Minnesota Vehicle Registration (All You Need to Know)

Minnesota Vehicle Registration (All You Need to Know) featured image

Do you need to register a vehicle in Minnesota?

Do you have no idea when or how to do that?

We’re here to help. 

Today, we’re going to give you a complete guide on Minnesota vehicle registration. We’ll list all the requirements, as well as how to renew a registration and even the vehicle laws in the state. 

So whether you just bought a vehicle or are transferring one to Minnesota, this article is for you.

Let’s begin!

How to Register A Car in Minnesota

New residents of Minnesota who have a valid out-of-state vehicle registration have up to 60 days to register their car with the Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services. 

If the out-of-state vehicle registration will expire soon, new residents should register their car before it expires. 

If the out-of-state vehicle registration has already expired or if the resident has to surrender their license plates after leaving their state, individuals should register their car before driving in Minnesota.

The great news is that registering your car in Minnesota is very simple. 

You can either do it by mail or in person. 

Whatever the case, you will have to submit these documents to the Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Service: 

  • Proof of vehicle ownership 
  • Proof of identification
  • The current odometer reading of the car
  • A filled-out Application to Title/Reg A Vehicle Form 
  • Proof of vehicle insurance
  • Registration payment (price will depend on your vehicle
  • Out-of-state vehicle registration card (if applicable)
  • Copy of leasing agreement, if applicable

And that’s it. 

As easy as that. 

How to Renew A Car Registration in Minnesota

In Minnesota, there are several ways to renew your car registration. You can do it online or in person. 

Here’s how you can renew your car registration online:

  1. Visit the Minnesota DVS website. 
  2. Select ‘Renew Vehicle Tabs (Registration)”.
  3. Input your plate number and the last 3-digits of your Vehicle ID Number (VIN).
  4. Input your Minnesota driver’s license number OR renewal notice control number if you need to change your current address. 
  5. Show proof of a valid insurance policy.
  6. Input your bank details to pay the fees. 

Now, if you’re not eligible for online renewal, you can do it at a DVS office. 

Here are the steps: 

  1. Go to the nearest Minnesota DVS.
  2. Bring the required items:
    1. Driver’s license
    2. Your vehicle
    3. Proof of insurance policy
  3. Fill out the renewal form found at the office 
  4. Pay the renewal fee

Vehicle Laws in Minnesota

Okay, now that you know how to register/renew your vehicle in Minnesota, let’s look at some vehicle laws in the state. 

Registration Laws 

Minnesota residents that own motor vehicles that are operated on public roads must be registered with the Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Division. 

New residents have up to 60 days to register their vehicle after moving to the state. 

Auto Insurance Law 

Owners of motor vehicles operated on public Minnesota roads must have no-fault and liability insurance. 

As the law states, your insurance should fulfill the minimum coverages:

  • Bodily injury liability – $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability – $10,000
  • Personal injury protection – $40,000

Proof of insurance should always be carried in the vehicle. 

Failure to provide proof of insurance at the request of a law enforcement officer can result in the revocation of your vehicle registration, license plates, and driver’s license. 

What will happen if driving privileges are revoked?

You have to:

  • Pass a knowledge test 
  • Pay a $30 reinstatement fee on top of fines levied by citation or a court
  • Apply for a new driver’s license
  • Submit an insurance certificate 

Operating an uninsured motor vehicle can revoke driving privileges for up to one year. Anyone who is convicted of operating an uninsured vehicle may be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to up to 90 days in jail.

Required Equipment 

All vehicles in Minnesota are required to have:


All trucks and cars should have two separate brake systems. These are the emergency/parking brake and foot brake. 


All private passenger vehicles should have front and rear bumpers. Vans and pickup trucks must have front bumpers and either reflectors or rear bumpers.


All motor vehicles should have a working horn. However, sirens, whistles, and bells should only be used by emergency vehicles. 

Don’t honk unnecessarily. Only use your horns to avoid a crash. 

Headlights and Taillights 

All motor vehicles, except motorcycles, must have two white headlights that work on low and high beams. Plus, it should have red tail lights that light up when the brake pedal is pressed. 

When headlights are set on high beams, objects on the road should be visible at least 350 feet away. 

If you have damaged headlights, you should replace them right away. A cracked lens allows dust and moisture to accumulate inside the lamp. This results in loss of illumination and increased glare for other motorists.

Headlights should be cleaned as often as you clean the windshield. Dirty headlights reduce light output by as much as 75%.

Headlights should also be inspected once a year to ensure that they are aimed properly. Some headlights may require special settings or an adapter. Check the operator’s manual for more information on how to take care of your headlights. 

Headlights should be turned on from sunset until sunrise. They should also be used during extreme weather conditions, including snow, rain, sleet, hail, or fog, and any time you cannot see the road clearly for at least a distance of 500 feet. 

License Plate Light

The rear license plate must be illuminated by a white light to make it visible at night. 

Turn Signals

You should have working turn signal lights. 

Prohibited Lights

Flashing lights, strobe lamps, and blue lights have special purposes and should NOT be used by unauthorized vehicles. 

Blue lights are used only by authorized emergency vehicles, snowplows, and other road maintenance equipment. 

Flashing lights are only used by authorized emergency vehicles, low trucks, school buses, road maintenance equipment, farm equipment, and service vehicles. 

Strobe lamps should only be used by rural mail carrier vehicles, snow removal equipment, and school buses. 


All motor vehicles should be equipped with mufflers to keep the vehicle from creating prolonged or sudden noises, such as crackling sounds or sharp popping. Mufflers should be checked regularly for carbon monoxide leaks.

Rearview Mirrors

All passenger vehicles should be equipped with rearview mirrors. 

Vehicles that are not designed to allow a view through the rear window, such as rental moving trucks, must be equipped with an additional side mirror. 

Pickup trucks should also have an additional side mirror to allow the driver to have a clear view when transported materials block or obstruct sight through the rearview mirror. 

Seatbelts and Airbags

In Minnesota, using seat belts is mandatory. Seat belts should be in good condition and available to all vehicle passengers. 

Airbags are calculated to work with seat belts to prevent injuries. Keep in mind that airbags are not designed to keep passengers or occupants from being ejected. 

Your dashboard should be free of clutter or debris. When airbags suddenly inflate, the clutter on your dashboard can be dangerous projectiles. 


Tires should be inspected regularly for cracks, cuts, bald spots, uneven wear, punctures, and bulges. Vehicle owners should carry a spare tire, check the pressure often, and never drive with under-inflated tires.

A tire should not be used if the treatment is less than one-sixteenth of an inch deep. The penny test is an easy way to check for wear. 

Windshield and Windows

Your view through the windows and windshields should not be obstructed by steam, discoloration, cracks, ice, frost, or snow. 

Stickers, labels, or other devices are permitted and must be placed on your windshield. 

Navigation systems can be put or mounted near the bottommost portion of the windshield.

Windshields may not be covered, treated, or made of any material that reduces the amount of light that travels through the glass. 

Any window tint material applied to the rear or side windows must be marked to show the percentage of light transmitted and the reflection it creates. 

Windshield Wipers and Window Defrosters

Any vehicle with a glass windshield should be equipped with working wipers. 

Window defrosters are crucial to keep the windshield and windows clear of frost and steam. 

Wheel Guards or Fenders

Passenger vehicles must be equipped with wheel guards or fenders to prevent dirt, water, and other materials from being picked up and thrown into the air by the tires. 


That’s it!

Vehicle registration in Minnesota is easy and fast as long as you have the required documents and your vehicle passes the requirements.

Also, don’t forget to follow the vehicle laws in the state.

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