Title Transfers in Iowa

How to Complete an Auto Title Transfer in Iowa
  • Seller and buyer must sign and complete the IA vehicle title (including the odometer disclosure and damage disclosure statements).
  • Complete the Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration (Form 411007).
  • Take the required documents and title transfer fees to your local Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) office.
  • Continue reading for more details about completing a vehicle title transfer in Iowa.

New to Iowa?

In Iowa, you must title and register your vehicle with your local IA county treasurer's office within 30 days of establishing residency. If your license plates are valid in another state, this process is still required.

You'll need to submit the following in person to your local Iowa DOT office:

For more details about how to register your vehicle and complete an auto title transfer in Iowa as a new resident, visit our Car Registration page.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle in Iowa

Selling a Vehicle

NOTE: You may want to accompany the buyer to your local Iowa county treasurer's office to complete the vehicle title transfer. This may help to avoid complications.

When selling a vehicle in Iowa, you'll need to take the following steps to finalize the car title transfer:

  • Sign, date, and complete on the odometer and damage disclosure statements on the title and give it to the buyer.
  • Complete a Bill of Sale with the buyer.
    • You may want to notarize this document.
  • Provide the buyer with the name of the county where the vehicle was last registered plus the date the license plates expire.
  • Fill out a Notice of Sale of Vehicle and Delivery of Title (Form 411107) and submit it to your IA county treasurer's office.
    • This form certifies the transfer/delivery of your title and vehicle to the purchaser.

If you are selling your vehicle to someone out of state, you will need to provide a separate:

NOTE: If you end up purchasing another vehicle within 30 days, you can transfer your license plates to the new vehicle. Otherwise, turn in the plates to your IA county treasurer.

Buying a Vehicle

New Cars

When buying a new car, the dealer will help you complete all of the paperwork needed for the DMV title transfer.

Used Cars

Do Your Research Before Buying a Used Car

You can order a vehicle history report online to make sure you know as much as possible about the car you are going to purchase. You'll also want to look into car insurance policies before registering your car in Iowa.

NOTE: Be sure to get the name of the county where your used vehicle was last registered and the date the license plates expire.

To apply for an Iowa car title transfer and to register your vehicle, you must follow these steps:

You can drive the vehicle for up to 30 days without license plates, but you must carry either:

  • A signed and dated Bill of Sale. (Document must describe the vehicle to be valid).
  • The vehicle title (assigned to your name) or a photocopy of both sides of the title.

NOTE: Visit our Car Registration in Iowa page to ensure you have all the documents required to register your vehicle when you apply for the DMV title transfer.

Gifting, Donating, or Inheriting a Vehicle

Gifting a Vehicle

You're able to gift a vehicle or receive a vehicle as a gift in Iowa. Depending on the circumstances, the recipient may or may not have to pay taxes or a one-time registration fee when completing the DMV title transfer and registration process.

To find out about the required documents when gifting a vehicle or how to complete a vehicle title transfer between family members, please contact the Iowa DOT.

NOTE: Any auto title transfers among family that involve a sale are NOT exempt from paying the one-time registration fee in Iowa.

Donating a Vehicle

In Iowa, you can search for a local non-profit who accepts vehicle donations. When you donate a vehicle in Iowa, you may even receive a tax write-off.

Visit our section about IA Vehicle Donations to learn more.

Inheriting a Vehicle

When you inherit a vehicle in Iowa, take the following steps to apply for a car title transfer and register the vehicle:

NOTE: You may be exempt from the one-time Iowa registration fee if you're titling an inherited vehicle without a court order or will.

If you have any specific questions about your vehicle inheritance, title transfer fees, or the DMV title transfer process, contact your local IA DOT office.

Removing a Lien

Once you pay off your car loan, you'll need to remove the lienholder's name from the title. To apply for a lien-free Iowa vehicle title:

NOTE: If the lienholder fails to deliver the original title to you after completing the cancellation form, you will need to have the cancellation form notarized to obtain a replacement title.

If you have any specific questions about lien releases in Iowa, contact your lienholder or the IA DOT directly.

Changing IA Vehicle Title Information

Changing, Adding, or Deleting a Name

If you've recently changed your name, or need to change the ownership of your vehicle, you'll need to update your Iowa vehicle title accordingly.

To find out how to change, delete, or add a name on your title, contact the Iowa county treasurer in the county where your title was first issued.

You can learn about updating the name on your IA driver's license by reading our Changing Your Name in Iowa page.

Title Transfer Fees in Iowa

Fees vary by county, check with your local county treasurer for current fees to transfer a title

NOTE: When you apply for a DMV title transfer, you'll also need to register the vehicle with the IA DOT. For specific details about your vehicle registration fees, you can read our page about Car Registration in Iowa.

Replace an IA Vehicle Title

If you recently lost your vehicle title in Iowa, you'll need to apply for a duplicate in person. You cannot apply online or by mail.

Complete instructions can be found on our Replacing a Lost Title in IA page.

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