Motor Vehicle Frequently Asked Questions



Can I place my vehicle in storage while I’m on active military duty?


How can I contact the Iowa Department of Transportation, Office of Vehicle Services?

How do I change my mailing address?

How do I know if I qualify for a tax exemption on my vehicle purchase?

How do I sell my vehicle in Iowa?

How does the state determine the amount of my registration fees?

I am a new Iowa resident.  How do I register and title my vehicle?

I have lost my title.  How do I get a replacement title?

I have lost my validation sticker.  Where do I go to obtain a new one?

I have lost one of my license plates.  Where do I go to get a replacement plate?

If I buy a car, where do I get the title transferred into my name?

If I put my vehicle in storage, do I have to buy the plates every year?

Part of your vehicle registration fee may be tax deductible.  How do I determine the amount?

What are the guidelines for allowable trade in credits for use tax?

What do I do when I take my vehicle out of storage?

What does the name connector "and", or "or"  mean on the face of my vehicle title as it relates to selling my vehicle?

When can I renew my plates?

When do I use a Damage Disclosure Statement?

Where can I renew my vehicle registration?

Where do I apply for personalized license plates?

Where do I find a guide to license plates on the State website?

Where do I get additional forms if they are needed to complete the vehicle title process?

Where do I go to get a personalized plate replaced if I have lost one of mine?

Where do I go to get a refund on my plates?

Who is eligible and how do I apply for a firefighter plate?





Can I place my vehicle in storage while I’m on active military duty? (back to top)

If the vehicle is registered for the current year and the owner has entered the military service of the United States in time of war and the vehicle has been placed in storage, a refund may be applied for on the unexpired months of the registration year.  Plates must be turned in.  Upon the owner’s return to the state of Iowa, the vehicle will be registered for the remaining months of the registration year.





How can I contact the Iowa Department of Transportation, Office of Vehicle Services? (back to top)

Iowa Dept. of Transportation, Office of Vehicle Services
Office of Vehicle Services Physical Address
   6310 SE Convenience Blvd.
   Ankeny, IA  50021
Mailing Address:
 
  PO Box 9278
   Des Moines IA 50306-0473

Telephone
   515-237-3110 - Local Des Moines
FAX
   515-237-3056
E-Mail
  
vehser@dot.state.ia.us 





How do I change my mailing address? (back to top)

Contact your local County Treasurer to change your mailing address.





How do I know if I qualify for a tax exemption on my vehicle purchase? (back to top)

Click HERE to see if you qualify for a tax exemption with the Iowa Department of Revenue & Finance.





How do I sell my vehicle in Iowa? (back to top)

Click on the following link for information on how to sell your vehicle in Iowa. 
www.dot.state.ia.us/mvd/ovs/selling.htm





How does the state determine the amount of my registration fees? (back to top)

All autos and multipurpose vehicles, plus trucks that are 2010 and newer with weight <= 10,000 lbs.are computed by the vehicle weight and list price as follows:  40 cents per hundred pounds of vehicle weight plus:

1 - 7 years old

          1.00% of list price

 8 - 9 years old

            .75% of list price

10 -11 years old

            .50% of list price

 12+ years old

           $50.00

Weight: 3,000 pounds, list price $18,500
                     3,000 x $.40     = $  12
                     $18,500 x 1%   =   185
                      Annual Fee         $197


RATES FOR TRUCKS WITH 3 TON LICENSE
1 - 7 model years:  $150.00
8 -9 model years:  $120.00
10 - 11:   $100.00
12 +:  $50.00






I am a new Iowa resident.  How do I register and title my vehicle? (back to top)

Click HERE to find out how to register and title your vehicle in the state of Iowa.





I have lost my title.  How do I get a replacement title? (back to top)

The owner of the vehicle will complete Iowa DOT form #411033 (Application for Replacement of Iowa Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle).  If the lost title reflects more than one person on the face of the title for ownership, ALL OWNERS OF THE VEHICLE must sign the application form.  See Iowa Adm. Rule 761-400.12(321) (2).

If the title has an open lien (the vehicle is held by a financial institution or the lien was never released on the State Motor Vehicle system), the Replacement Title Application must be applied for by the lien holder unless the lien holder sends a separate lien release by filling Iowa DOT form #411068 (Cancellation of Security Interest).  Please note this form must be notarized.

Both of these forms are available online from the Iowa Department of Transportation Forms Website

Once our office receives the application there is a state required mandatory 5-day waiting period before the replacement title is issued.  The replacement title fee is $25.00.




I have lost my validation sticker.  Where do I go to obtain a new one? (back to top)

You can come to your County Treasurer’s Office to receive a new validation sticker.  If you have your current registration, you must bring it with you.





I have lost one of my license plates.  Where do I go to get a replacement plate? (back to top)

You can receive a replacement set of plates at your County Treasurer’s Office. You will need to bring with you your current registration and your remaining plate that is on your vehicle and pay the applicable fees.  The cost for the replacement set of plates will be $5.00.





