Certificates of title are legal documents that prove ownership of a car. When buying or selling a used car in Minnesota, the title transfer is one of the most important steps in the process.
What is the MN title transfer process?
What paperwork does MN require?
Does MN require a bill of sale?
Going through a legal and safe title transfer process is an essential part of private car sales. Our Minnesota vehicle title transfer guide gives you everything you need to know about signing over a vehicle title in MN.
Minnesota Title Transfer Process
A vehicle title transfer establishes the buyer of a car as the new owner. There are two stages to a title transfer:
- Buyer and seller meet. The buyer pays the seller. Both fill out the physical certificate of title, and sign. The buyer is now the legal owner of the car.
- The buyer registers the car and formally transfers the title into their name with the Minnesota Driver Vehicle Services (DVS).
The first step (buyer and seller meeting) is the most crucial. The second step is a necessary formality.
- As the seller, you’ll formalize the entire transaction when you transfer the ownership of the car by signing the title over to the buyer. You’ll remove the license plates and be done with the vehicle.
- As the buyer in a private car sale, you become the legal owner of the car as soon as the seller transfers the title to your name. You’ll finalize with Minnesota DVS to get title and registration in your name. You’ll also get new Minnesota license plates and auto insurance.
Essential Info for Signing a Minnesota Car Title
It’s time to do the actual ownership transfer. This is a step where the seller signs the title over to the buyer. It’s probably the single most vital step in the entire transaction (along with the buyer paying for the car). There are some key details you need to pay attention to when signing a Minnesota vehicle title.
When signing the title certificate, always keep the following in mind.
- Only use black or blue ink. Using any other color ink will void the title.
- Never use white-out.
- Never erase anything.
- Always write neatly.
- Only use your legal name.
- Any spelling mistakes void the document.
Front of Title
The front of the title has a seller section (shown in red below), and a buyer section (teal). Here is the process for filling out the front of a Minnesota title.
- In the red rectangle marked with “1”, the seller needs to enter the exact odometer reading and check the box “actual mileage”.
- The seller checks the boxes that apply to the vehicle being sold.
- The seller enters the date of sale, and addresses and signs and prints their name in the red rectangle marked with “3”.
- The buyer signs and prints their name and enters their address in the teal rectangle.
Back of Title
The back of the title has the buyer section (teal). Here is the process for filling out the back of a Minnesota title.
- The buyer enters their info in the teal rectangle marked with “1” (full name, date of birth, street address, city, county, state, zip code, and driver's license number).
- If applicable, check “yes” stating that the car is subject to a lien (enter the lien holder's name, date of the lien agreement, street address, city, state, and zip code).
- The buyer needs to sign their name in the teal rectangle marked with “3”.
Congrats! You’ve completed the first part of a Minnesota transfer of ownership. Now you just need to finalize with the state.
Finalize Ownership Transfer with Minnesota DVS
You’ve done the deal and are officially the owner. But, your work is not done. There are still steps you need to take to finalize the title transfer with the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
You also need to get new license plates and register the car with the Minnesota Driver Vehicle Services (Minnesota DVS).
You will need to submit the following to your local DVS office:
- Original vehicle title
- Proof of identification
- Vehicle odometer reading
- Proof of auto insurance
- Payment for necessary fees
- A completed application to title and register a motor vehicle (form PS2000).
To avoid any fees or penalties, make sure you register your new car right after transferring the title.
The state of Minnesota does not require emissions testing.
Minnesota Bill of Sale
In the state of Minnesota, a bill of sale is not required for transferring the title. A bill of sale is still a good idea, though, as it’s a legal document that acts as a receipt to protect both buyer and seller.
Here are the necessary elements in a bill of sale:
- Your full name and signature
- Full names and signatures of buyer and seller
- Price of the car
- The make, model, and year of the car
- VIN (vehicle identification number)
PrivateAuto includes an official Minnesota bill of sale as part of our standard in-app transaction process. At the appropriate stage in the transaction, the buyer and seller will be prompted to e-sign the Minnesota bill of sale within the PrivateAuto mobile app.
The whole transaction, the bill of sale included, can be completed in minutes when you meet for the test drive and approve the car. It’s easy and convenient. You won't have to keep track of all the documents: you will always have the electronic bill of sale accessible in your PrivateAuto account to prove that the transaction was legitimate.
Finalizing a Minnesota Title with DVS
You’ll need to submit a transfer of title form to the DVS. The Minnesota car title transfer form will require you to fill in the following info:
- Minnesota license and registration fees
- The name and address of the previous vehicle owner
- The date of sale
- Car mileage, condition, and purchase price
- Odometer disclosure
Additionally, when you submit the form to the DVS, you’ll need to provide the following:
- Completed application title/register a motor vehicle (form PS2000)
- Vehicle title certificate
The following fees are standard vehicle title transfer fees in Minnesota:
- Filing fee: $11
- Vehicle title transfer fee: $8.25
- Per lien recordation fee: $2
- Vehicle transfer tax: $10
- Public safety vehicle fee: $3.50
- Security interest assignment: $1
- Minnesota car sales tax: 6.5% of the purchase price of the vehicle
Minnesota License Plates
Unlike most other states, Minnesota mandates that license plates remain with the vehicle and pass on to the buyer. As the buyer, you won’t need to purchase new license plates.
