The Hassle-free Guide to Minnesota Car Registration

First-time Minnesota car registration will take place at a local DMV office or by mail.

The registration process is handled by Minnesota’s Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS). Completing the registration provides your license plates, registration decals, and a certificate grant full rights to drive on state roads.

You are expected to have the following when registering:

  • Valid license
  • Proof of vehicle ownership
  • Minimum car insurance

This guide shares the step-by-step process, helping save time when visiting the DMV.

How to Register a Car in Minnesota

Registration in-person takes place at your local DVS office. Completing these actions allows you to legally drive on state roads and highways throughout Minnesota and beyond. Consider making an appointment before going to speed up the entire process.

Private Vehicle Registration

You can register a vehicle in-person when buying or swapping through private parties.

  1. Go to an MN DMV office
  2. Complete an Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle (PS2000)
  3. Provide proof of vehicle ownership
    1. Signed and completed title
    2. Bill of Sale
    3. If applicable: Proof of your lease agreement or power of attorney
    4. If applicable: Proof of satisfied lien (Form PS2017)
  4. Provide proof of ID
    1. MN driver’s license
    2. Birth certificate
    3. ID card
  5. Provide your vehicle’s odometer reading
  6. Provide proof of MN auto insurance
  7. Pay the registration fees

Congratulations! Your registration is valid for 1-year. Practice safe driving, respect road rules, and your time on the road will be fun and exciting!

Mail-in Vehicle Registration

Mail-in registration is available for those unable to get to a DMV. Or, prefer convenience. This form of registration takes longer – up to 10 days – so account the delay if your vehicle is close to expiration.

You will send the following to your DVS office:

  • Proof of vehicle ownership and odometer reading
  • Proof of vehicle insurance
  • Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle (PS2000)
  • Payment (check or money order)

These items are sent to:

DVS

445 Minnesota St

St Paul, MN 55101

Check with your local DMV for a complete run-down of applicable registration fees and taxes. Or, use the MN Tax Manual as a guide when calculating your payment. You may pay extra for specialty license plates, too, so be sure to factor those in when cutting the check or money order!

Dealerships and Registration

Dealerships will process the paperwork on your behalf. If they don’t, you may request documents and a title transfer to complete the registration on your own.

Out-of-State Driver Registration

Out-of-state drivers are expected to register their vehicle within 60-days of residency if their vehicle’s registration is still valid. You will need to complete the following process as soon as possible If the prior registration is expired.

  1. Provide proof of vehicle ownership
    1. Original title
    2. Registration card
    3. Leasing agreement
  2. Provide proof of ID
  3. Complete an Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle (PS2000)
  4. Get and show your odometer reading
  5. Pay your registration fees

Minnesota Registration Fees and Taxes

The Minnesota taxes and registration fees are straight-forward:

  • Filing: $10
  • Passenger/truck Plates:
    • Double plates: $6
    • Single plates (1972 and older or collectible): $4.50
  • Wheelage tax (if applicable): Up to $20

The wheelage tax is a $10 tax (in most places) for vehicles kept in their county and non-operational. The county determines the price and a full break-down can be found on the MN GOV wheelage tax page.

Temporary Registration Permits

Temporary permits are available for Minnesota residents as they wait for their permanent license plates. This temporary permit is valid for 21-days and cannot be renewed.

A 60-day temporary permit is granted for those having completed payment of their registration tax, before expiration, with special license plates as they wait. A 31-day permit is available for non-residents as they transfer the vehicle to their new state of residence.

Registration Renewal

You’ll need to do a registration renewal when it comes time. This won’t take long but is essential if you plan to continue driving, legally, in the state of Minnesota and beyond. Failure to renew your vehicle’s registration can result in a suspended license so don’t forgo this process!