Updated on July 19, 2021
By the end of 2019, 4,741,730 people had Minnesota driver licenses and 5,122,729 motor vehicles were registered in the state. Even off-highway vehicles, including ATVs and dirt bikes, in the North Star State have to be registered with their own registration card and expiration decals. If your OHV has an out-of-state registration or even out-of-country tags for over 30 days, then you don’t have to register it in Minnesota. But if your state/country didn’t require registration, you need a MN one.
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Watercrafts in Minnesota also require a registration: from jet skis to canoes and kayaks, to sailboats, and even paddleboats. Continue reading for more information about Minnesota registration.
Minnesota Vehicle Registration Renewal Guide
How to Renew a Car Registration in Minnesota
The state of Minnesota requires you to renew your registration each year. The Driver and Vehicles Services division of the Department of Public Safety will send out a reminder when your registration is about to expire.
This reminder will contain your renewal month, the renewal fee, and the name and the address that have been listed on your registration. Once you receive your renewal notice you can renew your registration.
The state of Minnesota offers several ways to renew your registration. There are no emissions requirements for vehicles in the state.
To renew your registration in person you will need to go to the local DVS Deputy Registrar and bring with you the following:
- DVS renewal notice or the current registration of the vehicle
- Proof of auto insurance
- Appropriate documentation to change your name or your address if necessary
- Payment for the renewal fee
In order to renew your registration online you will need to visit the DVS renewal website where you will enter the license plate number of your vehicle as well as the last 3 digits of the VIN.
You will then need to verify that the information on the registration is correct and make a payment using a MasterCard, Visa, or E-check, after which you will receive a printable receipt. There is a $2.15 fee for renewing online.
Your car’s registration has three parts: the license plates, the renewal tab, and the registration card. If you have lost any of them or they are so damaged they are unreadable, it’s time to get them replaced. The following FAQ provides all the information you need to get your replacement registration quickly and without making multiple trips to the county registrar.
In Minnesota, your plates and replacement registration will be issued by the Driver and Vehicle Services division of the Department of Public Safety. Find their website here.
For immediate assistance, you can give the central office a call at (651) 297-2126 Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 5:30 PM. However, their site offers many convenient FAQ pages ready to answer most questions.
Replacing a Lost, Stolen or Damaged License Plate in Minnesota
If your Minnesota license plate tab is about to expire, you only need to renew your registration, which can be done online.
If you lost the registration card, the tab, or a license plate, you will be requesting a duplicate to keep your car in compliance until it is time for your annual tab renewal.
How to Get a Replacement Car Registration in Minnesota
When requesting a duplicate or replacement registration, you will have to visit your local deputy registrar’s office.
You will need to bring the following documents with you:
- A Duplicate Registration Application
- Your driver’s license
- The license plate number for the missing registration
- The vehicle identification number
- Replacement fee in check or cash
The clerk will be able to reprint your registration card for you. If you are replacing a mutilated or illegible card, you must bring it with you and turn it in with the application.
Where are the Deputy Registrar Offices Located in Minnesota?
Some registrars only offer driver services, not car title and registration. You need one that handles registrations. Use this handy office locator to find the right one of 200 that is closest to you with the right services.
DMV Registration Replacement Office Hours
Most offices are open during regular business hours Monday through Friday. If yours is in a more rural part of the state, call ahead to make sure they are in the office and not out to lunch.
Was Your Tab lost in the Mail? Track the Replacement Online
You might be tempted to apply for a duplicate year tab if you renewed and it never came in the mail. Before you spend extra time and money, Minnesota has a convenient tracking system for renewal tabs. Click here to see if yours is still being processed before paying for a replacement. It can take up to 3 weeks for your tab to arrive in the mail.
Stolen License Plates? Replace with the New Digital License Plate
If your license plate or plates were stolen, the first thing you need to do is report it to your local police department. You will fill out the Application for Duplicate Plates.
Bring it and the police report with your current registration to the deputy registrars office. You will be issued a new set of plates featuring the new digital license plate technology, which are flat and have black numbers.
There will be a duplicate plate fee, but you won’t be paying your annual registration fee.
Lost Plate: Do You Need Both License Plates in Minnesota?
If you are only missing the front plate, you might think it is okay to keep driving your car. It’s not. Minnesota requires that all passenger vehicles display a currently registered license plate on the front and back of the car.
If it fell off while off-roading or after hitting a pothole, you will only pay a small fee for replacing the one plate that will match the other plate’s number.
What Fees are Charged for Replacement Registration, Tabs, and Plates?
- Replacement registration card: $10
- Replacement renewal tab: $1
- Single duplicate plate: $14.50
- Set of duplicate plates: $16.00
If you need anymore information about replacing your Minnesota registration, give the main DVS office a call at (651) 297-2126 or use their Contact Forms for a prompt and detailed email response.