The exception is for specialized or personalized plates, which a seller can keep or transfer to another vehicle.
In MN, registration fees are based on either taxable horsepower or vehicle weight.
Buy or Sell Cars in Minnesota With PrivateAuto
Complete private vehicle transactions easily and legally with PrivateAuto. Our technology-driven platform connects buyers and sellers and gives them all the tools to complete the deal, from in-app financing to secure messaging to integrated payments. See how it works today to buy and sell your used Minnesota car today!
Steps for Selling Your Vehicle through PrivateAuto
PrivateAuto makes selling your used car hassle-free. The sales process consists of a few simple steps:
Gather the necessary documentation
You’ll need your car title and other documentation. Have all the paperwork you need to sell your car privately on hand so you’re not scrambling to find it at the moment of completing a sale.
Register on PrivateAuto and get verified
To make PrivateAuto a safe place for everyone, we require email, phone, and driver’s license verification, including facial recognition.
List your car
Create your PrivateAuto listing with our step-by-step guide.
Bonus: we include a window brochure with a QR code scannable to your listing.
Set your terms
It’s your car, so you drive the deal! You can control where, when, and who you meet. Decide whether to accept only ID-verified buyers or buyers with verified funds. Don’t waste your time with buyers who don’t meet your standards.
Go through incoming offers
Manage offers in one place with the ability to accept, reject, or counter offers within the app.
Listing on multiple sites? Filter all communications through PrivateAuto by sharing your listing link on all platforms. Your personal info is protected: no more giving out your phone number or email address. All communication happens in our app.
Choose a buyer
When you find an offer you like, accept it and proceed to the next step with that buyer.
Schedule a test drive
The buyer will want to look at your car. No more back-and-forth texts. You never have to give out your phone number. Rather, use our handy scheduling feature to schedule test driving and coordinate a time and place for meeting. (Oh, and you’ll be able to finalize the transaction instantly at the first meeting, FYI.)
After the buyer is satisfied with your car and the two of you have agreed on a purchase price, you can easily e-sign the bill of sale within our app, from your phone. With our shared documents feature, you can easily locate the paperwork needed after the sale.
Get paid instantaneously
Before PrivateAuto, receiving funds was the most stressful part of the entire selling process, especially for any used car sale over $5,000. There just aren’t a lot of good ways to move large amounts of money quickly and conveniently. Those days are over! Verify and receive funds instantaneously with PrivateAuto Pay, our innovative banking integration. Guaranteed funds for transactions large and small.
When you sell your vehicle, fill out the necessary information on the back of the title transfer form and sign the vehicle title in order to transfer ownership of the vehicle to the new owner.
Interested in Buying a Used Car in Minnesota?
If you’re looking to buy a used car, check out our used vehicles for sale in Minnesota. Whether you’re looking for a Honda Civic, a Toyota RAV4, or a Tesla Model S, you’re sure to find a great deal on the car of your dreams.
This article comparing PrivateAuto to Carvana is part of a PrivateAuto blog series that looks at how our competitors measure up to our platform.
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MN Title Transfer FAQ
How to transfer a title after a lease buyout?
After you have paid off the car loan, you will need to submit a lien release, the lender is required to release the lien on the vehicle.
In order to for the lender to release the lien, the following documentation needs to be submitted to the Minnesota DVS:
- The vehicle title
- Lien notification signed by the lender
- Completed notification of assignment, the release of the grant of secured interest (form PS3017)
How to transfer a vehicle title when you have an out-of-state title?
Those who have an out-of-state title will need to title and register the car within 60 days of establishing Minnesota residency.
You need the following documentation and fees to transfer the title of an out-of-state vehicle in Minnesota:
- Proof of ownership
- An application to title and register the vehicle
- Valid proof of identification
- A copy of the leasing agreement or power of attorney
- Proof of a valid MN car insurance policy
- Minnesota car sales tax: 6.5% of the car’s purchase price
- A $10 in-lieu tax if the vehicle is 10 years old or older and its price and market value are less than $3,000
Can you transfer ownership of a vehicle without a title in Minnesota?
No, you will not be able to transfer ownership of a vehicle in Minnesota without a title. Apply for a duplicate title, if you have proof of ownership of the vehicle.
How to request a duplicate vehicle title in Minnesota?
If your car title is lost, damaged, or stolen, you must order a duplicate vehicle title by:
- Completing an application for duplicate title (form PS2067A)
- Paying the Minnesota duplicate vehicle title fee of $7.25
The documentation can be submitted in-person at your local DVS office or by mail to the address which is listed on the application for duplicate title form.
What is the safest method of payment when selling an MN car?
In most cases, the safest way to transfer money when selling a car is cash. Until PrivateAuto Pay, that is. With PrivateAuto Pay, you can avoid the risks and hassle of other payment methods and transfer large sums of money instantly and securely.
Sellers and buyers can stay safe while exchanging large sums of cash: as they don’t have to share their contact or banking information during the vehicle buying process.
Where can I go to transfer a vehicle title in Minnesota?
These are the locations in Minnesota that allow you to transfer a vehicle’s title in person:
Department of Motor Vehicles
2737 Lexington Ave N
Roseville, MN 55113
Driver and Vehicle Services
2455 Fernbrook Ln N
Plymouth, MN 55447
MN DVS Deputy Registrar Office
Department of Motor Vehicles
2929 Chicago Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55407