How To Buy a Car In Minnesota

How To Buy a Car In Minnesota

This handy guide will lead you through the steps to buy a used car from a private seller in Minnesota.

Step 1 - Get the Documents


Complete the assignment area of the title by hand.

  • Your name, date of birth, and signature.
  • Your address.
  • Date of purchase.
  • Odometer reading (cars less than 10 years old).
  • Damage disclosure (cars less than 6 years old).
  • Seller’s name and signature.

Bill of Sale

A bill of sale isn’t required in Minnesota. Still, it’s a good idea to have a legal record of the sale.

When you buy with the PrivateAuto app, you get a bill of sale you can complete and sign right on the platform.

Step 2 - Research the Title


The free VINCheck tool on the National Insurance Crimes Bureau website can tell you:

  • If the car was reported as stolen.
  • If the car was declared a total loss in an insurance claim.

Vehicle History Report

Like the free VINCheck tool, a vehicle history report can show if the car was stolen or totaled. For a small fee, you can learn more about the car’s history.

  • Accidents reported.
  • Fire, flood, or storm damage.
  • Maintenance records.
  • More.

Some sellers on the PrivateAuto platform can provide you with a report from AutoCheck at no cost to you.

Step 3 - Get an Inspection

A car can look shiny and clean, but it might have hidden mechanical problems. A mechanical inspection can tell you if it’ll need costly repairs down the road.

Work with an ASE Certified mechanic. A mechanic with ASE credentials is skilled with most cars and light trucks.

Step 4 - Complete the Purchase

It’s best if you and the seller can close the deal at a Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) office. That way you can make sure all the paperwork is in order.

Some PrivateAuto sellers use our integrated banking services so you can make a secure payment for the car.


When you buy a used car from a private seller, PrivateAuto makes it easy. You get dealer-like services in the palm of your hand.