Title Transfers in Minnesota

How to Complete a Vehicle Title Transfers in Minnesota
  • Have the original owner sign the title certificate over to you.
  • Complete an Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle (Form PS2000).
  • Submit the paperwork and applicable payments to the DVS.
  • Keep reading to learn all about auto title transfers in Minnesota.

New Minnesota Resident Car Titles

After you have moved to Minnesota, you have 60 days to register your car and apply for a Minnesota vehicle title with the Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS).

To complete a DMV title transfer and obtain a MN title, provide the DVS with the following:

Submit the above to your local MN DVS office location.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle in MN

Auto title transfers must occur whenever ownership of a vehicle changes hands. Read below to learn how to execute a title transfer in Minnesota after you buy or sell a car.

Buying a Vehicle

Buying from a Dealer

As a buyer, vehicle title transfers and registration procedures are very simple when purchasing from a dealer.

All Minnesota car dealers are required to submit all necessary title and registration paperwork to the DVS for you.

Buying from a Private Seller

It is your responsibility to complete the car title transfer after you purchase a car from a private seller.

The transfer or ownership is made directly on the certificate of title. Make sure you and the seller fill in all necessary information, which includes:

  • Personal information of all buyers, including:
    • Full name.
    • Date of birth.
  • Signatures of all buyers.
    • If the car is subject to a loan, all buyers must also sign and indicate this.
    • NOTE: When multiple owners exists, the conjunction “OR" between names will indicate rights of survivorship. The car will be owned wholly by the name after the “OR" if the name(s) before the conjunction have deceased.
  • The address of the first person named.
    • If your post office will only deliver to a P.O. Box, you must submit a letter stating this fact.
  • USDOT number if the vehicle has a gross weight over 10,000 lbs. and will be used as a commercial vehicle.

Once the DMV title transfer is complete you will need to submit the title certificate and payment for the title transfer fee to the DVS:

  • In person at a DVS location.
  • By mail to:
    • Driver and Vehicle Services – Central Office
    • Town Square Building
    • 445 Minnesota St, Suite 187
    • St Paul, MN 55101

Selling a Car

As a private seller of a vehicle, you are responsible for the following on the title certificate:

  • Printing your name.
  • Signing the assignment area.
  • Entering the date of sale.
  • Entering the sale price in the sales tax declaration portion.
  • Providing an odometer disclosure, UNLESS the car:
    • Is 10 years old or older.
    • Weighs over 16,000 lbs.
    • Isn't self-propelled.
  • Providing a damage disclosure if the car is under 6 years old.
  • Completing and removing the Recorded Owner(s) Record of Sale stub.

If you have lost your title, you must get a duplicate title in order to make the auto title transfer.

Additionally, you must report the sale to the DVS, which can be accomplished:

  • Online at the DVS website.
  • By mailing the completed Recorded Owner(s) Record of Sale stub to:
    • Driver and Vehicle Services – Central Office
    • Town Square Building
    • 445 Minnesota St, Suite 187
    • St Paul, MN 55101

Gifted and Donated Cars

The car title transfer procedures for gifted or donated cars are the same as buying and selling. Remember, it is the responsibility of the person or organization receiving the car to submit the assigned title and payment for the title transfer fee to the Minnesota DVS.

If you donate or gift a car, you will also need to complete a report of sale online to the DVS, or by mailing in the title's Recorded Owner(s) Record of Sale stub.

Inheriting a Minnesota Vehicle

Depending on circumstances, you will have to take different vehicle title transfer steps for a car you inherited. Read below for more detailed information.

NOTE: A will is NOT acceptable documentation for a transfer of ownership in Minnesota.

Joint Owner

If you were one of the named owners on the vehicle's current title, you can complete an auto title transfer to your name by providing the Minnesota DVS with the following:

  • The current title.
  • Proof of death, which can be a copy of one of the following:
    • Death certificate.
    • Obituary notice.
    • Memorial card.

Follow the instructions above in Buying or Selling a Vehicle to complete your MN DMV title transfer.

Court-Appointed Executor

If you have been appointed as the executor of a probated estate, you can complete an auto title transfer as the seller on the title certificate.

To complete the car title transfer, you must also submit a certified copy of one of the following:

  • Letters of Administration.
    • NOTE: In the case that multiple executors exists, all executors must sign the title unless the letter notes that executors may act independently.
  • Probate Court Order setting the car aside for the surviving spouse.
  • Decree of Partial Distribution awarding the car to the person applying for the title.
  • Final Decree of Distribution noting all new owners of the vehicle.
    • Any person named on this decree not wishing to be on the title must assign ownership on the current title certificate to those wishing to remain on the title.

