About 150,000 Minnesotans will see a $2.25 check in their mailbox from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) in the coming weeks.

The refund is being sent to Minnesotans who were charged a registration technology surcharge twice when they transferred their title and renewed their vehicle registration at the same time. They should only have paid one surcharge.

“It’s important that we return the fee to anyone who paid more than they should have,” Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Director Emma Corrie said. “We are also taking steps to make sure no one else is overcharged in the future. We will also be tracking these types of transactions so that we can correct the situation as quickly as possible.”

What happened?
The $2.25 title technology surcharge and a $2.25 registration technology surcharge fee is set in Minnesota law. DPS-DVS collected both fees when customers transferred a vehicle title and renewed their registration in one transaction. After reviewing the statutes, DPS-DVS determined that only the title technology surcharge should be collected when a registration is renewed at the same time.

Who’s affected?
DPS-DVS has identified approximately 150,000 people who paid the additional $2.25 fee, a total of approximately $337,500. The additional fees have been collected during the past five months.

What’s next?
Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) will begin issuing refunds on Feb. 19, to anyone who was overcharged. MMB will process up to 5,000 refunds each day, Monday through Friday, until all of the refunds have been mailed.

DPS-DVS updated the vehicle services system on Jan. 13, allowing deputy registrars to waive the second $2.25 fee for all future transactions and sent information to deputy registrars about the process, so more Minnesotans are not overcharged.

DPS-DVS will continue to track this issue in case anyone is overcharged in the future and ensure they receive a refund as soon as possible.

The new vehicle title and registration services system, scheduled to launch in November 2020, will correct this situation by removing the additional fee from these types of transactions.

Resources
DPS-DVS set up a direct informational phone number for anyone receiving these checks. The phone number, 651-296-0118, will be listed on the refund checks, and the following message will play anytime someone calls:

Driver and Vehicle Services issued refunds to vehicle owners who paid the $2.25 technology surcharge twice when they transferred their title and renewed registration. Only one technology surcharge should have been charged. If you received your refund please accept it with our apology.

About the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 10 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.

About Driver and Vehicle Services
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DVS) is responsible for driver testing, driver licensing and maintenance of driver records; driver evaluation and compliance; motor vehicle title and registration; commercial vehicle registration; motor vehicle dealer licensing and regulation; and enforcement of no-fault insurance requirements.

2019 Statistics:

  • 1.6 million driver’s license and ID cards issued.
  • 1.74 million titles issued.
  • 7.23 million vehicles registered.
  • DVS’ Public Information Center handled more than 1.4 million phone calls and 106,000 email correspondences.