Iowa law requires motor vehicle owners to must register their motor vehicle with the Iowa Department of Transportation before they drive their vehicles on the streets of Iowa. This applies to new motor vehicles that have been purchased new or used. In addition, any new residents of the state of Iowa residents that have vehicles registered in another state must register their motor vehicle with the Department of Transportation in Iowa. The first initial Iowa vehicle registration has to be done be done in person, and any future IA registration renewals must be done either in person, by mail, or online each year.
If you have purchased a brand new motor vehicle or if you need to update your IA registration, you should do that within thirty (30) days. This time limit is also applicable to any new residents of the state Iowa, even if your current vehicle registration is valid.
Initial Iowa Vehicle Registration
If you are completing an IA vehicle registration for your vehicle in Iowa for the very first time, you will have to complete these steps:
First, if you have just purchased your new motor vehicle, request that the owner hands over all details regarding the vehicle such as odometer reading and the title. If you are not altering the ownership of the vehicle, you will need the out-of-state registration and title details during the IA vehicle registration.
Fill out the necessary motor vehicle title form and IA registration form. If the vehicle has a lien against it, you will have to mention this on the IA registration application. If you did not purchase the vehicle but you are leasing it, you will have to also to fill out Form #411179, which is an Application for Certificate of Title or Registration of a Leased Vehicle.
Go to your local County Treasurer's Office, and bring your completed title and IA registration form with you. You will also need to provide your proof of liability insurance and the vehicle’s odometer reading if your motor vehicle is not older than 10 years.
For motor vehicles that have been previously registered in a different state, you will be required to bring the out-of-state title for the IA registration. If you do not have this out-of-state title, you can bring the registration document with proof of payment of sales tax for your IA vehicle registration.
If your motor vehicle cannot be properly registered because you do not have the correct title documents needed for the IA vehicle registration, you can give a bond as the condition to get your title and IA registration plates. When you are completing your IA registration at your motor vehicle at your local county treasurer's office, you will have to pay certain fees, including the following:
• A IA registration fee, which depends on the type of vehicle
• Title application of $20.
Renewing your Iowa Vehicle Registration
Owners of vehicles in Iowa must renew their IA registration each year. This can be done in person, online, or by the mail. In order to renew an IA registration, you will need Form 411007, which you should fill out and send to the Iowa Department of Transportation. You can use their online services as well, which does not have any additional fees. Depending on the vehicle, the fees can range between $16 and $200.