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Motor Vehicles

The information provided is for reference only.

Transfer of Ownership

  • A Bill of Sale is required for ALL transfers of ownership. 
  • New Owners must complete the transfer within 30 days of purchase to avoid penalties
    • Purchased vehicle can be driven without plates for 30 days from the date of sale if the vehicle is currently registered.
    • If stopped by law enforcement prior to completing the transfer, the owner must provide properly assigned title or bill of sale along with proof of insurance
  • Odometer readings are required for vehicles 20 years and newer (beginning with vehicles from the 2011 model year).
  • Damage disclosure statement is required for vehicles 7 years and newer.
  • Small trailers (2000 lbs or less) are issued a registration only

Moved To Iowa

  • Iowa requires vehicles to be registered with 30 days of residency, even though you may have valid plates in another state. Contact your previous state to claim any refund and dispose of plates.
  • Required documents:
    • Iowa driver's license or actual social security card
    • Signed and completed Certificate of Title application
    • Out of State Title OR
    • Out of State registration (if the title is held by a lienholder)
  • If your title is held by a lienholder, you may either request the lienholder mail the title to us for updating or bring your title to us once the lien is satisfied. Please note: if you should sell your vehicle privately, you must obtain an Iowa title.
  • If the vehicle is leased, you must provide the lease agreement and Power of Attorney.

Selling Vehicles

  • Complete the Assignment of Title section on the back of the title, including:
    • Date of Sale
    • Name and address of the buyer
    • Odometer reading if the vehicle is 20 years or newer (beginning with vehicles from the 2011 model year)
    • Damage disclosure (if the vehicle is 7 years and newer)
    • Print and sign your name(s) as seller
  • Complete a Bill of Sale, including:
    • The date of sale
    • The purchase price
    • Year, Make, and Model
    • The name(s) of buyer(s)
    • The seller(s) signature (the bill of sale does not need to be notarized)
  • Remove your plates and return them to our office!
    • This will remove your name from the vehicle you sold
    • Unused registration fees of $10 or greater will be refunded to you
    • Buyer(s) may drive 30 days without plates from the date of purchase if the vehicle is currently registered

Lost Title

  • Complete the Replacement Title Application. All owners listed on the title must sign the application.
  • If the title has a lien, the Replacement Title Application will be completed by the lienholder.
  • If the title is lost, the replacement title will be held for a 5-day waiting period. If the title is available and returned with the Replacement Title Application, the Replacement Title will be issued the same day.
  • A $25 Replacement Title fee is due.

Personalized or Special Plates

  • Numbered and special plates that are in our inventory are available for purchase.
  • Personalized plates can be ordered online at the Iowa DOT Website
  • Extra fees will apply upon renewal of vehicle.

Storing a Vehicle or Trailer

  • Requirements:
    • The registration must be current
    • The plates must be turned in to the county in which the vehicle is registered
    • The vehicle or trailer may be registered at any later period of time by paying the current full annual registration fee

Lost Registration

  • $3 replacement fee

Lost Sticker Only

  • Free, with current registration

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