Minnesota Title Transfer: A Step-by-Step Guide

Want to sell a vehicle? Buying one? Or, perhaps you’re gifting or inheriting it?

You’ll need to complete a title transfer to pass ownership if the vehicle.

The two parties exchange the title, file the appropriate paperwork, and pay any necessary fees. This process doesn’t take long given you’re prepared. Or, if both parties go to the DMV (recommended).

Below, you’ll learn how the Minnesota title transfer process works for private transactions. Plus, learn the alternative title transfers and how you’ll bring a vehicle from out of the state, too.

How to Transfer a Vehicle Title in Minnesota

It’s recommended that both parties go to the DMV as this clears any confusion and potential issues when passing ownership of the vehicle. However, you’re more than welcome to exchange the title on your own time and later visit the DMV to complete the process.

You will visit a Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services office (see our directory).

Here is what you’ll do to complete a title transfer in Minnesota (including the seller and buyer):

  1. Retrieve the vehicle’s title or request a duplicate title
    1. Buyers: You may need a lien release from the current owner
    2. Sellers: Provide a lien release to the buyer if needed
  2. Fill the Minnesota certificate of title – including:
    1. Full legal name and address of buyer and current owner
    2. Date of sale (month, day, and year)
    3. Vehicle price the buyer paid
    4. An odometer recording (unless: 10 years and older and weighing over 16,000lbs)
    5. A damage disclosure if the vehicle is less than 6 years old
    6. Signatures from both parties
  3. Bring any necessary documents:
    1. Proof of identification
    2. Proof of MN residency
    3. Proof of MN auto insurance
  4. Pay the variable taxes and fees
    1. Filing: $10
    2. Transfer: $8.25
    3. Tax: $10

You may also send these items by mail to: Driver and Vehicle Services – Central Office, Town Square Building, 445 Minnesota St., Suite 187, St. Paul, MN 55101.

You should register your vehicle after titling it to avoid any complications. See our Minnesota vehicle registration guide to learn how the process is done. If you haven’t got it yet, do consider adding or dropping auto insurance. Or, shopping around for a new policy as you may find new discounts.

Alternative Title Transfers in Minnesota

Minnesota wants to know when titles are transferred outside of private sales whether buying from a car lot or passing the vehicle & title around family and friends. See each section below for the alternative title transfer process you require.

Buying from Dealerships

Dealerships will process your title & registration, sending documents to their appropriate locations. If they don’t, request the forms and deliver them to an MN DMV.

Moving to Minnesota (Out-of-State Vehicle)

Bringing your vehicle from another state because you’re moving to Minnesota? You’ll want to get it registered within 60 days. The process is surprisingly simple.

You will:

  • Show proof of ownership
  • Show proofs: ID, residency, insurance
  • Submit the PS2000 form
  • Include an odometer reading
  • Pay your transfer and fees

New residents registering their vehicle will typically pay a 6.5% tax on their vehicle. They may also need to pay a $10 In-Lieu tax if the vehicle is 10 years and older and valued under $3,000.

Inheriting a Vehicle

Inheriting a vehicle typically involves the following:

  • Getting the current title and death certificate of the deceased
  • Filing and signing the vehicle’s title

We suggest you check with your local DMV for the specifics as this can become a complicated process. You may need to work with an executor, family (non-probated), a trustee, or legal heir. Each generally follow the same routine of passing the title and submitting an application, but it’s best you double check before completing the process.

Gifted/Donated Vehicles

Gifting the vehicle includes doing the following:

  1. Signing the title
    1. Include: Odometer reading
    2. Writing “Gift” in the purchase price
  2. As the new owner – show proofs:
    1. Identification
    2. Residency
    3. Insurance
  3. Pay your fees and taxes

The process is largely the same as transferring ownership through a private transaction. Check with your local DMV for the complete process if you have questions.