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How to Ask for an Order to Transfer a Car Title
If you bought a vehicle and the seller has not given you the title or other documents required by the division of MN Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS), your only option for transferring title to you may be to ask for an Order to Transfer Title in District Court.
DVS keeps two kinds of records for every vechicle: 1) a Registration and 2) a Title.
The proper court procedure for getting a court Order to Transfer Title depends on whether DVS has put your (the buyer's) name on their records for the vehicle.
Your (buyer's) name is NOT on the vehicle Registration (Motion procedure)
If the DVS has NOT put your name on the vehicle Registration, you may be able to ask the court for an Order to Transfer Title by filing a "motion" with the court.
Your (buyer's) name is on the vehicle Registration (Civil lawsuit procedure)
If the DVS has put your name on the vehicle Registration (they do this so they can issue new plates or new tabs), you may have to start a lawsuit against both the seller and the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety to get an Order to Transfer Title. In Minnesota, a lawsuit is started by serving (delivering) a copy of a "Summons and Complaint" on the seller and the Commissioner. The MN Judicial Branch does not publish forms for that type of case, but we do publish general information on Civil Actions in District Court. Talk to a lawyer to get help with starting this kind of lawsuit.
Filing a "Motion" with the Court
A "Motion" is the court process you need to complete to ask a judge to issue an order for something. To make a motion to the court, you need to create and file certain court forms, usually called: Notice of Motion and Motion; Affidavit in Support of Motion; and Affidavit of Service. You then may have to go to a hearing. After you have followed all of the steps for making a motion, the court will issue an order with its decision.
The county where you live determines the proper District Court where you bring your motion.
Help with Court Forms
If you need help to fill out the forms and file the papers with the court, go to Self-Help Services in the Courts to see if walk-in help is available at your courthouse or in your community. You may also find help at local Law Libraries, which are open to the public.
The information here is not a substitute for legal advice. You should talk with a lawyer if you want to know your legal rights and options.
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