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  • Motorcycle Registration in Iowa

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    In Iowa, motorcycles, cars, trucks, trailers, and other vehicles must be registered with the county treasurer. Registration helps law enforcement officers identify a vehicle's owner. Since each vehicle has a unique license plate number, this information can help locate your motorcycle if it is ever lost or stolen.

    If you fail to follow Iowa's motorcycle registration guidelines, you can be fined.

    How to Register

    The process for registering your motorcycle is similar to registering a car. However, the exact process you follow depends upon how you acquired your motorcycle.

    If you are trading in your previous motorcycle for a new one, you can use the old plates on your new bike. Most motorcycle dealers will help you complete the registration paperwork at the time of your purchase.

    If you're trading in a car or truck for a new motorcycle, you may receive a temporary "Registration applied for" card to use until your metal motorcycle plates arrive.

    If you have purchased a used motorcycle from a private owner, they should complete the appropriate sections of the Iowa title to disclose any damages and the motorcycle's odometer reading. Then you must bring the completed paperwork to your county treasurer's office and fill out a title and registration application.

    If you're a new Iowa resident, you must register your motorcycle at the county treasurer's office within 30 days of your arrival in the state.

    If you wish, you may purchase personalized license plates that support Iowa's Motorcycle Rider Education fund.

    If you have questions about your motorcycle registration, you may contact the Iowa Motor Vehicle Information Center at (800) 532-1121.

    Registration Renewal

    Your motorcycle registration will expire at the end of your birth month each year, regardless of your actual birth date.

    You should receive a notice in the mail informing you that your motorcycle registration is about to expire. If you are eligible to renew online, your renewal notice will say so (there is a small additional fee for this service).

    Please note that you'll only receive a renewal notice if the address on file for your registration documentation is current. If you move, you should notify the county treasurer's office within 10 business days. Simply changing the information on your driver's license will not provide the correct address for your vehicle registration.

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