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Frequently Asked Questions

Motor Vehicles

Q

Can I put a vehicle title into someone else’s name?

A

Yes. The new owner does not need to be present at the time of transfer. However, the new owner will have to have the appropriate forms completed beforehand. If you are transferring a title on behalf of another person, you may download Form 411007 from the Iowa DOT website. They must complete and sign this form.

Q

Do I have to have an appointment?

A

Depending on what you need to do. If you are only needing to renew your registration(s), turn in plates for refunds, swap out for vanity plates, or do a title transfer you do NOT need an appointment.  Please allow appropriate time to complete your transacation as our last transaction will be 4:00 PM daily.

Driver’s License is the only department within the Treasurer’s office that requires appointments.

Q

Do I need a junking certificate?

A

Owners of a motor vehicle can dispose of a vehicle to a licensed recycler for scrap or junk without a certificate of title or a junking certificate IF:

  • The motor vehicle is twelve model years old or older, and
  • The motor vehicle is sold to the vehicle recycler for less than $1,000
Q

How can we pay vehicle registrations?

A

For vehicle registrations, you can do that:

Q

How do I apply for a lost or replacement title?

A

Complete the Application for Replacement of Iowa Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle (Iowa DOT Form 411033). The application must be signed by all owners and must be returned to the county the title originated.  If there is an open lien on the vehicle, the application will need to be signed by the lien holder.

If there is an open lien on the title, but the lien holder does not have an interest in the vehicle any longer, they may complete a separate notarized Cancellation of Security Interest (Iowa DOT Form 411168) form.

A notarized letter from the security interest holder on their letterhead paper is acceptable if it has the following information:

  • Make
  • Year
  • VIN
  • Owners name(s) and address

Once the application is received there is a mandatory 5-day waiting period before the replacement title can be issued. The fee for a replacement title is $25.00.

Q

How do I get a replacement title?

A

Download Form 411033 from the Iowa DOT website.

There is a 5-day waiting period if the original title is lost. (If the original has been altered or spoiled in some way, please submit the original title to us with Form 411033 and we will process a replacement title in the same day.)

Anybody whose name is on the face of the title MUST sign the replacement application. 

The replacement title must be ordered where the title was made (county-specific). The fee is $25.00.

Q

How do I get a salvage title vehicle inspected?

A

You must complete the inspection form on the DOT website and then contact the sheriff’s office to schedule an inspection with them.

Q

How do I order personalized/vanity license plates?

A

Most personalized license plates can be ordered online on the Iowa DOT website.

Q

How do I store a vehicle I'm not using?

A

To place your vehicle in storage, you must surrender your license plates and registration for each vehicle to the Treasurer on or before the last day of the month following the owner's registration renewal month.  You can re-register your vehicle at any time in the future with the payment of the full annual tax due at that time.  You CANNOT store any delinquent plates or first ½ truck, truck tractor or farm special plates.

Q

How do you transfer a title after the death of the owner?

A

With Probate

If the individual’s death went through probate, the person(s) assigned as the executor(s) must use their Letter of Appointment to properly assign the title to a new owner. The Letter of Appointment must be provided with the title to the new owner. If the title is not available, the executor(s) can apply for a replacement title using the Letter of Appointment and the Application for Replacement of Iowa Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle (Iowa DOT form 411033).

Without Probate

If the individual’s death did not go through probate, the vehicle can be transferred to the next of kin using the Certification of Death Testate (With a Will) (Iowa DOT form 411083) or Affidavit of Death Intestate (Iowa DOT form 411088) form. If the person entitled to the vehicle is not the next of kin but is given the vehicle per a will, then they also can use the Certification of Death Testate (With a Will) (Iowa DOT form 411083). A copy of the death certificate must be provided at the time of transfer. If there are any unreleased security interests on the vehicle, those will carry forward to the new owner unless a separate, notarized Cancellation of Security Interest (Iowa DOT form 411168) or an original letter on the lien holder’s letterhead releases interest. The letter must be notarized and contain the following information:

  • Make
  • Year
  • VIN
  • Owner’s name(s) and address
  • Signature of authorized person
Q

How much will my registration cost?