Once you have the appropriate documentation, follow the steps listed above under Buying or Selling a Vehicle to complete the car title transfer.

Family Member or Friend (Estate Not Probated)

If you are handling an estate that is not subject to probate, you may assign ownership of a car on the certificate of title. Complete the vehicle title transfer by submitting the title and proof of death (see above) to the Driver and Vehicle Services division along with one of the following:

Signatures on the above documents must be notarized or witnessed by a DVS official. You may also need to pay a title transfer fee.


If you have been appointed as a trustee, you may transfer ownership of a car by titling the vehicle in the names of both the trust and the grantor(s) of the trust, i.e. the previous owner(s) of the vehicle.

Along with the assigned title, you will also need to submit the following to the DVS:

  • A copy of the trust indicating that you are the trustee.
  • Proof of death (see above).
  • A declaration stating that the applicant is inheriting the vehicle, or a copy of the trust that shows the beneficiary, if the new owner is a legal heir (see below).
  • Payment for the MN title transfer fee.

Legal Heir (Named on Will)

If you have inherited a vehicle as a legal heir, you are exempt from paying any sales tax on the vehicle.

While wills cannot affect an auto title transfer, they may be used to prove inheritance for tax exemption purposes.

See one of the appropriate processes above to effect the ownership transfer.

No Proof of Ownership

If there is no available title for a vehicle, and the Division of Driver and Vehicle Services had no record of ownership, submit the following to the DVS to complete a car title transfer:

  • A completed Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle (Form PS2000)—Seller and Buyer. In place of the seller filling out the appropriate portions of the application, a Bill of Sale can be submitted.
  • A complete Statement of Facts (Form PS2002)—Seller must provide as much information as possible about the vehicle's history, including:
    • How and when the car was acquired.
    • Why there is no proof of ownership.
    • Vehicle identification number (VIN).
    • Make, model, and year of the car.
  • A Statement of Protection—Buyer. You must make the following statement and sign:
    • “I agree to defend and protect the State of Minnesota against any and all future claims of ownership which may arise after I am issued a Minnesota title and registration card."
  • Photos—Buyer must submit pictures that show all sides of the vehicle.
  • Bonds—Buyer. You MAY be required to obtain a surety bond to protect the state from any claims of ownership. The DVS will notify you if you need to meet this requirement.

Defective Title

If you are in possession of an untitled car that is over 6 model years old, you may apply for a defective title bond. To accomplish this, take the following steps:

  • Visit a Minnesota deputy registrar and provide the following information:
    • Complete vehicle description.
    • VIN.
  • Obtain the following from the deputy:
    • Affidavit of Due Diligence to be completed by you and notarized.
    • Defective Title Bond (Form PS2052) to be partially completed by the deputy with a calculation of the bond amount.
  • Once you have obtained the bond form, contact an insurance company to complete the bond.
  • Submit the completed bond form and an Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle (Form PS2000) to the deputy registrar's office.
  • Provide photos of the car.
  • Make any payments determined by the deputy.

Removing a Lien

If you have paid off your car loan, your lender must release the lien on your car before you can obtain the title. It is the lender's responsibility to release the lien by submitting the following to the DVS:

Contact your lender if the process has not begun.

Replacing a Lost Minnesota Title

If you no longer possess a certificate of title for your vehicle, you can order a duplicate Minnesota title by:

Title Transfer Fees and Taxes

The following are the basic Minnesota auto title transfer fees:

  • Filing fee: $10
  • Title fee: $7.25
  • Public Safety Vehicle Fee: $3.50
  • Title transfer fee: $6.50
  • Transfer tax: $10
  • Duplicate title: $8.25

Additionally, you may be required to pay tax on your vehicle, typically calculated by your car's age and base value.

New Minnesota residents transferring their title into the state may need to pay either:

  • 6.5% of the purchase price of your vehicle.
  • A $10 In-Lieu tax if:
    • Your vehicle is 10 years old or older.
    • Its price and market value is under $3,000.
  • A $150 In-Lieu tax if your vehicle is registered or will be registered as a Collector, Street Rod, Pioneer or Classic passenger vehicle.

Several other fees may apply to your transaction. Visit the Minnesota DVS website for a complete lists of possible title fees, as well as their guide to registration tax in the state.

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