Iowa Registration Renewal: Online, In Person, and By Mail

The Iowa Department of Transportation oversees your vehicle’s registration renewal. You’ll need to complete a renewal to continue driving, legally. Your expiration depends on when you had registered and is noted on the registration documents.

You should receive a renewal notice from the IA DMV before your vehicle’s expiration.

The renewal notice covers items like your vehicle information, fees and requirements, and a PIN you can use to renew online. If you did not receive a renewal notice, you can check with your local DMV or the IA DMV website. An old address is a likely scenario – get this changed as soon as you can!

You can renew your vehicle’s registration:

  • In-person
  • Online
  • By Mail

Failing to renew your car’s registration can result in penalties. Given your license isn’t suspended or you have other restrictions from completing it – use the sections below to complete the renewal steps.

Iowa Car Registration Renewal: Step-by-Step

You have up to 1 month before or after to renew your vehicle in Iowa.

Waiting to renew beyond the expiration date incurs a late fee. This fee is 5% of the renewal (or $5 depending on fees) for every month beyond its expiration.

Renewing In-Person

Rather handle business face-to-face? A trip to your local DMV shouldn’t take long.

Here is what you’ll do when renewing in-person:

  1. Present your IA driver’s license or ID
  2. Submit your vehicle registration or renewal notice
  3. Pay your renewal fees

That’s it! Your vehicle’s registration has been renewed.

Renewing Online

An online renewal is the fastest way to renew your Iowa car registration. You will provide information found on the renewal notice when renewing online.

Online renewal varies by county.

Given you pass the requirements and have documents ready:

  1. Visit your county renewal portal
    1. Browse by county
    2. Search by plate
  2. Enter your renewal PIN
    1. Note: Located on your renewal notice
    2. Else: Use your license plate #
    3. Or: Your vehicle’s registration audit #
  3. Complete the transaction
  4. Print your receipt

You should receive your registration by mail in a week.

Renewing by Mail

Mail-in renewal is slower but provides a good alternative if you can’t get online. Or, if you rather avoid going to a DMV location.

  1. Complete your renewal notice form or registration info
  2. Write a check or money order covering your fees

Mail your registration renewal documents to your local Iowa treasurer’s office. You should receive your new documents not long after your info is processed.

Congratulations, You’re Done!

You’ve completed the IA vehicle registration renewal.

Keep track of your expiration date by writing it on your calendar. Otherwise, keep an eye out for the next time a renewal notice comes your way. Forgoing renewal can land you in trouble with fines and penalties so don’t let this lapse. And, as always, continue practicing safe driving!