What Minnesota Car Sellers Need to Know

Selling a car in Minnesota is a significant endeavor for both car sellers and dealers alike. To make sure everything goes smoothly, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety guidelines. 

Car sellers and buyers have responsibilities in the process. Sellers must accurately complete the title’s assignment section and provide any necessary disclosure statements, while buyers must also fill out certain sections of the title. Additionally, understanding the fees associated with changing the car’s ownership is essential for all parties involved.

To simplify the selling process, consider visiting a deputy registrar’s office in Minnesota. These locations provide convenient assistance with the required paperwork, making sure all necessary documents are complete and accurate. By adhering to the regulations and understanding the procedures, selling or buying a pre-owned car in Minnesota can be straightforward for everyone involved.

what Minnesota car sellers need to know

Key Takeaways:

  • Minnesota car sellers need to understand how to transfer a car’s ownership.
  • The Minnesota Department of Public Safety gives rules for selling or buying cars.

  • Sellers must ensure they do all the paperwork, like the title assignment and disclosure statements.

  • Buyers also need to complete certain parts of the title.

  • Both sellers and buyers need to know about the fees for transferring ownership. This includes title fees, transfer tax, and sales tax.

Where to Transfer Vehicle Ownership in Minnesota

Minnesota makes transferring vehicle ownership simple. You can do this at any of the nearly 200 deputy registrar offices across the state, which are easy to find. These places help buyers and sellers with the paperwork for a smooth transfer. Whether you’re buying or selling, a deputy registrar’s office is where to start.

Need to find a deputy registrar’s office? Visit the official website drive.mn.gov. You can also call the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Driver and Vehicle Services at (651) 297-2005. They’ll share all you need to know and help with the process.

Essential Considerations for Sellers of Pre-Owned Cars in MN

Cars for sale in Minnesota require awareness of several key points. These guidelines help ensure a legal and smooth transaction, protect the seller, and give correct information to buyers.

Vehicle Title

Having the vehicle title is crucial before ownership can be transferred. It proves who owns the vehicle. Sellers must make sure the name on the title matches their actual name. This ensures the ownership transfer goes smoothly.

Lien Release

If the vehicle has a lien, sellers must provide a lien release. This can be a signed card or a notarized form. It shows the car has no financial obligations. This clarity is crucial for the buyer.

Odometer Disclosure

Sellers must complete the odometer disclosure statement, which provides accurate mileage information and helps buyers make informed choices. Sellers should also ensure the odometer reading is correct.

Damage Disclosure

Sellers must also complete a damage disclosure statement. This statement informs buyers about damage or conditions that might affect the vehicle. Sellers should be honest about the vehicle’s condition.

Following these considerations helps sellers conduct a transparent and fair transaction. It ensures both seller and buyer are protected. Accurate information and necessary paperwork are crucial to safeguarding everyone’s interests.




Vehicle Title

Must have the vehicle title with accurate owner information

Lien Release

Signed lien release card or notarized lien release form for secured parties

Odometer Disclosure

Provide accurate information about the vehicle’s mileage.

Damage Disclosure

Complete disclosure of known damage or conditions affecting the vehicle

Key Information for Buyers

Buying a motor vehicle in Minnesota needs a smooth process. This requires understanding several steps. These include the transfer process, getting rid of liens, registering the car, and knowing when a USDOT number is needed.

Assignment and Application

Fill out the title’s assignment and application sections to buy a vehicle. You’ll need your name, birth date, and signature. If there’s more than one buyer, use “OR” between names to share rights. Also, show if there’s a loan on the vehicle and include the motorcycle’s engine number if buying one.

Lien Release

If the vehicle has a lien, the seller must provide a signed lien release, a card, or a notarized form. This clears any claims from others on your new car.

Vehicle Registration

To register the vehicle, have all the necessary papers ready. This includes the filled-out title, insurance proof, and registration fee payment. Having these documents makes registration easy.

USDOT Number

Vehicles used for business that weigh over 10,000 pounds need a USDOT number. This is for following federal rules. Check if this applies to your car and get the number if required.

