Minnesota License Plate Lookup

Check any Minnesota License Plate for vehicle history records

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety handles vehicle registrations, titling, and license plate applications through its Driver & Vehicle Services (DVS) division. New registrations can be processed at any of the 174 Deputy Registrar offices located throughout the state.

In 2023, Minnesota reported over 3000 car thefts, a concerning statistic. Apart from that, Minnesota has experienced a significant uptick in catalytic converter thefts. This specific auto part theft has been a growing issue in recent years due to the valuable metals used in catalytic converters, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. The Twin Cities, especially, have seen a surge in these thefts, reflecting a broader national trend where urban areas are more prone to this type of crime. This increase has led local law enforcement to emphasize prevention strategies to help vehicle owners protect their vehicles from theft.

To ensure that the car you're considering is not stolen, use VinFreeCheck for a swift license plate lookup. Simply enter the car's license plate number and select the state where the vehicle is registered.

You'll receive comprehensive information about the vehicle, including its history report, odometer readings, technical specifications, and many more.

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    Good to Know! 💡

    Minnesota has a strong adoption of four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles. Due to the state's snowy and icy winter conditions, these types of vehicles are particularly popular among residents for their enhanced traction and stability on slick roads.

    Where Do I Find My Minnesota Plate Number?

    Like most states, you’ll find your vehicle's license plate on the front and rear of a vehicle. Alternatively, you can get this information from the vehicle's certificate of title, or other important documents such as its insurance information.

    Minnesota Certificate of Title

    Applying for a License Plate in Minnesota

    To complete the vehicle registration process, you can visit any of the state's Deputy Registrar offices with the following items:

    • A completed application form
    • Vehicle’s current certificate of title
    • Proof of vehicle ownership
    • Vehicle odometer records
    • Leasing agreement (if applicable)
    • Proof of vehicle insurance
    • Proof of identification
    • Payment of all relevant fees

    Vehicle registrations require annual renewals.

    You may also register by mail, if needed. Send all the required documents and fees to the DVS' address.

    If you're moving to Minnesota from another state, you have a grace period of 60 days to register your vehicle. If your registration expires before then, you'll need to obtain the registration "at the time of expiration." Otherwise, if your current registration expires or if you had to surrender your plates, you'll need to complete registration immediately.

    There are a number of fees you'll need to pay, some of which depend on the vehicle's market value and age. You can also directly contact the DVS for in-depth inquiries regarding vehicle registration fees and taxes.

    What are the Different Types of Plates?

    Plate combinations are six characters long and must comprise of "two or three letter characters with two, three or four number characters." For plates that use all-number combinations, there must be one letter character.

    Note that license plates must display the month of expiration in the lower left corner, while the year of expiration is displayed in the lower right corner.

    Standard plates: These plates have black characters imprinted on a white background with the state's outline in the middle.

    Personalized plates: Personalized plates use the standard plate, with up to 7 characters printed, one of which must be a letter. Hyphens and spaces are also counted in the character limit.

    When applying for a plate, you must include a reason for why you chose your preferred combination. You aren't allowed to use any vulgar language or profanities, or any messages that are deemed offensive.

    Military plates: These are issued to former serving, or active duty, members of any US military outfit. Plates are also available for service in any previous conflicts (i.e., World War 2) as well as medal recipients (i.e., Bronze Star).

    Disabled plates: Persons with disabilities, or "the custodial parent or guardian of a permanently disabled minor," may apply for disabled plates. Disabled plates can be transferred to another vehicle of the same type for free.

    Special plates: This refers to unique plates for organizations, charitable groups, and so forth. These organizations or groups may have a unique style or design of plates, and the criteria for this style may vary from state to state.

    Special plates that are available include:

    • Collector plates
    • Collegiate plates (26 participating state universities and colleges)
    • State parks and trails
    • Volunteer plates
    • Law enforcement memorial plates

    Some of these plates may have additional fees and/or contribution fees that you need to pay. Contribution fees have a minimum payment, but you can increase it if you so desire.

    What Can Be Found in the License Plate Lookup Report?

    A license plate lookup provides you with everything you need to know about a specific car. Information you will be able to access includes:

    Market value: Helps you determine the true worth or market value of the car if you plan on buying it. You'll find out if you're being overcharged or undercharged in a deal.

    Previous owners: Gives you details about previous owners the vehicle has had, and the duration of ownership for each owner. This information gives you a general idea of how a vehicle was used by each owner.

    Vehicle specifications: Obtain detailed information about the vehicle’s overall attributes, such as its engine and transmission type, and whether it might be a four-wheel drive.

    Accident records: Lists any reported accidents that the car was involved in. There could be underlying faults with the car owing to unresolved issues caused by prior accidents. You may be able to find out if a car is still roadworthy or not.

    Junk/salvage title check: This tells you if the car has been damaged and is therefore considered a ‘total loss’ by an insurance company. It might mean that the cost to repair the car far exceeds reasonable amounts, making it a very costly purchase in the long term.

    Odometer records: Sellers may tamper with odometer readings to trick buyers into thinking that the vehicle has been driven for less than it was. The report provides detailed information about the car's odometer readings, allowing you to look out for dodgy or inconsistent records. Odometer fraud is also a federal offense; promptly report any odometer fraud you might encounter.

    Lien records: Provides information on whether the car has been used in a lease, as collateral for a debt, as a rental car unit, etc. A car dealership is legally required to clear off existing liens before selling the car to you, but in the case that they do not, this report will let you know.

    Flood records: This notifies you of any damages to the car caused by flooding. Floods can ultimately wreck crucial components in a car. Sometimes, these faults may have been left unaddressed, whether due to malicious intent or otherwise. With a license plate lookup, you can find out if that is the case.

    Why is a Lookup Report So Important?

    Everyone wants to safeguard themselves and their loved ones from any potential scam. A quick license plate search, resulting in a detailed report, is a helpful tool for making informed car-buying decisions.

    For example, if a dealership omits critical information about a vehicle's condition, potentially leaving you with a problematic car, having access to a comprehensive license plate report can help you avoid such pitfalls.

    License plate lookups extend beyond personal vehicles. You can investigate any suspicious vehicle or even a car that simply piques your curiosity on the street. Additionally, the issue of cloned VINs—where the VIN from one car is illegally used on another—poses a significant risk. Obtaining a detailed report, along with an independent vehicle inspection, can offer you stronger safeguards against fraudulent sales.

    VinFreeCheck provides a thorough license plate lookup service, sourcing verified information from esteemed organizations like the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). We ensure that the information you receive is the most current, consistently updated from these authoritative databases.

    Can I Freely Look Up a License Plate?

    Yes, you can! VinFreeCheck complies with the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) that prevents the disclosure of any private information of any car owner. Only relevant information that doesn't reveal a person's identity or background will be shared. Moreover, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) grants individuals the right to access information collected by the government.

    As stated earlier, all of the information you receive from our reports are 100% reliable data taken from officially registered sources such as NMVTIS. Go ahead and run a free check on that vehicle you're keen on!

    State Based Informational Guides

    We have compiled a list of state specific guides for you. Feel free to check them out.

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