Polk County Treasurer

  • When is a title required?

    All motor vehicles, mobile homes, travel trailers, semi-trailers, and regular trailers over 2000 lbs. must be titled.

  • Having bought a vehicle, how long do I have to transfer the title?

    The new owner has 30 days to present the properly assigned title to his/her county treasurer so that a title can be issued in the new owner’s name. Penalties will apply after 30 days.

  • Can I drive the vehicle in the meantime?

    The buyer can drive the vehicle for 30 days without plates, as long as the vehicle was currently licensed by the seller. The properly assigned title and proof of insurance must be available in the vehicle in case the buyer is stopped by law enforcement.

  • How do I apply for a lost or replacement title?

    Complete the Application for Replacement of Iowa Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle 411033. The application must be signed by all owners. 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 411168. A 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, and the letter must be notarized.

    Once the application is received either in person or by mail there is a mandatory 5-day waiting period before the replacement title is issued. The fee for a replacement title is $25.00.

  • What if my vehicle hasn’t been registered for years?

    If the vehicle has not been registered for many years, the vehicle may have dropped off the state motor vehicle system. An old registration (the most recent is preferred) will help us research and re-establish the record for the replacement title. If one is not available, bring in the VIN or plate number.

  • What if my car is not titled in Iowa?

    If the vehicle has an out-of-state title, then the owner will have to apply for a replacement title in the state where the vehicle was last titled.

  • Does a lien affect getting a replacement title?

    If there is an open lien on the vehicle, the application will need to be signed by the lien holder. If the lien holder no longer has an interest in the vehicle, a separate notarized lien release listing the make, year, VIN, owners name(s) and address is required (see Cancellation of Security Interest - Form 411168). In this situation, all owners of the vehicle would be required to sign the replacement title application.

  • What forms of payment do you accept?

    We accept cash, checks (out-of-state is acceptable), money orders, cashiers’ checks, and bank drafts. We also accept credit cards (Master Card, Discover, Visa and American Express). There is a non-refundable service delivery fee when using credit cards which varies based on the amount being charged.

  • Where do I transfer my new vehicle?

    You transfer your vehicle title in the county treasurer’s office in the county in which you live.

  • If the vehicle purchased or sold is 10 years old or older, what do I need to do?

    To insure all documents are completed correctly read both seller and buyer responsibilities. All documents are to be completed in dark ink.   Seller's responsibility:

    The seller shall complete the "Assignment of Title" section located on the back of the title document with:  

    • 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 signed in dark ink.

    If the vehicle is jointly owned and the word 'or' appears as the name connector, only one signature and printed name is required to sell the vehicle. Otherwise, all signatures and printed names are required.  

    Buyer’s responsibility:

    The buyer shall complete the following: 

    • Complete the Application for "Certificate of Title" portion of the title or obtain a separate Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration form (Form number 411007). All buyers must include printed full legal name, Iowa driver’s license number or Iowa state identification number or Social Security number, and date of birth.  
    • Purchase price must be declared. If there will be no lien on the new title, print "none" after the words "If none, so state." in the security interest information area. If there is a lien, provide all information as requested in that area.  
    • All buyers are required to sign the "Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration".  
    • The buyer has 30 days from the date of sale to complete the transfer to avoid title and registration penalty. The buyer can only drive the vehicle for 30 days without plates as long as the vehicle is currently licensed and not in the seller’s grace month.  
    • How much will this cost? You may link to the Fee Estimator Worksheet which will give you an estimate of the fees due.  

    Fee Estimator Worksheet
    Iowa Application for Iowa Title and/or Registration Form

  • If the vehicle purchased or sold is 9 years old or newer, what do I need to do?

    • All of the requirements outlined above for 10 years old or older apply PLUS the odometer reading with the appropriate mileage box checked (actual, not actual or exceeds). The seller completes the odometer reading (no tenths of miles) in dark ink. Titles with an area for a mileage reading must be completed and a separate odometer statement will not be accepted in its place. Be careful when filling in the mileage because an alteration here may require a replacement title. The printed name of the seller is required as well as the signature and printed name of the buyer in dark ink.
    • A model year formula for odometer statements shall be the current year minus 10. The resulting number represents the first model year for which a motor vehicle is exempt from the odometer statement requirements for a title transfer.
  • If the vehicle purchased or sold is 7 model years old or newer, what do I need to do?

    • All of the requirements outlined above for 9 years old or older apply PLUS the damage disclosure questions on the back of the Iowa title. The seller checks the boxes. If the Iowa title issue date is prior to 01.01.2005 or it is an out-of-state title, you will need a separate Damage Disclosure Statement (Form 411108) completed. The damage disclosure for out-of-state titles can be self-certified (section 2 of form 411108) for the first Iowa assignment. Otherwise, both buyer and seller will need to sign in dark ink.
    • A model year formula for damage disclosure statements shall be the current year minus eight(8). The resulting number represents the first model year for which a motor vehicle is exempt from the damage disclosure statement requirements for a title transfer.
       
      Iowa Application for Iowa Title and/or Registration Form
      Damage Disclosure Statement
  • How do I calculate the model year of a vehicle for registration fees?

    The formula for calculating model year of vehicle for registration fees is as follows:

    Current year – vehicle model year + 1 = model year.

Contact Us

Polk County Administrative Building
111 Court Avenue, Room 154
Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2298
Vehicle:  515-286-3030 (7-4:45 pm)
Property:  515-286-3060 (7-4:45 p.m.)
Vehicle@PolkCountyIowa.gov
PropertyTax@PolkCountyIowa.gov
Treasurer@PolkCountyIowa.gov