Notify DMV When You Sold Your Car

Just Sold Your Car? Here’s How to Notify the DMV and Why It’s Crucial!

After selling a car in Minnesota, you must take certain steps to protect yourself and the new owner. Notifying the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a key step. You must transfer the title and clear your name as the previous owner.


This guide will show you how to notify the DMV once you’ve sold your car in Minnesota. We’ll also cover why this step is important to avoid legal and financial issues. This advice is vital for anyone selling a car in Minnesota, including car dealerships.

Just Sold Your Car? Here's How to Notify the DMV and Why It's Crucial

Key Takeaways:

  • Notifying the DMV of a car sale is crucial to transferring the title and removing your liability as the previous owner.
  • Transferring the title establishes the new owner’s legal ownership and ensures they are responsible for any traffic violations or legal actions associated with the vehicle.

  • Notifying the DMV involves obtaining the necessary documents, completing the required forms, and submitting them to a DMV office or by mail.

  • Transferring ownership between private parties, within the family, or to heirs each has specific requirements that need to be followed.

Keeping the title accurate and up-to-date is important, and if necessary, correcting your name on the title can be done through the DMV.

The Importance of Transferring the Title

When you sell a car, transferring the title to the new owner is key. This confirms their ownership and frees the previous owner from liability. The new owner then handles any traffic fines or legal issues linked to the car. Both parties need to know how important this transfer is.

Protecting the Seller

Telling the DMV about the sale and moving the title protects the seller legally. After the title is transferred, the seller won’t face legal problems from the car’s future use. This means they’re off the hook for accidents or fines the new owner might cause. Finishing this transfer lets the seller easily end their legal ties to the car.

Establishing Legal Ownership

Transferring the title is also key for the new owner. It legally proves they own the car. Without it, proving ownership can be tough, affecting insurance and future sales. Completing this transfer secures the new owner’s legal rights to use the car without issue.

Enforcing Liability

Shifting the title also transfers any car-related liabilities to the new owner. If there are accidents or legal issues, the new owner has to deal with them. This ensures the right person is accountable for any legal troubles and keeps everything fair and clear, legally speaking.

Moving the title after a car sale is crucial for everyone involved. It ensures legal ownership, frees the old owner from liability, and places responsibility for legal issues on the new owner. Find reliable sellers near you if you’re selling a car in Minnesota. Know how important the title transfer is for a smooth, lawful sale.

Steps to Notify the DMV of a Car Sale

When selling a car in Minnesota, you must alert the DMV. This is crucial for transferring ownership and shielding yourself from future issues. Adhering to these procedures makes the process smoother.

Gather Required Documents

  1. First, get the necessary papers, like the Certificate of Title or the Application for Replacement or Transfer of Title (REG 227).

  2. If there’s one, you and any lienholder must sign these documents.

Complete Additional Forms

Sometimes, you’ll need more forms for certain transfers. Be sure to fill out any additional paperwork to avoid delays.

Submit Paperwork and Fees

You can take your title transfer papers and the fees to a DMV office or send them by mail. Including all needed documents and the right fee for the title transfer is vital.

Consider Rush Title Processing

If you’re in a hurry, consider asking for rush title processing. This service speeds up the transfer, getting you your documents faster.

Pay Applicable Fees

You’ll also have to pay other fees, like for a replacement title or transfer. Remember the use tax and registration costs. Paying all fees ensures the transfer is complete.

Complete Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL)

Fill out a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL) within 5 days after the car is sold. This informs the DMV that you no longer own the car. It also keeps you safe from future liabilities.

Remember to keep a copy of the NRL for yourself.




Gather Required Documents


Complete Additional Forms


Submit Paperwork and Fees


Consider Rush Title Processing


Pay Applicable Fees


Complete NRL

Transferring Ownership Between Private Parties

In Minnesota, the process is simple when you want to sell or buy a car privately. The seller signs the title to release the vehicle. Then, the buyer needs to go to the local DMV to complete the ownership transfer. If the title is lost, the seller can complete an Application for Replacement or Transfer of Title (REG 227).

To avoid delays, all signatures on the document must be correct. If a lienholder is involved, their release must be notarized. Doing these steps correctly makes transferring the car easier.