If I buy a car, where do I get the title transferred into my name? (back to top)
You are required to transfer the title on your new vehicle in your county of residence.





If I put my vehicle in storage, do I have to buy the plates every year? (back to top)

No, you can put the plates "in storage" at your County Treasurer’s Office. This will eliminate paying a penalty when you decide to take the vehicle out of storage. However, in order to store the plates, they do need to be currently registered. The plates and the current registration need to be surrendered at the County Treasurer’s Office so that the State Motor Vehicle System can be updated and the registration stamped "STORED".

If the current registration year has expired, you will pay one full years fee in order to get your plates out of storage.





Part of your vehicle registration fee may be tax deductible.  How do I determine the amount? (back to top)

To determine what part of your vehicle registration fee is deductible click HERE.





What are the guidelines for allowable trade in credits for use tax? (back to top)

The guidelines are outlined here.





What do I do when I take my vehicle out of storage? (back to top)

If the vehicle is removed from storage within 30 days of being placed in storage, you receive the same plates. If the vehicle is removed from storage after 30 days, you will receive a new set of plates.
If the current year has expired, you will pay a full-year’s fee in order to get your plates out of storage.





What does the name connector "and", or "or" mean on the face of my vehicle title as it relates to selling my vehicle? (back to top)

The name connector "and" means that both owners that are listed on the vehicle title will have to sign as sellers when the vehicle is sold.
The name connector "or" means that only one of the owners that are listed on the face of the vehicle title will have to sign as seller when the vehicle is sold.  See
Admin Code 761--400.14(321). 
When applying for a replacement (duplicate) title or junking certificate, ALL OWNERS OF THE VEHICLE must sign the application form regardless of name connector.





When can I renew my plates? (back to top)

You have one month prior to your renewal month, your renewal month, or the month following to renew without penalty.  When the last day of the month that a vehicle registration is due falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, the payment deadline is extended to include the first business day of the following month.

Prior Month

Registration month

Your vehicle will become delinquent

December

January

March 1

January

February

April 1

February

March

May 1

March

April

June 1

April

May

July 1

May

June

August 1

June

July

September 1

July

August

October 1

August

September

November 1

September

October

December 1

October

November

January 1

November

December

February 1


Penalty is assessed at a rate of 5% of the fee due, per vehicle, per month with a $5.00 per vehicle minimum.





When do I use a Damage Disclosure Statement? (back to top)

A Damage Disclosure Statement is required to be completed for all motor vehicles that are being transferred except for those listed below:
  1. Motor trucks and truck tractors with a gross vehicle weight rating of 16,000 pounds or more
  2. Motor vehicles more than seven model years old.
  3. Motorcycles
  4. Motorized bicycles
  5. Special mobile equipment
  6. New motor vehicles with a true mileage of 1,000 miles or less
 



Where can I renew my vehicle registration? (back to top)

You are required to renew your vehicle registration in your county of residence.  You may renew your registration online at https://www.iowatreasurers.org.





Where do I apply for personalized license plates? (back to top)

You can pick up an application for personalized plates at your County Treasurer’s Office, and mail it to the Department of Transportation, Office of Vehicle Services, Records and Titles Section, Park Fair Mall, 6310 SE Convenience Blvd, Box 9278, Ankeny, IA 50021-9278

     Or

You can apply for personalized plates at the Department of Transportation, Office of Vehicle Services, Records and Titles Section,
6301 SE Convenience Blvd, Ankeny IA 50021-9278.

     Or

Click to
download an application for Specialized Plates and mail it to the Department of Transportation at the address listed above.





Where do I find a guide to license plates on the State website? (back to top)

Guide to license plates on the State website click here.





Where do I get additional forms if they are needed to complete the vehicle title process? (back to top)

Additional forms can be acquired at the County Treasurer’s Office or click here to obtain a list of forms available from the Iowa Department of Transportation.





Where do I go to get a personalized plate replaced if I have lost one of mine? (back to top)

You can apply for duplicate plates and pay applicable fees by bringing in your current registrations and remaining plates (if applicable) to the County Treasurer’s Office.  You will receive a letter or phone call from your County Treasurer’s Office letting you know when your replacement plates have arrived.





Where do I go to get a refund on my plates? (back to top)

You can bring your plates and current registration to the County Treasurer’s Office. The information will be sent to the Department of Transportation. If the request for refund is approved, a refund will be mailed to you within four to six weeks.

If you sell a vehicle and do not replace it, you may apply for a refund.  The following is required:
     - You have up to six months after you sell your vehicle to apply    for a refund.
     - The calculated unused portion of the registration fee must be $10 or more to receive a refund.  The refund is calculated from the date the vehicle is sold to the expiration of the registration.






Who is eligible and how do I apply for a firefighter plate? (back to top)

Effective July 1, 2003 Iowa law restricts the issuance of firefighter special license plates to "current" or "retired" members of the fire department.    Please click HERE for more information.