I recently purchased a used car and transfered the title at a licensing center with the previous owner. I paid for the taxes,tabs, and plates, received a few dollars back in change (I was surprised, expecting to pay more on my card), and asked the clerk if she had in fact received the correct amount of money. She said yes. I was handed a copy of my receipt and title saying clearly that I paid the full amount.

I just recently received a letter from the licensing center which said "the correct amount was not collected from you" and "You will need to return back into our office and pay an additional $100.00." and basically that my title transfer will be delayed until I pay it.

As far as I understand, I have a receipt which is proof that I paid the full amount and the transaction was finalized. I am unsure if this is a scam or not. I want to mail them back a copy of my receipt and say "You gave me this receipt as a proof of purchase. I need proof that I didn't pay the full amount." or something similar.

Basically, what are my rights here? Is this receipt proof of purchase? Are they really allowed to just deny my title transfer even though they gave me a receipt and stamped my receipt or title with an official mark of transfer?

Edit: This is in the state of Minnesota.

  • Honestly, I'm not sure how it could be a scam if you're being asked to go to a government building to conduct the transaction. Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 17:39
  • 1
    @MichaelSeifert Government takes 20% of my check every week without my permission. I have to work 8 hours/week just to pay for the government. If that's not a scam I don't know what is. Either way, I've seen plenty of horror stories with the DMV and don't want to go to jail for not paying $100. It is supposed to be a public service and it is more akin to a public headache.
    – Craig
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 17:59
  • @MichaelSeifert This is actually a private incorporated business. Apparently they have a "Deputy Registrar" that has mailed me.
    – Craig
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


Your receipt is evidence that you paid a certain amount, not that the amount you paid is sufficient for your purpose. If the claim is legitimate, the clerk probably made a mistake. You can (should) verify the charges with Driver and Vehicle Services ([email protected]), to find out what the total filing, title etc. fees are plus the motor vehicle sales tax. Presumably the agency that you used will have been more specific about where their error was, e.g. they failed to charge sales tax. The odds are low that you owe exactly $100 in sales tax, and it's virtually impossible to rack up $100 in standard filing fees, so if you really mean exactly $100, that is suspicious and worth digging deeper into.

  • The receipt says I paid the full owed amount. A copy of my title was given to me and the document was officially stamped with the state's stamp or whatever it is. I am asking if this is a legal document. The letter says that I supposedly still owe exactly $100 while the receipt says that I paid for everything already.
    – Craig
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 18:02
  • The deputy registrar cannot issue a title, they process an application. Check if it says "APPLICATION TO TITLE/REG. A VEHICLE" at the top. If it's one page with a raised seal, and has your name, then it would have come from the state, not the registrar. So it's hard to tell what document you are looking at.
    – user6726
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 18:29
  • It is not the title that you get in the mail. The clerk handed it to me with a receipt stapled to the top.
    – Craig
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 18:40

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