New and/or transferred vessels are registered with the Polk County Recorder. Registrations expired on April 30, 2022. A $5.00 Penalty fee will be added to the renewal transaction on July 1st, 2022.  Boat fees are based on the length and type of the boat. Please call office at 515-286-3160 for registration fees. ($5.00 Penalty May Apply / Add $1.00 Handling Fee If Mailing in Payment)

Transfers need bill of sale, title if (applicable) and registration all signed by seller.

Boat Titles
Boats with a lien and boats that are 17' and over in length (except canoes and kayaks) are required to be titled.

The fee for boat titles are:

  • Title Fees: $13.50
  • Lien Fees: $13.50
  • Duplicate Title Fees: $13.50

Application for Boat Certificate of Title


Effective July 1, 2005 per the Iowa Department of Revenue:

  • Per section 45 of SF 413 amended Iowa Code section 423.3(39).
  • Sales of all recreational vehicles are subject to the 6% State sales tax (plus any local option taxes). This applies to sales by individuals and dealers.
  • Anyone purchasing a boat from an individual should obtain a receipt that shows the cost of the boat. The buyer will then pay the sales tax on the cost of the boat to the County Recorder.
  • If a trailer is purchased with the boat, the 5% motor vehicle use tax is paid to the County Treasurer.

Instructions for Boat Decals

We are open to the public 8:00am - 4:30pm Monday thru Friday. For same day service of Vital Records you must be in the office by 3:30pm. Passports are by appointment only. Call 515-286-3160 with any questions or to set up an appointment.