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Paperwork When Selling a Car in Iowa

Paperwork Required to Sell Your Car in Iowa

If you’re interested in selling a car in Iowa, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll give you a primer on the rules and regulations imposed by the IA Department of Transportation (DOT) and show you where to go to find more information. Let’s get started!

Selling a Vehicle in Iowa

First off, of course, you’ll need to find a buyer for your car. That necessitates coming up with a fair and reasonable sale price—based on the condition of the vehicle and its present value on the market—and attracting interested parties. Attracting buyers can be done by advertising the sale in the classifieds, online, or through some other medium.

Need some guidance on how to do all that? You can learn some tricks of the trade in this handy Guide to Selling Your Car.

Once you’ve located a buyer, you’ll need to fill in and sign a few forms, remove the license plates, and thereby officially transfer ownership of the car.

Required Documents

When selling your car, you’ll need to provide the buyer with the following documents:

  • Certificate of title.
    • You’ll need to fill out the details on the back of the title (assignment, odometer disclosure, damage disclosure) if your title was issued before January 1, 2005.
  • Damage disclosure statement, if applicable.
  • Bill of sale.
    • Keep a copy for your own records and proof that you have sold vehicle.

You’ll also need to tell the buyer what country the car was last registered in and when the current license plates expire. They will need this information when they go to the Iowa DMV to register the car in their name.

You might also notify the Iowa DOT of the transfer of ownership by completing a Notice of Sale of Vehicle and Delivery of Title (Form 411107) and submitting it to the country treasurer's office located in the county where the car was registered. This protects you from being potentially held liable for damage involving the car after you’ve officially sold it.

Duplicate Iowa Title Certificate

If you discover you’re missing your car’s certificate of title, or that it’s been mutilated or destroyed, you’ll need to apply for a duplicate title in order to complete the vehicle sale.

You can do this by submitting a completed Application for Replacement of Iowa Certificate of Title (Form 411033) and payment to the Iowa Department of Transportation.

For more information, see our Replacing a Lost Title in Iowa page.

Vehicle History Reports

It’s a great idea to order a vehicle history report when you’re trying to sell your car in Iowa. Potential buyers can request such reports when they’re evaluating the vehicle to find out important pieces of background information, such as whether the car’s been involved in accidents, theft, or any cases of odometer fraud.

Find more information on our Vehicle History Reports page.

Transferring License Plates After a Sale

You should remove the license plates from the vehicle when you sell it. You then have 30 days in which to transfer those plates to another car registered in your name. If you don’t do so, you can turn the plates in to your local IA DOT office.

Forms for Easy Download

Notice of Sale of Vehicle and Delivery of Title (Form 411107)

Application for Replacement of Iowa Certificate of Title (Form 411033)

Other Helpful Links

Vehicle History Reports 
Bill of sale

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