Title Transfer Minnesota

To transfer a title in Minnesota, bring the certificate of title and a few other essential documents to a Deputy Registrar Office.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
To transfer ownership of a vehicle in Minnesota, you’ll need to complete a title transfer. You can do this at a Deputy Registrar Office for a fee of just $8.75.
Buying and selling are just two reasons to complete a title transfer. You may need to file these forms if you are inheriting or donating a vehicle, too. 
To make things official,
requires drivers to transfer the title to the new owner. This process typically includes some paperwork, a visit to your local driver services office, and a small fee. This process is required by law to establish clear ownership over the vehicle. 
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What is a title transfer?

A car title names the owner of a vehicle. When you transfer the title, you’re transferring the vehicle’s ownership to another person.
Transferring a title consists of two steps—one for the seller and one for the buyer:
  • The seller must sign the title to release ownership of the vehicle
  • The buyer will need to go to the DVS with the signed title to receive a new title and registration
While all states have a similar process, each state has slightly different requirements for title transfers.
Minnesota’s title transfer process
is fairly straightforward, but it must be completed in person.

Who does the title transfer?

It depends on whether you’re buying (or selling) a vehicle privately or from a dealership. 
In Minnesota, dealers are usually responsible for handling the titling and registration of vehicles purchased from their lot. If you are buying a car through a dealership, you’re in luck! They will file the paperwork and send you the title via mail.
If you choose a private sale, it’s up to the buyer and seller to complete the title transfer process. Be sure to bring all the appropriate forms to the transaction. You will need signatures and an odometer reading.

Reasons for a title transfer

The most common reason for a title transfer is a change of residency or buying or selling a car. However, there are several additional reasons to complete a title change:
  • Donating a vehicle
  • Gifting a vehicle
  • Inheriting a vehicle
  • Paying off a vehicle loan
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Car title transfer in Minnesota

In Minnesota, a vehicle buyer can complete the title transfer process in person at a
DVS Deputy Registrar Office
If you recently moved to Minnesota, you have a 60-day grace period in which to title and register your motor vehicles with current license plates. This includes cars, passenger vans, pickups weighing under ¾ ton, motorcycles, utility trailers, and house trailers.
To apply for a title transfer from a private sale, you will need the following:
  • Certificate of title, properly assigned: For the title to be properly assigned, you need—the personal information of all buyers (full name, date of birth, signatures). Buyers must also note if the car is subject to a loan by signing and indicating this. If there are multiple owners, they can use “OR” between their names to indicate rights of survivorship.
  • The address of the first person named
  • USDOT number: if the vehicle has a gross weight over 10,000 lbs. and will be used as a commercial vehicle)
  • $8.25 title transfer fee
If your post office will only deliver to a PO Box, you must also submit a letter stating this fact.
Bring the title certificate and payment for the fee to the DVS. Prepare to provide vehicular information like your license plate number, VIN, and make and model.
Once you’ve submitted all required documentation, you should receive a new title in up to 10 business days.
Pro Tip The fee for a title transfer in Minnesota is $8.25—that’s much lower than most other states!

Registering a car in Minnesota

After a title transfer, you still need to register the vehicle. Registration is proof that you can legally drive in the state and is done annually in Minnesota. 
To register a car in Minnesota, you will need:
  • A certificate of title (or other proof of vehicle ownership)
  • Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle (including odometer reading)
  • Personal identification
  • Leases (if available)
  • Payment of fees
Registration fees in Minnesota are based on the value of the vehicle. The base registration fee is $10, and you’ll also pay 1.25% of the base value of the vehicle. The base value is 100% during the first year of your car’s life, and it decreases by 10% every year thereafter.
 Electric vehicles must pay an additional annual surcharge of $75.  

Finding insurance for your vehicle

In Minnesota, driving without car insurance is a misdemeanor. Make sure you have a good policy in place before you get behind the wheel after a title transfer. Even a short gap in coverage could cost you.
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Title transfers can be tricky if your car has a loan. Start by contacting your lender to ask how the transaction should be handled. Take your time and be sure to complete all the steps carefully, including the proper indication on the title.
Sellers and buyers need to sign the title. There are two separate lines for each signature. If two people are buying (or selling), then both will need to sign on the same line. Multiple buyers should use the conjunction “OR” between their names to establish rights of survivorship.
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