Key Information


Assignment and Application

Complete the assignment and application portions of the title, providing full name, date of birth, and signature.

Lien Release

Ensure the vehicle is free of any liens by obtaining a signed lien release card or a notarized lien release form.

Vehicle Registration

Have the necessary documentation for vehicle registration, including the completed title, proof of insurance, and payment for registration fees.

USDOT Number

If the vehicle is operated commercially and exceeds 10,000 pounds gross weight, obtain a USDOT number for compliance.

Typical Fees for Transferring Vehicle Ownership

In Minnesota, you need to pay some fees when you want to transfer vehicle ownership. These fees ensure the transfer is done right and taxes are paid. Here are the main fees you should know about:



Title Fee


Transfer Tax


Public Safety Vehicle Fee


Tech Surcharge Fee


Filing Fee


Sales Tax

6.875% of the purchase price

Besides the main fees, each recorded lien has a $2 fee. This ensures that any existing liens are noted. The public safety vehicle and tech surcharge fees help keep our roads safe and technology updated. The filing fee is for the paperwork during the ownership change. The sales tax depends on how much the vehicle costs. All these fees help ensure the transfer is legal and smooth in Minnesota.

Bill of Sale and Title Transfer

In Minnesota, private sellers can create a Bill of Sale when they sell a vehicle. It’s not required but offers extra protection for both parties. It should include key details about the vehicle and those involved.

A Bill of Sale needs to list the vehicle’s specifics:

  • Vehicle’s year, make, and model

  • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)

  • Date of sale

  • Sale price

  • Odometer reading

  • Printed legal names and addresses of the seller and buyer

Or, the buyer and seller can fill out an Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle (PS2000). This application includes essential information like sale price and odometer reading. Filling this out correctly ensures a smooth title transfer.

Both parties must visit a deputy registrar’s office in Minnesota to report the sale and transfer the title. It’s important to check that the vehicle’s VIN matches the title.

Example Bill of Sale:

Seller Information

Buyer Information

Name: John Smith

Name: Emily Johnson

Address: 123 Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Address: 456 Maple Ave, St. Paul, MN 55102

Vehicle Information:

Transaction Details:

Year: 2015

Sale Price: $10,000

Make: Toyota

Date of Sale: January 1, 2022

Model: Camry

Odometer Reading: 50,000 miles

VIN: 1234567890


Retaining License Plates and Reporting the Sale

In Minnesota, when you sell a car, knowing how to keep license plates and report the sale is key. This helps the ownership change smoothly and follows state rules.

Retaining License Plates

Only remove license plates if they are unique or custom. During the car’s ownership change, the plates, registration, and taxes will go to the new owner, allowing the buyer to use the car legally right away.

Reporting the Sale

If you sell, gift, or donate a car, you must report it within 10 days. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Online reporting: You can report it easily on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Driver and Vehicle Services Division website. This is quick, and you can do it from home.

  2. Record of Sale stub: You can also fill out a Record of Sale stub on the title and mail it. This more traditional method ensures the sale is officially noted and ownership is clearly transferred.

Buyers don’t have to report the sale. It’s up to the seller to ensure everything is reported correctly and all paperwork is completed.

Keeping license plates and reporting the sale correctly helps the seller and buyer. They can both be sure the ownership change is done right and meets Minnesota’s car laws.

Retention of License Plates

Reporting the Sale

No need to remove it unless specialized or personalized

Report within 10 days after sale

License plates, registration, and taxes are transferred and assigned to the buyer

Online reporting or Record of Sale stub on the title

Selling Your Car to Trusted Car Buyers in MN

When selling a car in Minnesota, choosing the right buyer can make all the difference. With yourcarintocash, car sellers in Minnesota can rest assured that they are in great hands. Our company stands out as a trusted and reliable option for selling cars, offering numerous benefits and advantages that set us apart from the competition.

First and foremost, yourcarintocash prioritizes customer satisfaction above all else. We understand the importance of providing our customers with a seamless and hassle-free selling experience. From the moment you contact us to the final transaction, our team is dedicated to ensuring the process is smooth, transparent, and stress-free. With our commitment to excellent customer service, you can trust that you’ll be well taken care of every step of the way.

