How to Transfer a Vehicle Title in Iowa

A title transfer is required in Iowa to prove ownership if you bought a new or used car. The title transfer is required if you sold, donated, or gifted your car, too.

You will visit an Iowa County Treasurer’s office in this process.

The transfer is easy requiring a few steps filing info, paying fees, and submitting paperwork. Below, you’ll learn how to complete a private sale title transfer and the alternatives.

Iowa Auto Title Transfers: How It’s Done

Selling your vehicle or buying one through a private sale?

Your best bet is having both parties go to the local clerk’s office to avoid any potential issues. The process is largely the same between seller and buyer with a few exceptions – below, you’ll find a general overview of the process.

This is the process (including both parties):

  1. Retrieve the vehicle’s title or request a duplicate title
    1. Note: You may need a lien release from the current owner
    2. Or: Provide a lien release to the buyer (if you’re the owner)
  2. Fill the title transfer section on the Iowa certificate of title – including:
    1. Full legal name and address of buyer and owner
    2. Date of sale (month, day, and year)
    3. Name of the county and license plate expiration
    4. Odometer reading (if seller) else file the 411077 form (if separate)
    5. Damage disclosure (if seller) else file the 411108 form (unless exempt)
  3. Complete the Notice of Sale of Vehicle and Delivery of Title (411107)
    1. Owner/applicant information
    2. Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (if applicable)
    3. Odometer declaration (if applicable)
    4. Application signatures
  4. Bring the necessary, personal documents:
    1. Proof of identification
    2. Proof of insurance
    3. Documents stating any liens have been paid
    4. Bill of sale (consider notarizing the document)
    5. Statement of lien satisfaction
  5. Pay the taxes and fees
    1. Transfer: $25
    2. Taxes: Varies

* The title transfer may happen when receiving a duplicate title.

Always keep copies of the bill of sale for record-keeping. Congratulations, you’ve completed the Iowa title transfer application and switched ownership of the vehicle!

Alternative Title Transfers in Iowa

Iowa wants to know when titles are transferred outside of private sales whether buying from a car lot or passing the vehicle & title around family and friends.

Buying from Dealerships

Dealerships will process your title & registration, sending documents to their appropriate locations. If they don’t, request the forms and deliver them to an IA DMV. They will complete the title application form and do the process as noted in the section above.

Out-of-State Vehicles

Bringing a vehicle from another state requires you to file the Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration (411007), provide the title, and pay any transfer and registration fees. You’ll have up to 30 days to complete this process. You should also get IA auto insurance before the registration/titling.

Inheriting a Vehicle

Inheriting a vehicle from a deceased family member involves:

  • Filing the Form 411007
  • Providing a document supporting the inheritance (e.g. Death certificate)
  • Paying the fees and taxes

This process, as you can see, is largely the same as the private sales process.

Gifted/Donated Vehicles

You will complete the process much like transferring a title through private sales. Except, you’ll typically be eligible for a tax credit because it’s gifted/donated. Work with your chosen non-profit to find the best way to donate your vehicle in Iowa.