A

Registration fees are determined by Iowa Statute which factors in the type of vehicle, the manufacturer’s list price, the age of the vehicle, and the vehicle's weight.  To estimate your registration fee, please see the Registration Fees by Vehicle Type.

Q

I lost my renewal notice and do not have my Web PIN. How can I renew my registration online?

A

Renewal Notices are created and mailed by a third party and counties do not have the ability to reprint them.  

If you do not have your Web PIN, you can also use the Audit Number that is included on the bottom left portion of your current vehicle registration to renew online.  See the following Example Vehicle Registration.

If you do not have your current vehicle registration, you can contact us to obtain your Web PIN.

Q

I purchased a vehicle with a salvage title. How do I obtain a regular title?

A

Individuals or organizations that purchase a salvage vehicle with a salvage title must transfer the title in their county of residence within 30 days of purchase. 

In order to transfer your salvage title to a regular title, you must first have the vehicle repaired, inspected, and titled within 30 days of the date of purchase.

Q

I want to sell my vehicle for junk/scrap. How do I obtain a junking certificate?

A

Junking certificates are only issued on titled vehicles. If you sell your vehicle for junk or scrap, the purchaser must surrender the title to the County Treasurer in their county of residence within 30 days and apply for a junking certificate.
If the owner junks or dismantles a vehicle, they must:

  • Surrender the title and registration
  • Surrender the license plates (unless the plates are being transferred to a replacement vehicle)
  • Apply for a junking certificate using the Application for Junking Certificate (DOT form#411123)
     
Q

I'm in the military. Can I place my vehicle in storage while I'm on active duty?

A

If the vehicle is registered for the current year and the owner has entered the military service of the United States in time of war and the vehicle has been placed in storage, a refund may be applied for on the unexpired months of the registration year by making a verbal statement.

Registration plates must be turned in. Upon the owner's return to the state of Iowa, the vehicle will be registered for the remaining months of the registration year.

Q

I'm in the military. Do I need to register my vehicle in Iowa if I'm stationed in Iowa on active duty?

A

Iowa Residents

A member of the armed forces who is a resident of Iowa must pay the same registration fees that apply to other residents when registering a vehicle in this state.

Non-Residents

If you are a nonresident member of the armed forces you are not required to register a vehicle in Iowa provided that your vehicle is properly registered in your state of residency.

A nonresident may register a vehicle in this state, if desired, in the same manner as any nonresident, with the following exceptions that apply to passenger cars:

Q

If paying registration online, where can I find my PIN?

A

Your PIN is specific to you and should not change so you can use it from year to year. The PIN is located on your renewal notice in the top right-hand corner. If you cannot find it, you can contact our office at 641-585-4430.

Q

Questions about abandoned vehicles?

A

Visit the Iowa DOT website for more information.

Q

What happens if I don't pay my registration renewal within my renewal window?

A

If you fail to pay your registration renewal within your renewal window, a penalty is assessed at a rate of 5% of the annual renewal amount, per vehicle, per month with a $5.00 per vehicle minimum. If the last day of the month is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, renewals can be completed on the first business day of the following month without added penalty.

Q

When is a title required for a vehicle?

A

All motor vehicles, mobile homes, travel trailers, and semi-trailers must be titled (exception: regular and semi trailers with an empty weight of 2,000 lbs. or less are only registered).

Property Taxes

Q

How can we pay taxes?

A

You may pay by any of the following convenient ways:

  1. Through the mail. Postmark must be by September 30 for the first half payment and March 31 for the second half payment to avoid penalty.
  2. In our office at the Courthouse from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
  3. Online through the Iowa Treasurer's website. You must have the 5-digit receipt number located on your tax statement available.
Q

What and when is a tax sale?

A

The tax sale is the sale of any unpaid property taxes within the county as of the first part of June. The tax sale is held electronically on the third Monday in June.

Q

What is the penalty if property taxes are paid late?

A

1.5% penalty is assessed per month after the due date.

Q

When are property taxes due?

A

Because we run on a fiscal year and not a calendar year:

  • First half taxes are September 1st, delinquent October 1
  • Second half taxes are due March 1st, delinquent April 1
Q

When do I receive my property tax billing/statement?

A

Taxes are billed every fall and statements typically go out in the mail in mid-late August.

