How do I complete a title transfer in Iowa? Iowa

Title transfers must be completed whenever ownership of a vehicle changes. This includes when you buy cars and sell cars, as well as donating a car, inheriting a vehicle, or giving a vehicle as a gift to a family member. Titles must also be updated when an auto loan has been repaid.

Transfer Process

To transfer a used car title in Iowa, you should give the buyer the certificate of title with the mileage correctly entered. Sign and date the document so the buyer can take the title to the county treasurer's office to complete the title transfer. The buyer will need to pay a $15 fee to have a new title issued, plus a $10 charge if documentation is needed from a lien holder.

The IA Department of Transportation (DOT) recommends you also provide the buyer with a bill of sale. If you are the driver who is purchasing the vehicle, it is a good idea to order a vehicle history report so you are aware of any potential problems.

Iowa Vehicle Registration

Vehicle registration is a separate process than applying for a vehicle title. Once you've received your vehicle title, you can submit a completed registration application to your county treasurer's office. Registration fees are based on your vehicle weight and list price, with a flat fee for certain older vehicles. If you are registering a vehicle as the result of a transfer to a parent, spouse, or child, they are eligible to receive a fee credit for the amount of your unused registration.

Registrations are valid for one year and expire on the last day of the month in which the owner was born. If the vehicle is owner by multiple drivers, you can choose which person's birth month to use for registration renewal.

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