Paperwork When Buying a Car in Minnesota

In order to title and register a vehicle in Minnesota following a purchase, you'll need certain documents from the seller.

Use this guide to learn more about the paperwork required by the MN Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) division to properly transfer ownership.

Paperwork for Minnesota Car Buyers

The paperwork you'll need varies depending on whether you buy your car from a dealership, or a private seller.

For dealer purchases, the dealership will almost always handle the DVS documentation for you; however, if circumstances are otherwise, make sure to obtain a Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO) for new cars, or the current title for a used or certified pre-owned purchase.

If you bought your new car from a private seller, you'll need the necessary paperwork to transfer ownership yourself.

Here's what you'll need:

  • The completed vehicle title.
    • All transfer sections must be filled in, including:
      • The sale price.
      • The buyer and seller's signatures.
      • An odometer disclosure is required for 20 years for all vehicles with model year 2011 and newer.
      • A damage disclosure is required for all vehicles.
  • A lien release, if there is a lien listed on the title.
  • A bill of sale.
    • While not a requirement unless the vehicle has never been issued a title, it is recommended to fill out a bill of sale as a receipt of your transaction with the seller, to keep for your records.

Missing Vehicle Titles

If the seller has lost the title, they must apply for a new one before the sale is completed. You should never agree to buy a car without the title.

To obtain a new title, the seller should complete an Application for Duplicate Title (Form PS2067A).

MN Vehicle Registration Paperwork

To title and register your car in Minnesota, bring the following documents to your local deputy registrar's office:

  • The completed vehicle title.
  • Auto insurance documents.
  • A completed Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle (Form PS2000).
  • An odometer disclosure.
    • This is usually written on the title and included on the registration application.
  • A copy of your lease agreement or other lienholder documents, if applicable.
  • Payment for applicable titling and registration fees. These include:
    • Title fee: $8.25.
    • Lien recordation fee: $2.
    • Filing fee: $12.
    • Transfer tax: $10.
    • Purchase price sales tax: 6.875%
    • Public Safety Vehicle Fee: $3.50.

For full details on titling and registering your car with the Minnesota DVS, please see our sections on Title Transfers and Car Registration.

Vehicle History Report

A Vehicle History Report is not a required document, but it is extremely important to you as the buyer of a used car. The report will provide information about a car's past, such as:

  • An estimated odometer reading.
  • An accident history.
  • The car's involvement in theft or flooding.

For reassurance about the car you are thinking about buying, a Vehicle History Report is an invaluable tool. In fact, many dealers provide them to customers. However, if you're buying a car from a private seller, the small cost of a report is worth the truth about a car's history.


Application for Duplicate Title, Registration, Cab or Lien Card
Apply for a duplicate Minnesota title, registration card, cab card, OR lien card from the DVS.
Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle
Title and register your vehicle with Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services.
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