This procedure does not apply if there is an ownership record for the vehicle in Minnesota, or if DVS or the customer is aware of a title issued in another state.
If DVS has an ownership record for the vehicle, the title must be submitted with a complete chain of ownership. If this is not possible and the vehicle is six (6) model years or older, the customer must refer to the "defective title" bond process described below.
A foreign state registration is not acceptable proof of ownership for titling purposes. If the customer cannot present the foreign state title, the owner must follow the procedure outlined below.
When tangible proof of ownership cannot be established, and DVS has no record of the vehicle, and the customer is not aware of a title issued in another state, s/he must submit the following:
- Bill of Sale: The seller may sign in section C of the PS2000, or sign a bill of sale that identifies the vehicle (year, make, vehicle identification number) and lists the date of sale and the buyer's name.
- Fees: The deputy should collect all appropriate sales tax, title and registration fees.
- Statement of Facts (PS2002): The statement must be written and signed by the seller of the vehicle and give as much information as possible regarding the history of the vehicle. It must include completed vehicle description (year, make, model, VIN), how and when the vehicle was acquired and why there is no documentary proof of ownership.
- Statement of Protection: The buyer must sign a statement that says "I agree to defend and protect the State of Minnesota against any and all future claims of ownership which may arise after I am issued a Minnesota title and registration card."
- Photos: You must submit photos showing all sides of the vehicle as well as a photo of the VIN plate or a clear, legible tracing. In the case of motorcycles, a photo of each side is needed as well as the VIN photo or a photo of the Federal Safety Sticker.
- Digital, scanned color images are preferred over actual photographs.
- Photos are not required for trailers with a gross weight of less than 6,000 pounds; however a photo of the VIN plate should be submitted.
- The photos are used to establish a value in case a bond is required.
- Registration: In most cases a deputy registrar may issue registration. However, vehicles that do not have a VIN may not be issued plates.
** Motorcycles - do not issue license plates and registration in the following situations:
- The motorcycle is "homemade" (See section "E")
- The owner is unable to provide a frame number
- The owner indicates the frame number has been removed
- The motorcycle is a reconstructed Harley Davidson manufactured prior to 1970
- Bonds: The department may require the applicant to obtain a surety bond to protect the State against any possible claims of ownership. The applicant will be notified after the application is submitted as to whether the vehicle will be required to be inspected and/or bonded. A title with the notation "bond" is a negotiable (transferable) title.
"Defective Title" Bond Process
Reference: Minn. Stat. 168A.07
A “Defective Title Bond” may be provided by an applicant when s/he cannot supply the required documents or information to transfer a vehicle, and the vehicle is six model years or older.
This does not include manufactured homes, mobile homes. This cannot be used for no proof of ownership transactions.
Policies and Procedures:
When an applicant has exhausted all avenues to obtain the required documents or signatures to transfer ownership of a motor vehicle, the applicant must follow procedure outlined below:
Determine that the vehicle age qualifies for the process. The vehicle must be six model years or older.
The applicant must go to a deputy registrar office and provide the complete vehicle description, including vehicle identification number (VIN).
The deputy will provide the applicant with the form, “Affidavit of Due Diligence”, the Bond Form and Instructions. The Affidavit must be completed by the applicant and notarized.
The deputy will partially complete the Defective Title Bond form, PS2052, and calculate the bond amount by multiplying the vehicle value times 1.5. Applicant must contact an insurance agent to complete the bond form.
When the bond form is completed, along with the required notarizations and attachments from surety company, the applicant can return to deputy registrar to complete application for title (PS2000).
The applicant must provide photographs of the vehicle sufficient to determine its fair market value.
The deputy will collect all appropriate sales tax, title and registration fees.