Plate Surrender in Iowa
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Surrendering your Iowa license plates comes into play if you apply for a registration refund after moving out of state, or if you fail to transfer the plates within 30 days of removing them from a previously owned vehicle.
For more on this and other license-plate-transfer scenarios, keep on reading.
When registering you'll have your choice between standard and specialized license plates.
Visit our relocation guide for information on Iowa, your new home.
After moving out of Iowa you have two choices:
- Pursue a registration refund. This requires surrendering your license plates to your county treasurer. For more information, call the Motor Vehicle Information Center at (800) 532-1121.
- Retain your Iowa license plates. No action is required. Keep them as souvenirs or check if your new neighborhood offers license plate recycling.
For relocation guidance, visit our Moving Out of Indiana page.
Remember to remove the license plates before handing over the car keys. You then have 30 days to transfer the license plates to another vehicle in your name. After 30 days you must surrender the plates to your local county treasurer.
For more on selling your car, visit our Title Transfers page.
The seller surrenders the car title, but not the license plates. If you don’t have plates to transfer and the vehicle is registered in Iowa, you can drive the car for 30 days without plates provided you carry one of the following documents:
- A completed bill of sale that’s signed and dated by the seller.
- The car’s title.
For help on what steps to follow when buying a car, check out our Vehicle Title Transfers page.
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