Quick and easy access to recreational privileges in Iowa, including hunting, fishing, and specialty licenses:
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Iowa's natural resources plates include the state bird and flower, pheasant, eagle, buck and a Brook trout. Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle.
Natural Resource Plates
Experience Iowa's natural beauty and all the fun our state parks offer. Make your online reservation for state park cabins, camping sites, shelters and lodges.
Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle.
Natural Resource Plates
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If you are purchasing a used boat, snowmobile or ATV, it’s important to understand the process for transferring title and registration.
Iowa law requires seller(s) to provide the following to the buyer(s) at the time of purchase
Does my vessel/vehicle have a title?
You can call the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, your local County Recorder or your local DNR Officer to check to make sure that the vehicle/vessel that you are trying to purchase has no open liens and that the vehicle/vessel has not been reported stolen. You might also check to make sure the person selling it to you is the owner and has authority to sell it. If the vehicle/vessel is being sold at auction, a web-site or even a garage sale, the proper paperwork is still required before it can be registered.
Other things to watch for or ask for:
Your insurance company is also a good source of reference. They should be able to inform you if the vehicle/vessel has ever had a claim or been reported stolen. You can also check to see if there are any insurance requirements.
Iowa law requires transfer of ownership within 30 days. There is NO grace period. A penalty, as well as a citation could be issued if this is not done.
Buying a used vessel/vehicle from one of the many dealers which are licensed through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources can help alleviate many potential problems, because they know legal requirements.
By taking some simple precautions and doing a bit of research, buyers can prevent problems, meet their legal responsibilities, and ride those waves or hit that trail sooner.
Remember, it isn’t fun till the paperwork is done!
Have a boat, snowmobile, ATV, or ORV that you don't have a registration for and you can't get a hold of the seller to get it?
Instructions for Bonding Boats, Snowmobile, ATVs and ORVs
Bonding is only available for Iowa residents, unless you are going to use your vessel / vehicle on Iowa waters / Iowa land.
If the vessel/vehicle was last registered in Iowa, you will need to complete the bonding process.
You always need a bill of sale or proof of ownership to even do the bonding process.
Q: The last registered owner will not work with me and/or did not provide me with a title and or registration. They said they would mail it but did not.
Most likely, they did not have it and are not able to get it since it was not in their name and they are not the last registered owner as they portrayed. You will have to complete the bonding process.
The DNR will attempt to contact the next of kin/executor of the estate who may be able to sign for the last registered owner. You most likely will still have to complete the bonding process.
The one and only person that can obtain a lien release is the last registered owner. And, with banks being bought and sold, it is sometimes impossible to obtain a lien release even if you are the last registered owner. The vehicle cannot be bonded or registered if the lien cannot be released.
It may have been stolen from them at some point and could legally be returned leaving you out the money you spent on it.
It does not legally belong to you. If it has been abandoned, you must relinquish it to the local Sheriff.
See abandonment - Iowa Code 556B
At this time, there is no cost from the DNR to complete the bonding process unless you end up purchasing a bond during the long process. The cost of the bond will be initiated by and paid to the insurance company where you purchase the bond. You will still have to pay the normal registration fees for the vessel or vehicle at the County Recorder's office in your county.
Please contact us:
Affidavit for Unregistered or Untitled (Form #542-8074)
Affidavit of Sale to Satisfy Artisan's/Storage/Landlord's Lien (Form #542-0977)
Application for Boats, Snowmobiles, ATVs and ORVs (Form #542-8067)
Hull Identification Number (HIN) Affidavit (Form #542-2000)
Power of Attorney
Final Checklist for Bond Application
We are unable to complete the bonding process without having one either a registration number or Manufacturer Identification Number. If you are unable to locate either of these numbers, please contact your local conservation officer prior to submitting this contact form.