Paperwork When Selling a Car in Iowa
Compare Insurance Rates in 3 Easy Steps
1. Start Your Quote:
The most important piece of paperwork when selling a car is the title, which you must sign over to the new owner. You cannot legally sell your vehicle if you don't have a title.
If you lost or damaged the original title, complete the Application for Replacement of Iowa Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle and submit it to the county treasurer where your title was first issued. There is a $15 fee for a duplicate title. Note that while you are obligated to provide the buyer with a valid title, you don't need to supply the registration certificate; the buyer doesn't need it to transfer the title.
You must provide the buyer with the following:
- The name of the county where the vehicle was last registered.
- The date the license plates expire.
- A completed Odometer Disclosure Statement.
- A certificate of title signed over to the buyer.
Iowa license plates follow the owner, not the vehicle, so remove them from the car when you sell it. If you buy another vehicle within 30 days, you can transfer the plates to your new vehicle after paying the registration fees.
If you don't plan on transferring the sold vehicle's plates to another vehicle, you must turn surrender them to your county treasurer.
Though not mandatory, it's in your best interest to retain a bill of sale for your files. You can download a copy from our Bill of Sale page.
Other Topics in This Section
Your Opinion Matters To Us!Send Feedback
- The REAL ID Act: Are You Ready for a National ID?
- New Study: Voice Texting and Traditional Texting Equally Distracting
- Bicycling While Boozing
- Federal Agency Stirring Around the Idea of Lowering BAC Limit to .05 Percent
- Pot Runs to Legalized Marijuana States Putting Cops on High Alert
- Behind the scenes: Iron Man & rental car insurance
We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.