RV & Motorhome Registration in IowaPage Overview
In recent years, ownership of recreational vehicles (RVs), motor homes, and travel trailers has skyrocketed. Many Iowa residents find that RV or trailer travel is safe, affordable, and fun. Also, RVs, motor homes, and travel trailers can offer amenities such as fireplaces, gourmet kitchens, spacious bedrooms, and satellite TV.
Like a car, a recreational vehicle needs to be registered with the Iowa Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) to be legally operated. You'll also need to title the vehicle, or transfer the title if you are buying a used RV.
If you're interested in discovering the benefits of "a vacation home on wheels," you'll be pleased to learn that the process for registering your RV or motor home in Iowa is the same as that for registering a car. Even better, if you've purchased your vehicle from a licensed dealer, the dealer will most likely handle the title and registration paperwork for you.
If you've purchased your RV or motor home through a private seller, the seller must prepare several documents for you to submit to your county treasurer's office when you apply for a title and registration in your name. You will need:
- The vehicle title.
- If the title is missing, the seller can apply for a replacement title from the MVD.
- An odometer reading disclosure.
- An estimate of fair market value.
- A disclosure of any vehicle damages.
To title and register the vehicle, you'll need the Application of Title and/or Registration for a Vehicle OR the Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration of a Leased Vehicle. Either of the forms can be downloaded from the IA MVD's registration information page.
The fee to register your RV depends on several factors, including:
- The type of vehicle you are registering.
- The vehicle's weight.
- Your county of residence.
Contact your county treasurer's office to determine the registration or renewal fees for your motorhome.
Whether you've purchased your vehicle from a licensed dealer or a private seller, you must register your recreational vehicle with the IA MVD within 30 days of the purchase date.
If you are a new Iowa resident, you have 30 days from the date you establish residency to register your RV or motor home and pay the necessary fees. Iowa registration is necessary even if the license plates from your home state are still valid.
After you complete your RV or motor home registration, you'll receive a registration receipt to keep in your vehicle and license plates for the vehicle.
Since license plates are used for several years, you'll be given a sticker for your rear license plate each time you renew your RV or motor home registration (you may even renew online, if you're eligible). For more information about renewing a registration, see our page Registration Renewal in Iowa.
If you move before your Iowa RV registration has expired, you must inform the county treasurer's office of your new mailing address within 10 days.Other Topics in This Section
- The vehicle title.