Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

53C.01 MOTOR VEHICLE RETAIL INSTALLMENT SALES; DEFINITIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Scope. For the purposes of sections 53C.01 to 53C.14 the terms defined in
this section have the meanings given them.
    Subd. 2. Cash sale price. "Cash sale price" means the price at which the seller would in
good faith sell to the buyer, and the buyer would in good faith buy from the seller, the motor
vehicle which is the subject matter of the retail installment contract, if such sale were a sale for
cash, instead of a retail installment sale. The cash sale price may include any taxes, charges
for delivery, servicing, repairing, or improving the motor vehicle, including accessories and
their installation, and any other charges agreed upon between the parties. The cash price may
not include a documentary fee or document administration fee in excess of $50 for services
actually rendered to, for, or on behalf of, the retail buyer in preparing, handling, and processing
documents relating to the motor vehicle and the closing of the retail sale. "Documentary fee"
and "document administration fee" do not include an optional electronic transfer fee as defined
under subdivision 14.
    Subd. 3. Commissioner. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of commerce of the
state of Minnesota.
    Subd. 4. Finance charge. "Finance charge" means any charge payable directly or indirectly
by the buyer and imposed directly or indirectly by the seller as a condition of the extension of
credit under a retail installment contract, and includes a time price differential. The term does not
include the cost of any insurance and other benefits included in the retail installment contract and
any other permissible cost or expense incidental to the retail installment sale or any charge of a
type payable in a comparable cash transaction, or any taxes, fees, or charges that actually are or
will be paid to public officials or government agencies for determining the existence of or for
perfecting, releasing, or satisfying a security interest. The term also does not include premiums for
insurance against loss of or damage to property, or against liability arising out of the ownership or
use of property if the insurance coverage may be obtained from a person of the buyer's choice.
    Subd. 5. Motor vehicle. "Motor vehicle" means any device propelled or drawn by any
power other than muscular power, in, upon, or by which any person or property is, or may be
transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting building and road construction equipment not
subject to motor vehicle registration fees, snowmobiles, three-wheel off-road vehicles, boat,
snowmobile, and other utility trailers, farm tractors, and agricultural machinery not designed
primarily for highway transportation, but which may incidentally transport persons or property on
a public highway, or any other device which may not be lawfully operated upon a highway at
the time of sale.
    Subd. 6. Person. "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, and
other group however organized.
    Subd. 7. Retail buyer or buyer. "Retail buyer" or "buyer" means a person who buys or
agrees to buy a motor vehicle from a retail seller not for the purpose of resale and who executes a
retail installment contract in connection therewith.
    Subd. 8. Retail installment contract. "Retail installment contract" means any agreement,
entered into in this state, evidencing a retail installment sale of a motor vehicle, other than for the
purpose of resale, when purchased primarily for personal, family or household use, pursuant to
which title to, or a lien upon the motor vehicle is retained by the retail seller as security for the
retail buyer's obligation. This term includes a mortgage, conditional sale contract, or any contract
for the bailment or leasing of a motor vehicle by which the bailee or lessee contracts to pay as
compensation for its use a sum substantially equivalent to the retail installment sale price of the
motor vehicle and by which it is agreed that the bailee or lessee is bound to become, or has the
option of becoming, the owner of such motor vehicle for no additional consideration or for
nominal additional consideration. "Retail installment contract" does not include any agreement,
entered into in this state, evidencing an installment sale of a motor vehicle purchased primarily
for use in business. For purposes of this subdivision, "business" means a commercial or industrial
enterprise which is carried on for the purpose of active or passive investment or profit.
    Subd. 9. Retail installment sale. "Retail installment sale" means any sale evidenced by a
retail installment contract wherein retail buyer agrees to buy and retail seller agrees to sell a motor
vehicle at a sale price payable in one or more installments with the payment of a finance charge.
    Subd. 10. Retail seller or seller. "Retail seller" or "seller" means a person who sells or
agrees to sell a motor vehicle under a retail installment contract to a retail buyer.
    Subd. 11. Rule of construction. Words in the singular include the plural and vice versa.
    Subd. 12. Sales finance company. "Sales finance company" means a person engaged, in
whole or in part, in the business of purchasing retail installment contracts in this state from one or
more retail sellers. The term includes a bank, trust company, or industrial loan and thrift company,
if so engaged. The term also includes a retail seller engaged, in whole or in part, in the business
of creating and holding retail installment contracts. The term does not include the pledges of an
aggregate number of the contracts to secure a bona fide loan thereon.
    Subd. 13. Total of payments. "Total of payments" means the amount which the buyer
contracts to pay under a retail installment contract, excluding any down payment.
    Subd. 14. Optional electronic transfer fee. "Optional electronic transfer fee" means a
charge for services agreed upon between the parties for electronic transmission of ownership
records. The charge must be separately stated and identified as "optional electronic transfer fee"
on the sales agreement maintained under Minnesota Rules, part 7400.5200. At least half of the
fee must be paid to an electronic transmission service provider.
History: 1957 c 266 s 1; 1959 c 54 s 1; 1961 c 438 s 1; 1971 c 577 s 11; 1980 c 614 s 95;
1982 c 473 s 27; 1983 c 289 s 114 subd 1; 1984 c 655 art 1 s 92; 1987 c 349 art 2 s 3-8; 2003 c
128 art 14 s 2; 2005 c 19 s 1; 2005 c 45 s 4,5