Special Vehicles in Iowa
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Iowa law requires that residents legally register all vehicles they intend to operate within the state. DMV.org provides automobile registration information and more in our Registration & Titling section.
However, Iowa's registration rules are slightly different for other types of vehicles.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources states that all all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) must be legally registered unless the vehicle meets one or more of the following criteria:
- The ATV is used for farming or other agricultural purposes.
- The ATV is owned and used by the United States government or a political subdivision of another state.
- The ATV is registered in a foreign country and will not be used in Iowa for more than 20 days.
- The ATV is registered in another state and the owner has purchased a non-resident user permit that allows him or her to operate the vehicle on public land in Iowa.
- The ATV is part of a special event and will not be in the state for more than 10 days.
Fees and Forms
To register your ATV, you must complete an application at the nearest county recorder's office. Registrations are valid from January 1 to December 31.
The fee for registering your ATV is $15. However, if your initial registration occurs after September 1, you can register for the remainder of the year and the following calendar year for $20.
The fee to receive a title for a newly purchased ATV is $10. All ATVs must be titled in your county of residence within 30 days of purchase.
Trailers can be registered at your nearest county treasurer's office. However, a bumper hitch farm trailer does not require a valid registration in Iowa.
Registration fees for trailers are based on the class and size of the trailer, although there is a flat fee of $10 for registering a utility trailer.
Iowa's chilly winter weather makes the state a popular spot for snowmobile enthusiasts. However, Iowa residents need to make sure their snowmobiles are correctly registered.
Fees and Forms
In Iowa, snowmobile registrations are supervised by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. To register your snowmobile, you'll need to fill out a short application at the nearest county recorder's office. Registrations run from January 1 to December 31.
The registration fee is $15, but you'll need to contact the recorder's office directly to ask about acceptable payment methods.
If you have a snowmobile that is more than 30 years old, you can pay a one time fee of $25 to receive an antique snowmobile registration that is valid for as long as you own the vehicle.
The fee to receive a title for a newly purchased snowmobile is $10. All snowmobiles must be titled in your county of residence within 30 days of purchase.
Motorcycles should be registered at your nearest county treasurer's office, but the exact process to follow will depend upon how you acquired your vehicle.
For additional information about your motorcycle registration, you may contact the Iowa Motor Vehicle Information Center at (800) 532-1121 or visit our Motorcycle Registration section.
Motorhomes can be registered at your nearest county treasurer's office. The registration fee will depend upon the class of the vehicle, which is determined by its value.
If you wish to register a fold-out camper, you'll need to pay 20 cents per square foot, as determined by the outside dimensions of the vehicle.
For more information, visit our RV & Motorhome Registration section.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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- Learn Your State’s Requirements for Snowmobile Titles and Registration
- You Built It, You Register It: Titling and Registering Custom-Built Vehicles
- Find Out How to Title and Register Your RV or Motorhome
- When Do You Need to Title and Register Your Trailer?
- ATV Title and Registration Requirements
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.