuries to one person
  • $60,000 for over two injured persons $10,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for injuries to one person
  • $50,000 for over two injured persons
  • $25,000 for injuries to one person
  • $50,000 for over two injured persons

Total Loss Vehicle

If a vehicle happens to suffer serious damage that exceeds its total value, the insurer, as per their estimates, can declare a vehicle to be a ‘total loss’. In Minnesota, this usually means the cost of repair is almost 80% of its insured value or more.

The damage may have come from:

  • Collision
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Accident
  • Trespass
  • Others

The Minnesota DVS can issue ‘salvage’ title to these vehicles:

  • New model vehicle (6 model years old & newer)
  • High-value vehicle
    • Worth $9,000 or more prior to the damage
    • GVWR of 26,000 lbs and more

To be able to drive a salvage-titled vehicle again, it must be inspected by a DVS agent to assess its roadworthiness. Any necessary repairs on the vehicle must also be done prior to inspection. Also, these documents must be presented at a DVS office:

Transferring Vehicle Ownership in Minnesota

The ownership transfer will only be acknowledged by the state if the transfer is finalized at a motor vehicle office. Both owners and sellers must sign the title, expressing their written desire for ownership transfer. They must also present their proofs of ownership and identity and there must be no discrepancy among the credentials they will present.

Please take note of these details and make sure they are consistent with all important documents:

  • Names of buyer(s) and seller(s)
  • Birthdates of buyer(s) and seller(s)
  • Signatures of buyer(s) and seller(s)
  • Owner(s) physical address(es)
  • Vehicle Identification Number
  • Odometer Disclosure
  • Damage Disclosure
  • Clarification if the vehicle is subject to loan

Important documents to present:

  • Report of Sale / Bill of Sale
  • Vehicle Title
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Identification
  • Proof of Lien Release (if applicable)

Death of Owner

Ownership can be transferred upon death through the facilitation of an executor. Or, as a joint owner of the deceased with rights of survivorship. The joint owner’s name must be certified on the vehicle title. Wills are not accepted as sufficient documents in passing ownership. Beneficiaries of the deceased may complete this form.

Requirements if the vehicle is under Joint Ownership:

  • Vehicle Title
  • Evidence of Death
    • Death Certificate copy
    • Obituary Notice copy
    • Memorial Card copy
  • Payment of appropriate fees

Requirements if the vehicle is a Probated Estate

  • Vehicle Title
  • Payment of appropriate fees
  • One of these documents:
    • Certified Copy of Letters of Administration
    • Certified Copy of Probate Court Order
    • Certified Copy of a Decree of Partial
    • Certified copy of the Final Decree of Distribution

If the vehicle is not subject to probate, one of these alternatives can be presented:

Change of Name or Address on Vehicle Records

The owner can request any changes to the name and address of vehicle records when renewing registration. This can be done at any DVS renewal office. Otherwise, if the applicant can not do it personally, they may make such request by mailing the address below:

P.O. Box 64587
St. Paul
MN 55164-0587

Don’t forget to send the corresponding fee via money order to complete the process. It may take 10 days to finalize the change.

Requirements for name change:

  • Certified Marriage Certificate
  • Certified Divorce / Marriage Dissolution Decree
  • Certified Court Order Name Change

The changes to be made in your Minnesota vehicle registration must also reflect in your Minnesota driver’s license. Applicants have 30 days to effect the same change they did with their vehicle records to their driver’s license.

Registration Fees and Other Charges in Minnesota

Here are the fees that are usually required for vehicle registration in Minnesota:


Title Fee$8.25 (+ $2 for each lien recorded)
Transfer Tax$10
Public Safety Vehicle Fee$3.50
Technology Surcharge$2.25
Filing Fee$7 – $11
Duplicate Title Fee$7.25
Late Transfer Penalty$2
Non-Title Transfer$3
Transfer Tax$10
Sales Tax Rate6.5%
Flat Sales Tax for 10-year-old or more vehicles w/ less than $3,000 posted price$10
Passenger Vehicle Plate Fees$6 (Single Plates)

$8 (Double Plate)

Duplicate Registration Stickers$1.50
31 Day Non-Resident Permit$1

Use this guide as a helpful reference when registering a car. While conditions may differ per applicant, the general guidelines are almost the same here as for everyone else. The most important thing is that you should be able to bring all the documents required and pay all the corresponding fees.