Documents Required for Transferring Ownership Between Private Parties



Signed Title

Document signed by the seller to release ownership

Application for Replacement or Transfer of Title (REG 227)

Used if the title is missing

Notarized Lienholder Release (if applicable)

Required if there is a lienholder involved

Transferring Ownership Within the Family

Transferring a vehicle between family members in Minnesota is pretty simple. The person who owns the car must sign the title. Then, the new owner’s details must be put on the back of the title.

There are more steps to remember. Have to fill out a Statement of Facts (REG 256) for certain taxes and smog checks. Also, share the car’s mileage if it’s under 10 years old.

Don’t forget about the transfer fee. This fee is crucial for the transfer process and record. These steps make transferring ownership in Minnesota smooth.

Transferring Ownership to Heirs

When the owner of a vehicle dies, the heir can claim ownership 40 days later. They must sign the deceased owner’s certificate of ownership. Also, an Affidavit for Transfer without Probate (REG 5) must be filled out. This shows the estate doesn’t need probate, allowing ownership to pass to the heir.

Required Documents:

  • An original or certified copy of the death certificate

  • Odometer disclosure for vehicles less than ten years old

If the heir decides to sell the vehicle, they need several documents. A Bill of Sale (REG 135) is necessary to record the sale. It makes sure the sale is legal and protects everyone involved.

Transferring a vehicle to an heir can be complicated, especially during tough times. It’s wise to talk to legal experts or estate attorneys. They know a lot about probate and inheritance laws, which can help transfer ownership smoothly and avoid issues.

Transferring Vessel Ownership

Transferring vessel ownership in Minnesota involves a few key steps. The registered owner and any legal owner/lienholder must sign the certificate of ownership. This step makes sure the ownership change is legal and valid.

Sometimes, bills of sale must be shown. This proves the vessel’s ownership history, making the transfer smoother.

You also need to pay fees and taxes. A registration fee is required, and it varies depending on the county’s tax rate. These fees help register the vessel properly with the right authorities.

Moreover, it is crucial to quickly complete a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL). You must do it within five days after the vessel changes hands. The NRL informs relevant agencies that you are no longer responsible for the vessel.

To transfer vessel ownership in Minnesota correctly, you must pay close attention and follow the legal steps. Doing so ensures a smooth and legally compliant transfer.

Steps for Transferring Vessel Ownership in Minnesota

1. The registered owner and legal owner/lienholder must sign the Certificate of Ownership.

2. Provide bills of sale, if required, to establish a complete chain of ownership.

3. Pay the vessel registration fee based on the tax rate percentage for the county of residence.

4. Complete a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL) within five days of releasing ownership.

Importance of Keeping the Title Accurate and Up-to-Date

Car sellers in Minnesota need to keep their titles current. This title proves who owns the car. Make sure all info on the title matches the car’s actual status.

If the original title is lost, stolen, or damaged, you’ll need a new one. You can get this by filling out a REG 227 form. If you have it, include the old title and a driver’s license with a photo.

Remember, getting a new title might cost you a fee. But this step keeps things legal and hassle-free for Minnesota car sellers.

Correcting Your Name on the Title

If your name is wrong, changed by marriage or divorce, or legally altered, fixing it on the Certificate of Title is key. Here’s how:

  1. Hand in the title with your name right on it.

  2. Fill out a Name Statement in the Statement of Facts (REG 256) with your new name.

  3. Visit a DMV office or send the papers to the DMV for an update.

Required Documents:


Processing Time:

  • Properly signed certificate of title

  • Completed Name Statement in the Statement of Facts (REG 256)

  • Correction fee

  • (if applicable) Duplicate title fee

  • Varies; typically processed within a few weeks

Consequences of Not Submitting the Release of Liability

In Minnesota, when you sell a vehicle, you must send a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL) to the DMV. If you don’t, you could face many problems and legal issues.

One issue is you might keep getting parking tickets for the vehicle you sold. If the DMV doesn’t know you sold the car, tickets can still come to you.

Also, if the new owner gets into illegal trouble or an accident, you could be wrongly blamed. This happens if you haven’t submitted the NRL.

By sending the NRL to the DMV, you prove you’re not the vehicle’s owner anymore. This protects you from being dragged into legal issues or having to pay for things you shouldn’t have to.

