Recreational owners and operators on public ice and designated public riding trails and areas must have their machines currently registered with either the Department or another state if a nonresident. Regardless of residency, machines must display a current registration decal and have the registration certificate on board. ALL machines are also requried to display a valid DNR User Permit. (This is a new rule from the 2012 Legislative Session.)
Registrations and DNR User Permits must be renewed annually and are nontransferrable. Both can be acquired starting September 1 each year and are valid for the remainder of the year plus the entire following calendar year.
All Iowa registrations and DNR User Permits expire December 31 each calendar year. A $5.00 penalty is added to the renewal cost for an expired Iowa registration. There is no grace period.
Residents can obtain registrations and renewals from a County Recorder Office. Nonresidents can obtain registration from their home state or an Iowa registration from the County Recorder Office in the county of primary use. DNR User Permits may be obtained at any license vendor (County Recorder Office or participating retailer) that sells hunting and fishing privileges.
Complete list of vendors and locations that sell Iowa hunting, fishing, and IDNR User Permits.
Registration of a New or Transfered Machine
Purchase from a Dealer: Dealers are required to collect the registration and title fees for a machine that is required to be registered.1 The dealer will issue to the purchaser a placard bearing the words "registration applied for" and space for the purchase date. The placard entitles the purchaser to operate the machine for 45 days immediately following the purchase while the registration is being processed.
Purchase by private sale: The purchaser of a machine with a valid registration may operate it for 30 days immediately following the purchase without having completed a transfer of registration. If the registration is expired, the machine must be registered prior to operating the machine in areas where a registration is required.
ALL SNOWMOBILES THAT ARE REGISTERED ARE REQUIRED TO BE TITLED. IF A LIEN IS PLACED ON A MACHINE, THAT MACHINE MUST BE TITLED. ONCE A MACHINE IS TITLED, IT IS ALWAYS TITLED.
Services Available at a County Recorder's Office
- All new registrations - $17.75
- Renewals - $17.75
- DNR User Permits - $17.75
- Duplicate registrations - $7.75
- Titles - $11.50
- Liens - $ 11.50
Services Available at License Vendors
- DNR User Permits - $17.50
Exemptions to Registration1
Registration is not required for the following machines:
- Owned by the United States, this state, or another state, or by a governmental subdivision thereof, and used for enforcement, search and rescue, or official research and studies, but not for recreational or commercial purposes.
- Used for agricultural purposes and/or solely on private property.
Registration Decals and DNR User Permit Decals - Display
- The decals shall be affixed to the windshield so they are clearly visible.
- If there is no windshield, the the decals shall be affixed to the area on the hood near the headlamp so that they are clearly visible.
Application for Boats, Snowmobiles, ATVs and ORVs Application for Boats, Snowmobiles, ATVs and ORVs (Form #542-8067)
Snowmobile Dealer, Manufacturer, or Distributor Application for Special Certificates
(Registration, Title, Lien, Subsequent Security, and Bonding)
Instructions for Bonding Boats, Snowmobile, ATVs and ORVsInstructions for Bonding Boats, Snowmobile, ATVs and ORVs
Affidavit for Unregistered or UntitledAffidavit for Unregistered or UntitledAffidavit for Unregistered or Untitled (Form #542-8074)
(All-Terrain Vehicles, Off Road Utility Vehicles, Snowmobiles or Vessels)
List of Iowa Snowmobile DealersList of Iowa Snowmobile Dealers