Involuntary Transfer

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Abandoned Motor Vehicle Sale

Reference: Minnesota Statutes, section 168B

What you need to know:

  • The seller should refer to the statutes to determine if the situation meets the criteria outlined in Minnesota Statutes, 168B before proceeding with the sale.

  • Abandoned motor vehicles can be sold by a unit of government or by a non-public impound lot operator.

  • If a vehicle was left for repairs or storage with the owner's consent and then abandoned, Mechanic Lien/Sheriff's Sale procedure must be followed.

  • If the public sale was conducted in another state, the buyer must obtain a title from that jurisdiction.

  • We do not accept sales that occur in another state.

What is an abandoned motor vehicle?

An abandoned motor vehicle is one that:

  • Has remained for a period of more than 48 hours on public property, illegally parked or is missing vital component parts.

  • Has remained more than 48 hours on private property without the consent of the person in control at such property.

  • Is in an inoperable condition, such that it has no substantial potential further use consistent with its usual functions unless it is kept in an enclosed garage or storage building. Classic or pioneer cars and vehicles on the premises of junk yards or automobile salvage yards shall not be defined as abandoned motor vehicles.

Title Application Requirements:

  • Report of Sale. The seller must supply a report of sale. The report must contain:

    • Complete vehicle description (year, make, VIN)

    • Date of sale

    • Buyer's full name

    • Statement that the vehicle was sold pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, 168B and that all owners and lien holders were notified of the sale prior to the sale

    • The complete name and address of the government unit or impound lot selling the vehicle

    • Signature of a representative of the government unit or impound lot selling the vehicle

  • Safety Check. The safety inspection must be passed. Only a law enforcement agent or certified mechanic may sign a safety check. The printed name of the signer and the name of the law enforcement agency or garage the signer represents is also required.

  • Notice of Taking and Sale. When an impounded vehicle is taken into custody, the unit of government or impound lot operator must give notice of the taking and sale of the vehicle to all owners and lien holders. A certified mail receipt (or a copy of the receipt) is acceptable.

  • Affidavit of Publication: If it is impossible to determine with reasonable certainty the identity of the owner, the seller must submit an affidavit of publication or a newspaper clipping showing that the notice of taking and sale was published in a newspaper once in the area from which the vehicle was towed.

  • Application for Title. The buyer must complete and sign a PS2000 and certify the mileage in section C.

  • Fees. All applicable transfer and title fees and taxes are due. (See Fee Chart)

  • Registration. If there are no license plates on the vehicle, but the vehicle record shows current registration, deputy registrars should issue duplicate plates and stickers with the same expiration date.

    • If the registration is expired or if no record of registration is found, deputies should treat the vehicle as new to the fleet and chart registration from the date of sale. The deputy registrar should issue new license plates and registration stickers.