A valid DMV registration and title is required for most types of vehicles to be operated in the state of Minnesota. Car registration and titling procedures are carried about by the MN Department of Public Safety’s Division of Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS). Vehicle owners are required to apply for a new registration for every vehicle they own on an annual basis to stay up to state standards. Eligibility requirements to register with the DVS depend on the category of driver and class of vehicle being tagged.

The process to complete a vehicle registration is different for owners of used vehicles and new vehicles. In most cases, vehicles purchased new from the dealer will be registered by the agent but used vehicles must be registered by the new owner. The MN DVS does offer a variety of temporary registration permits for drivers in specific situations, ranging in duration from three weeks to a couple of months. All registration and title requests must be accompanied by the appropriate application fee in order to be correctly processed. Read on to learn more about registration and title services for drivers in Minnesota.

Minnesota Car Registration Requirements

The requirements for registering a car in Minnesota vary somewhat based on the registration category that the driver falls into. Car registration online can only be done for renewals in Minnesota and not for any type of first-time registration. Drivers who have purchased a new vehicle directly from the dealer generally have to meet the fewest requirements and can leave the registration process up to the agent who sold the car.

Drivers who recently transferred to the state have a 60-day grace period to register a car in the state of Minnesota before any sort of late filing fees are added. Other types of vehicle owners, like those who recently bought a used car or who just moved into Minnesota from another state, should prepare the following documentation to meet state vehicle registration requirements:

  • The current title of the vehicle, signed by both the seller and buyer. If not available, the current registration card
  • An odometer reading
  • Proof of identification for the vehicle owner
  • Leasing information, if applicable
  • A signed and completed Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle (PS2000)

Car Insurance Requirements for Registering a Car in Minnesota 
To be able to register a car in Minnesota, all vehicle owners must be able to demonstrate that they have purchased an adequate auto insurance policy to protect themselves. Insurance coverage fees are separate from and in addition to the car registration fees that every vehicle owner must pay to the DVS annually. There are four basic types of coverage that are required according to MN statutes, including no-fault coverage making it illegal to operate a motor vehicle without the required registration and title. Those four types of required coverage in Minnesota include:

  1. No Fault Coverage (Personal Injury Protection, or PIP).
  2. Liability.
  3. Underinsured and Uninsured Coverage.
  4. Collision and Comprehensive.

Registering a Vehicle in Minnesota

The car registration cost and application process is significantly different for drivers depending on how they acquired their vehicle and whether they are a new or existing resident of Minnesota. To pay car registration costs and submit the necessary application material, first-time applicants in all groups must submit the registration request in-person or by mail to the DVS. Military personnel and their family have different registration and titling conditions they can follow if on active duty.

How to Register a New Car in Minnesota

How to register a car in Minnesota is extremely simple for most owners of a new car bought directly from the dealer. In Minnesota, the dealer is tasked with filling out the registration and titling paperwork and submitting it to the DVS. How much is car registration when submitted by a dealership agent? The agent should ask the new owner for all of the necessary paperwork while processing the car transaction and include the cost of the registration in the total car estimate.

Licensed MN car dealers can issue temporary tags to new vehicle owners to enable them to drive their new car off the loft without having to wait for their registration and titling paperwork to be processed. It is common for owners of vehicles of all classes to be issued a temporary registration permit valid for 21 days upon purchasing the vehicle while they wait for their permanent plates from the agent or by mail.

Registering a Used Car in Minnesota

To get a vehicle registration for a used car that was recently acquired in Minnesota, the new owner must submit registration and titling paperwork to the DVS. Only vehicle registration renewal requests can be accepted by online application in Minnesota, while all first-time registration requests must instead by submitted in-person or by mail. Registering a used vehicle requires the title of the car to be transferred from the previous owner to the new owner. For the registration process to be valid, the sale must be recorded on the title including the date and signatures or both the buyer and seller.

Once the car owner has prepared the necessary vehicle registration details and supporting material, he or she can submit the application packet to the DVS in one of two approved methods. MN drivers applying for a car registration and title for a used vehicle can take the following steps:

  1. Gather the current title of the vehicle or the current registration card, a recent odometer reading, your valid ID and any leasing information, if applicable.
  2. Complete and sign the MN Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle (PS2000).
  3. Prepare the appropriate application fee. Applications sent by mail should be accompanied by a check or money order.
  4. Submit the registration packet to the DVS in person to your nearest deputy registrar office or mail it in to the following address:
Driver and Vehicle Services - Central Office
Town Square Building
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 187
Saint Paul, MN 55101-5187

How to Register a Car in Minnesota as a New Resident

Drivers who recently moved to Minnesota are required to apply for a new car registration within 60 days of establishing residency in the state. While taking advantage of the state’s car registration services, the DVS encourages new residents to also apply for a new MN driver’s license, too. Like resident drivers who need to transfer a title, new residents in Minnesota are required to apply for their first registration and title in-person or by mail.

In order to successfully complete the DVS registration and titling application, new resident vehicle owners will need to meet the same basic requirements for registration as other drivers, including showing proof of vehicle ownership, usually the vehicle’s current title or registration card, an odometer reading and a completed PS2000 application form. Similar registration and titling fees to those of established MN residents apply to applications for new residents.

Vehicle Registration for Military Members in Minnesota

Active duty military personnel do not have to pay car registration taxes in the state of Minnesota during their enrollment or for 90 days thereafter. Other associated car registration fees, like specialty plate fees or tech surcharges, still apply. To receive the abovementioned military benefits, the vehicle owner must be able to demonstrate the following to the DVS:

  • The owner of the vehicle is an active duty member of the military.
  • The vehicle is based out-of-state most of the time.
  • The vehicle is not operated in Minnesota except for when the owner is on leave.

Temporary DMV Registration in Minnesota

In order to provide the DVS with the necessary time it needs to check car registration requirements after an application has been submitted, there is often a lag in time between when a driver receives his or her permanent registration and license plates and when he or she submits the initial request. What you need to register a car and legally operate it during this period of time is a temporary permit. These short-term permits allow drivers to legally operate their vehicle long enough for the paperwork to be processed.

The MN DVS issues temporary registration of varying durations, usually 21-day, 31-day and 60-day options, for drivers who find themselves having to wait for their permanent documentation because they are waiting for specialty plates or another such situation. Some temporary permits have limited renewal options, while others do not allow any renewals.

Minnesota License Plates

All vehicles with proper car registration and title documents in Minnesota must display their current license plates in the correct manner in order to be up to state code. The DVS issues license plates after the successful submission of a car registration form for vehicles that carry no more than 15 people and that weigh no more than three fourths of a ton.

The expiration tab stickers must be adhered to the bottom corners of the license plate, with the month tag on the left and the year tab on the right. License plates must be replaces every seven years in Minnesota.

Minnesota Car Registration Fees

How much is car registration for the different categories of drivers and vehicles in Minnesota? The MN schedule of fees takes into account the class of vehicle and the age of the vehicle. Examples of current fees include:

  • Title fee: $7.25
  • Minimum Tax Fee for vehicles over ten years old: $35.00
  • Filing Fee: $10.00
  • License plate fee: $6.00
Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.