To transfer ownership of a car in Iowa, you’ll need to transfer the vehicle’s title by filling out some paperwork at the treasurer’s office in your county.
When you buy a car, you don’t automatically become the owner once you get the keys to your new ride. To become the true, legal owner, the car’s title will need to be transferred to you from the previous owner. This usually requires some paperwork and a title transfer fee, but the process is different in each state.
To keep you up-to-date on the rules, the
car insurance comparison app
Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about getting a title transfer in Iowa.
What is a title transfer?
A car title is used to determine the owner of a vehicle, so when you transfer the title, you’re transferring ownership of the vehicle to another person.
The seller must release ownership by signing the title
The buyer must take the signed title to the DMV (or equivalent department) to obtain a new title and registration from the state
Some states require additional documentation, like a bill of sale.
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Who does the title transfer?
If you’re buying a used car from a dealership, the dealer will take care of the transfer process on your behalf.
If you’re buying a car from a private seller, the buyer and the seller will need to transfer the title on their own.
Reasons for a title transfer
You may need to transfer the title of a vehicle if you:
Car title transfer in Iowa
Iowa, you must complete a title transfer within 30 days of buying a car or moving to Iowa from a different state.
In order to do this, you must provide the County Treasurer’s Office with the following documents:
Signed title from the previous owner
Cancellation of Security Interest form (if there’s an uncancelled lien on the title)
Odometer disclosure (unless the vehicle is over 10 years old)
Damage disclosure form (unless the vehicle is over 8 years old)
Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (if the vehicle was purchased from a dealer)
You will need to pay a $25 title transfer fee.
Key Takeaway To transfer a title in Iowa, head to the County Treasurer’s Office with the proper documents and $25.
Registering a car in Iowa
Along with transferring the title, you will need to register the vehicle in your name in order to legally drive in Iowa. Registration must be renewed on an annual basis.
If you move to Iowa from a different state, you have 30 days to title and register your vehicle with the County Treasurer’s Office.
The registration fee in Iowa is calculated based on the type of vehicle, as well as the vehicle weight and list price. You can use the
Fee Calculator on the Iowa DOT website to help determine the cost of your title and registration fees. To access this, click “Dealer Inquiry” under “Tools.”
The registration rates are calculated as follows:
Cars and trucks under 10,000 pounds 1 to 7 years old: (40 cents per hundred pounds) + (1% of list price)
Cars and trucks under 10,000 pounds 8 to 9 years old: (40 cents per hundred pounds) + (0.75% of list price)
Cars and trucks under 10,000 pounds 10 to 11 years old: (40 cents per hundred pounds) + (0.50% of list price)
Cars and trucks under 10,000 pounds over 11 years old: (40 cents per hundred pounds) + $50 |
Electric vehicles over 6 years old: $15 to $25
Antique vehicles produced between 1970 and 1983: $23
Antique vehicles produced before 1970: $16
Antique vehicles purchased after 2008: $50
Motorcycle under 6 years old: $20
Motorcycle at least 6 years old: $10
Small regular trailer under 2,000 pounds: $20
Regular trailer (2,000 pounds): $30
Travel trailer under 7 years old: $0.30 per square foot
Travel trailer at least 7 old: 75% of original fee
Finding insurance for your vehicle
In addition to transferring the title and registration, you also need to make sure you have the right car insurance whenever you buy a new car.
Jerry is the super app that helps you save time and money on your car expenses.
Jerry will browse car insurance quotes from dozens of top carriers to find the best deals on the coverage you need. And once you pick a policy, Jerry handles all the paperwork and phone calls, and even monitors your rate to ensure you’re always renewing at the best price.
Jerry handles everything from finding quotes to signing on new policies right in the app. No more filling out hundreds of forms! Thank you, Jerry, for helping my move to a new state feel hassle-free.” —Dolores T.
What if my car has a loan?
If you move to Iowa and your car has a loan, you will need to fill out an Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration for a Leased Vehicle, provided by the Iowa DOT.
Where do I sign to transfer the title?
On the back of the title, you will find the “Assignment of Title” section. There are two lines for the seller to print and sign their name and two lines for the buyer to print and sign their name.
You also need to fill out the buyer’s address, odometer reading, date of sale, and damage disclosures.
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