Skip to Content

Auction Information for State Agencies and Local Governments

State agencies and local governments participating in state auctions should review the following information, procedures and rules. 

If you have questions about any of this information or need assistance, contact Tim Soby at 651-201-2778 or via email.

Live Auctions

General Details

  • Information about auction items should be provided four to six weeks before the date of the auction. 
  • Items must be delivered to the auction site by the owning agency three days prior to the auction date. Delivery must be coordinated with a designated representative from the agency hosting the auction.
  • State agencies must submit a Property Disposition Request (Form 761) on all items to Tim Soby or via fax to 651-639-4026.


For Titled Motor Vehicles/Trailers

Provide a complete description of each vehicle/trailer: make, model, year, vehicle identification number (VIN), Serial Number (SN), accessories/options, approximate mileage if applicable; also specify if it’s two or four wheel drive. 

Important: list any known problems for each vehicle/trailer. If you bring a vehicle/trailer to an auction with a known problem without divulging that information, your agency will be liable for settling any disputes with the buyer.

Submit a signed title for each vehicle/trailer at least FIVE DAYS before the auction date. No vehicle/trailer can be sold without a current, transferable title. Applications for title and administrative forfeiture certificates are NOT ACCEPTABLE. 

  • Sign the title on the line marked "seller."
  • DO NOT date it; we'll date the title at the time of sale.
  • DO NOT fill in the odometer reading; this is done the day before the auction to ensure final mileage accuracy.
  • DO NOT make any erasures or alterations - if you do, you'll void the title and a new one will have to be applied for.
  • Complete a pollution control disclosure form for each vehicle, as required by Minn. Stat. 325E.0951, subd. 3. This statement is included on the new Certificates of Title. 

Vehicle and trailer interiors and exteriors should be reasonably clean, and free of any decals, license plates, asset tags or anything that identifies it as publicly owned property. Failure to remove agency markings or decals may result in removal from the auction, or charges assessed by the host agency to accomplish these tasks.


For Miscellaneous Items

Miscellaneous items are only accepted for auction with prior approval of the host agency, coordinated through the Department of Administration.

Provide a complete description for each item (e.g., make, model year, hours of use, capacity, etc.) 

Important:  list any known problems for each item. Failure to divulge this information will make your agency liable for settling any disputes with the buyer.

Items should be reasonably clean, and free of any asset tags or anything that identifies it as publicly owned property. Failure to remove agency markings or decals may result in removal from the auction, or charges assessed by the host agency to accomplish these tasks.


Auction Administrative Fees and Host Fees

Metropolitan Area Auctions: 

  • For items that sell for $4,000 or less the fee is 10 percent of the sales price.
  • For items that sell for more than $4,000 the fee is 8 percent of the sales price.
  • The maximum administrative fee per item is $1,000

Greater Minnesota Auctions: 

  • For items that sell for $4,000 or less the fee is 10.5 percent of the sales price.
  • For items that sell for more than $4,000 the fee is 8.5 percent of the sales price.
  • The maximum administrative fee per item is $1,000.

Host Agencies will receive 1 percent of the net total proceeds to help defray their cost for holding an auction.

Online Auctions

General Details


For Titled Motor Vehicles/Trailers

To sell a vehicle or trailer online, fill out the Online Auction Template and email it along with digital photos of the vehicle/trailer to Shaun Denham. For vehicles it is recommended to get photos of all four corners and a couple of the interior of the vehicle. Provide as detailed a description of the vehicle/trailer as possible. 

Important:  list any known problems for each item. Failure to divulge this information will make your agency liable for settling any disputes with the buyer.

Before a motor vehicle or trailer can be sold online the titles should be in the selling agency's name. Applications for title and administrative forfeiture certificates are NOT ACCEPTABLE and should be transferred into the selling agency's name. 

When preparing titles for sale to winning bidders:

  • Sign the title on the line marked "seller."
  • Date the title with the date the vehicle/title is picked up.
  • Fill in the odometer reading; this should be done as close to the sale date as possible to ensure final mileage accuracy.
  • DO NOT make any erasures or alterations - if you do, you will void the title and a new one will have to be applied for. 
  • Complete a pollution control disclosure section of the title for each vehicle, as required by Minn. Stat. 325E.0951, subd. 3a. This statement is included on the new Certificates of Title. 


For Miscellaneous Items

Miscellaneous items are only accepted for online auction with prior approval of the Department of Administration.

To sell miscellaneous items online complete the Online Auction Template description for each item (e.g., make, model year, hours of use, capacity, etc.) 

Important: list any known problems for each item. Failure to divulge this information will make your agency liable for settling any disputes with the buyer. Email the information along with digital photos to Shaun Denham.

Items should be reasonably clean, and free of any asset tags or anything that identifies it as publicly owned property.


Auction Administrative Fees

  • For items that sell for $500 or less the fee is $50. If the item sells for $50 or less Surplus Services will retain all of the proceeds.
  • For items that sell for $501 to $4,000 the fee is 10 percent of the sales price.
  • For items that sell for more than $4,000 the fee is 8 percent of the sales price.   
  • The maximum administrative fee per item is $1,000.

Other Rules and Forms

Vehicle Purchasing Limit for Public Employees

Employees of the state and its political subdivisions are permitted to purchase one motor vehicle for personal use at any state auction or through a state sealed bid process. Prior to July 1, 2005, public employees were permitted to purchase only one motor vehicle from the state in any 12-month period.

The law prohibits public employees from purchasing surplus public personal property sold through noncompetitive (pre-priced) sales, such as garage sales or negotiated sales. Public agencies conducting such sales should post the provisions of this law in a conspicuous place at the sale. Public employees directly involved in the disposal of publicly owned property are prohibited from purchasing altogether. A public employee who violates this provision is guilty of a misdemeanor.

This law does not apply to any items sold by a public agency in the normal course of business, such as state parks or Minnesota Bookstore merchandise. If your official duties require you to purchase equipment for public purposes, the law does not prohibit you from doing so. Minnesota Statutes § 15.054


Auction Forms