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Home :: Treasurer :: Motor Vehicle Questions August 23, 2019
 Motor Vehicle Questions

We register, title, and collect road use tax on motor vehicles, trailers, and campers. When a vehicle is purchased, the new owner has 30 days to transfer ownership or penalties may accrue. Transfer takes place in the county where the owner resides.

If the motor vehicle is 10 years old or newer, the seller must verify the odometer reading and complete a Damage Disclosure Statement. Assignment of ownership is done by completing and signing the backside of the ownership document (title or certificate of origin). Not all trailers have a title most are only issued a registration receipt. The registration receipt is used to transfer ownership. Documents that may be necessary for transfer are:

  • Title or Certificate of Origin
  • Odometer Statement
  • Damage Disclosure Statement
  • Registration from a vehicle that you sold or junked
  • Bill of Sale
Vehicle owners have three months in which to pay the annual registration fee. Normally, this is one of the reigstered owners birth month. Fees may be paid in the month before the registration month, the registration monht, or in the month following the registration month. A penalty fee will attach at five percent of the fee (minimum fee of $5.00) on the first day of the second month following the registration month. Example: Registration month: January. Grace month: February. Penalty attaches March 1.

Truck and truck tractors over five tons gross weight will still be registered on a calendar basis.

If you are moving in from out of state, you have 30 days to register your vehicle, based on the date you became an Iowa resident.

Refunds on the unexpired portion of your license fee may be available if your vehicle has been sold or junked. Refunds of less than $10.00 are not issued. The license plates and current registration receipt will need to be surrendered to the county of last issuance.

There are many specialized plates available through the Department of Transportation. Stop in our office to see a display of plates that are available. Forms for specialized plates not available in our office may be found at www.iowatreasurers.org.
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