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 between $10 and $100.
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. However, you must still pay the required tax and fees within 30 days. 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 within 30 days of your purchase and fill out a title and registration application.
If you have questions about your motorcycle registration, you may contact the Iowa Motor Vehicle Information Center at (800) 532-1121.
Your motorcycle registration will expire at the end of your birth month each year, regardless of your actual birth date. For example, whether you were born on March 5 or March 29, your registration expires March 31.
However, there is a one-month grace period following the expiration of your registration. You may renew your motorcycle registration during this time frame without a getting a ticket.
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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