Register Car in Minnesota
First insure, then register.
If this is not your fist time registering your current vehicle in Minnesota, jump over to our page on registration renewals.
You need to register your vehicle for the first time if you've:
- Recently relocated to to the state.
- Received a vehicle from a family member, as a gift, or as an inheritance.
- Recently purchased a used vehicle.
After purchasing, you have 10 days to register your vehicle. If you're a new resident, however, you have 60 days to register.
Registering your car is just the first step toward making your vehicle road-legal. You must also carry insurance. If you have yet to settle on a provider, you can compare rates from a variety of different companies at our Insurance Center.
After purchasing a new car, your dealer will complete and submit the proper paperwork for titling and registering to Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS). As a precaution, it's always smart to double-check that your dealer handled this. To learn more, visit our title transfer page.
If you're registering a recently purchased used car or an out-of-state vehicle, you must:
- Complete a Registration Application.
- Have the vehicle's title. (If you need to replace the title because it's lost or damaged, refer to Replacing a Lost Title, first.)
- Have proper identification.
The state no longer requires emissions tests, but you can still take steps to reduce vehicle emissions pollution.
Still in the deciding stage on a car? Before buying be sure to study its vehicle history report.
There are a variety of fees tied in with the registration process, including a registration tax (for first-time registration), wheelage tax (contingent on your county of residence), and sales tax.
You should also prepare yourself for unexpected fees later, like those associated with replacing lost or illegible registration information.
Once all of your papers are in order, bring them to your nearest DVS office.
Whether you receive new plates depends on your situation:
- Used vehicle, previously registered in Minnesota―plates stay with the car; you'll only receive registration stickers, unless you opt to order specialty plates.
- New vehicle―the DVS will mail your plates to you.
- Recently relocated to the state―you'll have the choice of ordering standard or specialty plates when registering.
You'll receive two registration stickers for the rear plate. Attach the month of expiration sticker to the lower left corner and the year of expiration sticker to the lower right corner.
DVS officials recommend consulting with an accountant or a tax attorney regarding whether you can claim your vehicle registration as a tax deduction and how to do so.
After completing the registration process, give thought to planning against the unexpected.
For instance, subscribing to a roadside assistance package will guarantee help should your vehicle unexpectedly shut down. An after-market auto warranty will spare your budget from an unanticipated financial wince. And finding a mechanic you trust will make you more willing to invest in preventive maintenance.
There are also plenty of accessories designed with safety in mind. A hands-free headset, for example, will keep your hands free and your eyes on the road. Today's child safety seats combine comfort with absolute protection. And an organized car emergency kit is indispensable during a breakdown.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.