Without a car title in your name, there is no proof that you actually own the vehicle. Obviously, this is a crucial document, and it’s important that it be transferred from one owner to the next when the vehicle changes hands. Title transfers can be required due to selling or buying a vehicle, or inheriting a vehicle, donating a vehicle, or gifting one. The process to transfer a car title in Minnesota varies depending on the situation, though.
If you’re buying a car from a private seller in Minnesota, there are several things you’ll need to do to have the title transferred into your name.
- Make sure that the fields on the back of the title are completed fully. The seller will need to complete most of them, but there is information needed from you and any other buyers, including names, dates of birth and signatures.
- Get insurance on the car and provide proof.
- Bring this information (including the title) to the Minnesota DVS office, as well as $10 for the filing fee and $7.25 for the titling fee. There is also a $10 transfer tax, as well as a 6.5% sales tax on the purchase price. If the car is more than 10 years old, and its street value is under $3,000, a $10 tax is charged instead of the 6.25% tax. There may be a $150 tax applied if your car is a collector, classic or other qualifying car.
- Not listing the names, dates of birth, and signatures of all buyers on the title
Sellers in Minnesota (non-dealers) must take several steps on their own to transfer the title. These include:
- Complete the fields on the back of the title, including your name, the date of the sale, the price, the odometer reading, and a damage disclosure if the car is less than six years old.
- Remove the Recorded Owner Record of Sale portion for your records.
- Remove your license plates.
- Report the sale of the car to the DVS through their website. You can also mail the stub to the following address:
Driver and Vehicle Services – Central Office Town Square Building 445 Minnesota St. Suite 187 St. Paul, MN 55101
- Not completing all required fields
- Not submitting notice of the sale to the DVS
Gifting or inheriting a vehicle in Minnesota
Gifting a car requires completing the same process as listed above. This also applies to donating a car. In the case of inheriting a car, things change. First, understand that a will does not carry any weight in terms of transferring a title. If the estate is being probated, the executor will handle disbursement, including vehicles. If the estate is not probated, the legal heir or surviving spouse will have control over disbursement.
For more information about how to transfer a car title in Minnesota, visit the state’s DVS website.