Vehicle registration must be completed with the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) at the county treasurer’s office where you live, in order to legally drive on IA roadways. So what do you need to take with you to complete your transaction the first time? It depends on how you own your automobile (leasing, making payments, or owner with title) and how you want to register (single, joint, business or transfer to family member) your automobile.
You have 30 days from the time you establish residency in Iowa to register your vehicle with the county treasurer’s office. New residents must first have an Iowa driver’s license in order to register their vehicle. You must register and get Iowa license plates even if your old plates are still valid in your previous state.
Vehicle Registration & Title Transfer Process
To register your vehicle in the state of Iowa you must complete the following:
- Submit your current vehicle title.
- Complete and submit an Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration for a Vehicle (Form 411007).
- If your vehicle is leased, you will instead submit the Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration of a Leased Vehicle (Form 411179).
You are not required to get an Iowa title, but if you do not title the vehicle, your registration will be non-transferable. You will not be able to sell the vehicle with a non-transferable registration.
If you’ve lost the original title, you will need to contact your previous state to get a new title issued.
To be sure you have everything you need before getting in line at the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) at the county treasurer’s office where you live, visit www.transfermyauto.com, answer 3 to 5 questions to generate a checklist of what is needed. Military personnel often get tax breaks in many states, your checklist will indicate if this is the case.