Minnesota License Plate Lookup

Now, more than ever, car buyers in America are turning to license plate searches to get more information about a vehicle, before parting with their hard-earned cash. Buyers in Minnesota are not left out, as they carry out license plate checks to avoid buying problem-ridden vehicles or buying at outrageous prices.

By doing a Minnesota license plate lookup, you can get accurate info about any vehicle, so long as it’s registered. This includes accident records, odometer readings, mileage and even the VIN.

In this article, we will show you why a Minnesota license plate search is necessary, type of Minnesota license plates, and car facts that you can get from running a plate check.

Why Is a Minnesota License Plate Search Necessary?

As earlier highlighted, Minnesota license plate search is popular among buyers who wish to get the history of a vehicle before buying. This is perhaps the biggest reason for running a license plate lookup mn.

Nowadays, it is not rare to see rogue individuals trying to pawn off stolen cars, cars used as loan collateral, or bad cars on unsuspecting buyers. Armed with a license plate number, you can find detailed information on a vehicle, and avoid buying a bad vehicle.

But there are other situations where a free mn license plate lookup might be necessary. A good example is when you witness a crime, say a hit-and-run, you can easily report to the authorities who’ll run checks on the plates to get info on the car’s owner.

You may also want to report a driver for flouting highway safety laws. A free license plate lookup will provide you enough information that you can give to the police to help track down the offender.

However, the days of being able to obtain comprehensive, even personal, information from a Minnesota license plate are long gone. Modern privacy laws limit those who can carry out an mn license plates lookup and what info can be obtained.

In some cases, you’ll need to notify the police if you need to track a license plate number. But you can just use available online tools like VinPit to run plate searches — especially if you have nothing to hide.

Categories of Minnesota License Plates

Here are the types of Minnesota license plates that you can get for your vehicle:

1. Limousine plates

To operate a limousine (defined as a 15-seater luxury passenger vehicle) in Minnesota, you must get Limousine Plates. You’ll need to provide proof that your limousine is insured before you can get the plates.

2. Disability plates

In Minnesota, physically disabled drivers can apply for a Disability License Plate. You’ll need to complete a questionnaire and submit the application to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (Drive and Vehicle Services) to receive approval for Disability plates.

3. Standard plates

Standard plates are issued to passenger vehicles that can carry a maximum of 15 passengers (including the driver). This includes vans and pickup trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 3/4 ton or less and 1 ton passenger vans.

4. Personalized plates

Not everyone wants a boring license plate that has some bunch of numbers and letters. If you’re looking to add more personality to your vehicle, getting personalized plates is a great option.

A personalized Minnesota plate lets you choose custom letters and numbers for your license plate. The plate message could reflect something you love or honor a memory.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (Driver and Vehicle Services) controls issuance of personalized plates. You can order the personalized plates by mail or at the DVS office.

The payment for a personalized plate in Minnesota is $100 along with a $10 filing fee (and the regular renewal fee). Note that you must get approval from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety before you can use personalized plates.

5. Special Registration plates

According to the MVDS, Special Registration Plates give a licensed or limited licensed driver temporary permission to drive a vehicle that has been hit with a license plate impoundment order. If a vehicle has been earmarked for license plate impoundment, it means authorities will remove and destroy the plates, making the vehicle illegal to drive.

In Minnesota, you can get your plates impounded if you commit multiple driving-under-influence (DUI) infractions. The special registration plates let you drive your vehicle until you can apply for a new license plate.

6. Tax Exempt Local

A ‘Tax Exempt Local’ plate indicates that a vehicle is free from certain vehicle taxes. Minnesota issues Tax Exempt Local Plates to owners of the following types of vehicles:

  • Emergency vehicles;
  • Vehicles owned by non-profit charities;
  • Vehicles used by licensed driving schools;
  • Vehicles used by educational institutions;
  • Vehicles owned by political subdivisions.

7. Tax Exempt State

Tax Exempt State Plates are used for vehicles belonging to a Minnesota State Agency. By law, these vehicles are exempt from the Motor Vehicle Tax.

8. Dealer

Minnesota issues dealer plates to licensed dealers to allow employees or customers to drive unregistered vehicles on highways. Types of Dealer plates include Vehicle In-transit Plate, Drive Away In-transit License Plate, Manufacturer Demonstration Plate, and Double Plate Issue.

9. Specialized plates

Specialized plates are often purchased to support or express a special interest. Minnesota offers a range of specialized plates including Collector plates, Veteran plates, Habitat Conservation plates, Military Honor plates, and many more.

To get some of these specialized plates, you’ll need to meet certain eligibility requirements. On average, you’ll have to spend more on getting personalized plates because of the associated filing and application fees.

10. Van Pool

The MVDS issues Van Pool plates to commuter vans (seating seven to 16 persons) used to transport employees to and from their place of employment. These plates usually expire annually in February, with the plate itself displaying the month and year of expiration.

Titling Requirements and Procedures in Minnesota

You can apply for a vehicle title in Minnesota by completing a title application form and sending it to a certified titling office. Alternatively, you can mail it to the address listed on the form.

The title for a vehicle can be transferred between persons voluntarily or after a sale. If you bought from a private seller, then you’ll need to get an agreement for a title transfer. If, however, you bought from a dealer, they’ll help handle the paperwork.

It is possible to get a duplicate title if your previous one suffered damage or loss. You’ll need to complete a request form, which is available on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety site (https://dps.mn.gov). The website also has a Duplicate Title Page that shows the fees and procedures associated with procuring title duplicates.

In cases of vehicles with an existing lien, the title can be transferred when the owner provides a lien notification card or completes the lien release form. You may find out more about vehicle liens by visiting the DPS website.

You can send an email to [email protected] to get a vehicle’s title status. This option also makes it easier to get information about titling that’s absent from the government’s website.

What Info Can I Get through a Minnesota License Plate Lookup?

A Minnesota license plate lookup will provide most details about a car’s registration and present condition. These include:

  • Accident history
  • Mileage
  • Car title
  • Records of liens, repossession, or thefts
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Time of last inspection

This information is usually submitted by car owners to authorities when applying to register a new or used vehicle. Much of them are available to the public via online databases.


What do I need to get a Minnesota license plate?

To get a license plate in Minnesota, you'll need to provide your car title and registration info. You'll also need to complete necessary paperwork and pay the corresponding fees and taxes.

Is conducting a plate search legal?

You can search license plates to get basic information without breaking any law. However, you'd be breaking the law if you used a license plate lookup to retrieve confidential information about a car owner without police approval.

Is there vehicle info that I cannot get from Minnesota License Plate Search?

Privacy laws restrict license plate searches from displaying personal data of owners, so you won’t get such data when you do an mn license plate lookup. But you could request assistance from the police if you need personal information on a car owner.

Where does VinPit get its data?

We source car-related information using data from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database and other authentic outlets. The information is free to view and is open to all members of the public.

How does a license plate search help?

Looking up license plates safeguards you from swindlers trying to sell you cars with fake VINs or stolen/damaged cars. You’ll know if a vehicle has faced recalls, or it’s involved in unpaid loan agreements.


You never know when you may need to carry out a license plate search. If you ever find your need to look up license plates, VinPit is a great tool to use.

VinPit offers users a comprehensive online database that allows users to retrieve car-related info via a Minnesota license plate lookup. You can also conduct a VIN check or decoding on the VinPit website.