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  • Replacing a Lost Title in Iowa

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    IA Replacing a Lost Title

    A certificate of title is the legal document that proves you are the owner of your vehicle. A title is needed to register your vehicle for the first time. In addition, you can't sell your car or donate it to a non-profit organization without a valid title.

    Contrary to popular belief, your vehicle registration card is not the same as a vehicle title. Vehicle registrations are processed yearly, while titles are only acquired when ownership of a vehicle changes hands during a title transfer.

    The Iowa Department of Transportation recommends that you protect your certificate of title by storing it in a safe place. Unlike your vehicle registration card, you should never store your title in your vehicle. It's best to keep it in a safe deposit box or other secure location.

    Lost and Damaged Iowa Titles

    However, if your original title is lost or damaged, you can request a duplicate by completing the Application for Replacement of Iowa Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle (Form 411033) and submitting it to the county treasurer's office where your title was first issued.

    If your title lists two owners connected by "and", "or", or "and/or", it is important to remember that all persons listed on the original title must sign the application for a duplicate title

    If you have an open lien on your vehicle, the lienholder must apply for the duplicate title or submit a notarized Cancellation of Security Interest (Form 411168) to the county treasurer's office. (The term lienholder typically refers to the banking institution responsible for your car loan.)

    There is a $25 fee to receive a duplicate title. Contact your county treasurer's office if you have questions about acceptable payment methods.

    Due to concerns about vehicle theft, there is a mandatory five-day waiting period to receive a duplicate title. This allows the Iowa Department of Transportation to verify the accuracy of the information on your application.

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