Additionally, yourcarintocash offers competitive prices for cars in any condition. Whether your vehicle is brand new, used, damaged, or even non-functional, we are here to make an offer. Our team of experts carefully evaluates each car to determine its worth, ensuring sellers receive a competitive price for their vehicles. By choosing yourcarintocash, sellers can rest assured that they get the best possible value for their cars.

Furthermore, Yourcarintocash takes pride in its local expertise and knowledge of the Minnesota market. Our team of professionals is well-versed in the unique characteristics and trends of the Minnesota car market, allowing us to provide personalized service and tailored solutions to our customers. Whether selling a car in Minneapolis, St. Paul or anywhere else in Minnesota, you can trust that yourcarintocash has the local knowledge and expertise to meet your needs.


Selling a car in Minnesota requires sellers and buyers to know their parts. They must carefully complete the proper paperwork and follow the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s rules.

If you’re making a traditional sale, move the title and report the sale at a registrar’s office. These offices make it easy to change the car’s owner without trouble.

Looking for a used vehicle in Minnesota? Consider yourcarintocash, where your car buying experience fits your budget seamlessly. Please browse our selection of cars online and feel welcome and comfortable. With our dedication to customer satisfaction, affordable rates, and local expertise, car sellers can trust that they are in great hands when they choose us as their car buyers. Say goodbye to the stress and hassle of selling your car and hello to a seamless and rewarding selling experience with yourcarintocash.

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What do Minnesota car sellers need to know?

Knowing the rules is vital if you’re selling a car in Minnesota. The process and what’s needed are outlined by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. They cover everything you need for a smooth ownership change. Ensure all paperwork is complete and correct, including the title and disclosures. Buyers also have a role, like filling out their title portion. There are typical fees for changing ownership that everyone should know about.

Where can I transfer vehicle ownership in Minnesota?

To transfer vehicle ownership in Minnesota, visit any deputy registrar’s office. There are about 200 of them in the state. They are convenient places to handle the paperwork for transferring a car. You can find their locations and hours online at drive.mn.gov or by calling (651) 297-2005.

What important considerations should sellers keep in mind?

Having the title is vital when selling a motor vehicle in Minnesota. Check that the name on the title matches the seller’s. A signed lien release is also needed if the car has a lien. The title must reflect all liens, and sellers must complete disclosure statements. These steps ensure that buyers know the vehicle’s history and condition.

What essential information should buyers be aware of?

Buyers in Minnesota must fill out the title with their details, including their name, birth date, and signature. If buying with someone else, indicate this with “OR” between names. Buyers must note if the vehicle has a loan and sign the title. For motorcycles, the engine number is needed on the title. Check that you have all the necessary documents before completing the transfer.

What are the typical fees for transferring vehicle ownership in Minnesota?

Transferring a vehicle to Minnesota comes with several fees. You’ll pay an $8.25 title fee and $2 for each lien. There’s also a $10 transfer tax, a public safety vehicle fee of $3.50, and other charges. Additionally, you’ll need to pay sales tax, which is 6.875% of the purchase price. These fees cover paperwork processing and taxes.

Should sellers allow buyers to conduct a pre-purchase inspection?

Yes, a pre-purchase inspection is a good idea for privately sold cars. Allow the buyer to choose a mechanic for a car inspection. Sellers should also have all related documents ready, including maintenance records. If there’s a lien on the car, provide a lien release. This builds trust with the buyer and ensures an open deal.

Do I need a Bill of Sale, and how do I transfer the title?

A bill of sale isn’t required in Minnesota, but it could be helpful. It should list the car’s details, like make, model, VIN, and sale info. You can also use an Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle (PS2000) instead. When transferring the title, ensure the VIN matches. Do this at a deputy registrar’s office.

Should I retain license plates after selling a vehicle, and how do I report the sale?

In Minnesota, keep your plates only if they are unique. Usually, the buyer takes over the plates and taxes. After selling, report the transaction within 10 days. You can report it online or use the Record of Sale on the title. This makes the ownership switch smoother.

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