Q

Where can I find my receipt number to pay taxes online?

A

Your receipt number is printed on your statement. If you need assistance finding your receipt number please call our office at 641-585-2322.

Q

Where do I file for homestead credit?

A

Almost all credits are applied for through the Assessor's Office.*

*The one we handle is the elderly/disabled credit which is a paper that has to be completed each year. It is due by June 1st and you’re qualified based on yearly household income.  

Driver's License

Q

Can I schedule a driving test?

A

We do driving tests Monday - Friday by appointment only. We do not do CDL or motorcycle drive tests. 

For a CDL driving test, Visit the Iowa DOT website to schedule an appointment.

Q

How can I view my driving record?

A

Get a noncertified copy of your driving record at no charge. It is for reference only and cannot be used for official or legal purposes. Click here to access Non Certified Driving Record

Purchase a certified copy of your driving record for $5.50 plus an online processing fee of $3.00. This record is your official driving record certified by the Iowa DOT and can be used for official or legal purposes. Click here to purchase Certified Driving Record from the Iowa DOT

Q

How do I add or change my Emergency Contact information?

A

We will verify your Emergency Contact information with you at your driver's license appointment or you can manage your Emergency Contact information anytime online by logging in with your Iowa driver’s license or identification card.

Q

How do I decide whether I need a Real ID-marked Driver's license or ID card?

A

New applicants - New applicants are already required to bring all the required documents needed to qualify for a REAL ID-marked card. If you are new to Iowa or are newly returned to the state and you successfully complete the requirements for an Iowa driver's license or ID card, you will be issued a REAL ID-marked card.

Current driver's license or ID card holders - If you currently hold a driver's license or ID card that is not marked as REAL ID-compliant (gold star), you can decide whether you want to apply for a REAL ID-marked card. If you will use your card for federal official purposes (i.e., boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, accessing federal facilities that require identification to enter, or entering nuclear power plants), then you may want to apply for a REAL ID-marked card.

If you do not currently use your card for these purposes and do not expect to in the future, you may decide you don’t need a REAL ID-marked card.

Also, if you have another form of federal identification you can use for these purposes, such as a valid U.S. passport or passport card, you may decide you don’t need a REAL ID-marked card.

Already have an Iowa driver's license or ID card with a REAL ID star? Then there is nothing more to do. You can continue to renew your driver's license or ID card as usual, and it will continue to be marked with a REAL ID star.

Q

How do I sign up for Parent-Taught Driver's Education?

A

Parent-taught driver education was created and authorized by the Iowa legislature for parents that wish to teach driver education to their own children. There are 3 simple steps to meet requirements.  Click here to be linked to the requirements, process, and Iowa DOT approved courses.

Q

How does my child get a school permit?

A

They must have taken driver's education and held their permit for 6 months with no accidents or citations. They will need to fill out a Minor School Affidavit and have it signed by their principal. Most schools have these at their disposal.

Q

How much will an ID cost?

A

An ID costs $8 and is good for 8 years. The same documents are needed to get an ID as getting a driver's license.

Q

How much will my license cost?

A

An operator’s license is $4 per year.
A CDL is $8 per year.

Q

I got my license renewed but the expiration only shows it’s good for one month?

A

Yes, the paper license is a temporary document and expires in 30 days. Your real plastic license should arrive in the mail within that time frame. If it has not arrived in 30 days, please call the number on the back of the paper copy to see if it has been returned to them, if they can track it for you, or if they can give us permission to reissue. You can also view the status of your driver’s license/ID card request online.

Q

I lost my driver's license, how can I get a new one?

A

Call our office at 641-585-5387 to make an appointment to replace your license.

Q

I’m 16, what do I need to do to get my license?

A

You will need to bring in a parent and your current permit. You must have taken driver's ed, held a permit for one year, and have a clean driving record for the past six months.

Q

I’m 17, what do I need to do to get my full license?

A

You will need to bring in a parent to sign if you are under 18. You must have held the intermediate license for a year with a clean record. After you turn 18, those requirements are no longer needed. 

Q

My child drives to their other parent's house every other week. Can we put two addresses on their school permit?