Key Consequences:

  • Continued receipt of parking tickets

  • Potential involvement in lawsuits or criminal investigations

  • Unresolved financial liabilities

After selling a vehicle in Minnesota, make sure you send the Release of Liability to the DMV. It will protect you from many headaches.



Continued receipt of parking tickets

If the new owner violates parking rules, the previous owner could still get tickets. This is if the DMV isn’t told about the sale.

Potential involvement in lawsuits or criminal investigations

Being involved in illegal situations or accidents without the Release of Liability can wrongly implicate the previous owner.

Unresolved financial liabilities

Without the Release of Liability, the prior owner might have to pay fines or fees related to the car.

How to Submit a Notice of Release of Liability

When you sell a vehicle, it’s important to submit a Notice of Release of Liability (NRL). This tells the DMV you’re not the owner anymore. It frees you from future legal problems. Here’s the right way to do it:

  1. Option 1: Fill out the REG 138 form from the DMV’s website. Write down the vehicle’s details, such as the license plate, VIN, and the buyer’s name and address. Make sure everything you write is correct.

  2. Option 2: You can also submit the NRL online through the DMV’s website. It’s fast and easy. Just follow the instructions, enter the needed info about the vehicle and buyer, and submit.

Submitting the NRL protects you from being liable for anything that happens with the vehicle after you sell it. It’s a key step in making sure the vehicle’s ownership is fully transferred. Do it quickly and right for your peace of mind.


Safely and legally transferring vehicle ownership is an important factor. This process safeguards you from potential future issues and ensures that the new owner assumes full responsibility for the vehicle. Informing the DMV about the sale is crucial, as it officially transfers ownership and liability. Don’t forget to complete the Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL) within five days of the sale—a simple yet vital step to protect your interests. By adhering to these guidelines, you can confidently navigate the selling process and mitigate any complications down the road.

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Why is it crucial to notify the DMV when selling a car in Minnesota?

When you sell your car, telling the DMV is key. It moves the title to the new owner and takes the seller off the hook. This means the new owner will face any legal issues or tickets that come up.

What are the steps to notify the DMV of a car sale in Minnesota?

First, get all the papers you need. Fill out any forms for the title transfer. Next, send the title transfer papers and fee to the DMV. Do this by mail or in person. You also need to fill out a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability within 5 days.

How do I transfer ownership of a vehicle between private parties in Minnesota?

To transfer a car, the seller signs the title, which shows they are giving up the car. The buyer then takes the title to the DMV to get the car in their name. If the title is lost, fill out a special form: the Application for Replacement or Transfer of Title (REG 227).

How do I transfer a vehicle between family members in Minnesota?

To transfer a car to a family, the title holder must sign it. Fill in the new owner’s info on the title. You might have to submit extra forms for tax exemptions and report the mileage for cars under 10 years. You also need to pay a transfer fee.

How can I transfer ownership to heirs in Minnesota?

If the owner dies, heirs can transfer the car 40 days later. Sign the deceased’s name on the title. Complete an Affidavit for Transfer without Probate (REG 5). You may need more documents if you want to sell the car later.

How do I transfer vessel ownership in Minnesota?

For vessels, both the registered and legal owners must sign the ownership certificate. You might need sale bills. Pay the registration fee and use tax according to your county’s rate. Fill out the Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability within five days of the transfer.

Why is it important to keep the title accurate and up-to-date?

The title is a vital legal document. It must always be correct. If it is lost or wrong, get a new one. If your name changes or is wrong, fix it on the title.

How can I correct my name on the title?

To change your name on the title, hand in a signed title with your correct name. Also, fill out a Name Statement with the Statement of Facts (REG 256). You can do this by mail or at a DMV office.

What are the consequences of not submitting the Release of Liability?

You could get in trouble if you don’t send in the Release of Liability. You might get parking tickets or be part of legal problems. Always submit the NRL to show you’re not linked to the car anymore.

How do I submit a Notice of Release of Liability?

You can download the REG 138 form from the DMV’s website or online. It needs car details like the license plate, VIN, make, model, year, mileage, sale date, and buyer’s information.

Why is it important to notify the DMV when selling a car in Minnesota?

Telling the DMV when you sell your car is key. It changes the title and removes your liability, protecting you from any trouble that comes with the car after the sale.

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