A

Yes, as long as they are the parents. No other address can be put on the form. No address out of the school district is allowed. Put the second address under “Additional address that student intends to drive from" on the Minor School Affidavit.

Q

My license has been suspended or revoked, what are my requirements to reinstate my license?

A

You can view your reinstatement requirements if your driver license is suspended or revoked or call our office at 641-585-5387 and we can look up your requirements for you.

Q

What does my child need to take their permit test?

A

They will need their birth certificate, social security card, 2 pieces of mail with their name and address, and a parent with them. If the parent cannot be present, they will need to bring in a signed Parent/Guardians Written Consent Form.  Be sure to complete each section and answer all questions regarding the credential your minor is requesting.

Q

What is the phone and fax number to the Iowa DOT?

A

Phone: 515-244-9124
Fax: 515-239-1837

Q

When can I renew my driver’s license?

A

You can renew in our office 30 days before and up to 60 days after your expiration date. If you are over a year expired you will have to complete all testing.

Mobile Homes and Trailers

Q

How do I complete a title transfer for a mobile or manufactured home?

A

A new owner has 30 days to present the properly assigned title to the County Treasurer so that a title can be issued in the new owner's name.

All documents must be completed in black or blue ballpoint pen and either mailed or through an appointment to transfer the title.

Seller(s) complete

  • Title assignment: Buyer(s) name and address on the assignment line.  Up to three names may be listed as owners on a title
  • Date of Sale
  • Signature of seller: If jointly owned with the name connector 'AND', both sellers must sign

Buyer(s) complete

  • The Iowa Application for Iowa Title and/or Registration Form (Iowa DOT form 411007)
    • Owner Information
      • All buyers must complete owner information (1, 2, & 3) and are required to sign at the bottom of the application
    • Vehicle Information
      • Completed by using the information on the title
    • Security Interest Information
      • If there is a lien to be noted on the title, provide all information requested. If no lien against the vehicle, print “none” after the words “If none, so state.”
    • Purchase Price
      • Must be declared on new mobile homes or first time title if no tax has been paid.
      • “Use Tax” will be imposed on manufactured housing and mobile homes at the rate of 5 percent.  The tax is based on 20 percent of the purchase price.  If no tax is due, complete page 2 of the Application for Tax Exemption using UT08.  More information on “Use Tax” can be found in Iowa Administrative Code 701.250.

Mobile homes or Manufactured Housing

A mobile home tax clearance is required for the transfer of a mobile/manufactured home.  The tax clearance form will be completed by the last county that collected the mobile home tax.  The transfer of ownership will be completed in the county where the mobile/manufactured home is located.  To obtain a tax clearance, the owner who sells a home between July 1 and December 31 must pay the September tax installment and is not required to pay the March tax installment.  The owner who sells a home between January 1 and June 30 must pay the March tax installment.  All delinquent taxes and Tax Sales must be paid in full.

Q

How do I complete a title transfer for a trailer?

A

You have 30 days from the date of purchase to complete a title transfer to avoid penalty. All trailer transfers require a completed Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration [DOT form 411007].

Small Trailers

Small trailers weighing 2000 lbs. empty weight or less only require registration and do not need to be titled.

Requirements:

  • Completed Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration
  • A bill of sale, the prior owner’s registration signed over, or a title (if coming from a state that issues titles on small trailers)
    • a weight slip is helpful for determing the actual weight of the trailer if there is any question as to whether it is over or under 2000 lbs.
    • a photo of the trailer along with any additional photos of distinguishing marks/labels will allow for a more accurate record of the trailer.
  • If brand new, small trailers are required to have bill or sale or dealer invoice and may have a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin.

Annual Registration Fee: $20

Large Regular/Semi Trailers

Large Regular/Semi trailers weigh over 2000 lbs. empty weight and are titled and registered in Iowa. 

Requirements:

Title Fee: $25

Annual Registration Fee: $30

Homemade Trailers

If you have built a trailer weighing 2000 lbs. or less:

If the trailer weighs more than 2000 lbs.:

Recreational Vehicles

Q

How do I complete a title transfer for Towable Recreational Vehicles?

A

Towable recreational vehicles are designed as a place of human habitation for vacation or recreational purposes. The annual registration fee for towable recreational vehicles is based on the model year and square footage.

Requirements: