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Licenses & Registrations

Changes Effective July 1, 2012

IDNR User Permits
Starting 7/1/2012 all snowmobiles operated on public land and ice in the State of Iowa must display an IDNR user permit in addition to the registration decal issued from Iowa or another state. The requirement to display an IDNR user permit only applies to ATVs, ORMs, and ORVs registered in another state.

Off-road Utility Vehicles
Starting 7/1/2012 ORVs will be required to be registered and titled in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 321I.

Proof of Insurance
Iowa Code § 321.20B provides that a person shall not drive a motor vehicle on the highways of this state unless financial liability coverage is in effect for the motor vehicle and the driver has in the motor vehicle the proof of financial liability coverage card issued for the motor vehicle. The exception for ATVs and ORVs was rescinded effective July 1, 2012. Please see Iowa Code § 321.20B for more details.


The County Recorder is responsible for the registration and title of boats, snowmobiles and ATV’s.
Tips to Avoid Problems When Buying a Used ATV, Snowmobile, or Personal Watercraft

Boat Registrations/Titles/Liens
Boat registrations expire on April 30th, every three years starting in 2007. Boat fees are based on the length of the boat. All boats 17 feet and longer require a title (except canoes and kayaks).

Items needed when transferring a boat:

  • Bill of Sale
  • Most recent registration (signature of seller required on back of registration)
  • Title, if applicable (signature of seller required on back of title)
  • Proof sales tax has been paid, if applicable
  • Application for Registration, Title and Security Interest

State Sales Tax Information:

  • Sales of boats and other watercraft in Iowa are subject to the state sales tax plus local option sales tax, if any. This applies to sales by individuals and dealers.
  • Anyone purchasing a boat from an individual should obtain a sales 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.

Handbook of Iowa Boating Laws and Responsibilities

Forms:
Bill of Sale
Registration, Title and Security Interest Application


Snowmobile Registrations/Titles/Liens
All snowmobiles operated in Iowa on ice or a designated trail must have a current registration decal displayed on the machine. The decal must be placed on the windshield or area closest to the headlamp so that it is clearly visible. Registrations expire on December 31 of each year. Titles are required on snowmobiles registered since January 1998.

Items needed when transferring a snowmobile:

  • Bill of Sale
  • Most recent registration (signature of seller required on back of registration)
  • Title, if applicable (signature of seller required on back of registration)
  • Proof sales tax has been paid, if applicable
  • Application for Registration, Title and Security Interest

Snowmobile Reference Guide

Forms:
Bill of Sale
Registration, Title and Security Interest Application


ATV Registrations/Title/Liens
Any ATV or off-road motorcycle operated on ice, designated trails, or an OHV park must have a current registration decal displayed on the machine. On an ATV this decal must be placed so that it is clearly visible on the rear of the machine. Registration is not required for ATVs being used only for agricultural purposes.

Items needed when transferring an ATV:

  • Bill of Sale
  • Most recent registration (signature of seller required on back of registration)
  • Title, if applicable (signature of seller required on back of registration)
  • Proof sales tax has been paid, if applicable
  • Application for Registration, Title and Security Interest

Off-Highway Vehicle Reference Guide

Forms:
Bill of Sale
Registration, Title and Security Interest Application


Hunting & Fishing Licenses
The Recorder’s office sells fishing, hunting, fur harvester, deer and wild turkey licenses. Habitat, migratory bird and trout fees may be purchased as well. Our office also has other special licenses available including:

  • Annual Fishing License for persons with permanent severe physical or mental disabilities
  • Annual Hunting & Fishing License for low income or permanently disabled
  • Veteran Lifetime Hunting/Fishing/ License
  • Authorization to use Crossbow for Deer/Turkey Hunting
  • Game Breeders License
  • Permit to use motor vehicle on game management areas or parks by non-ambulatory persons
  • Annual Fishing Permit for substance abuse/health care facilities or juvenile shelter care homes
  • Instructions and application for Landowner/Tenant Registration for deer or turkey

For additional information visit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources or contact the DNR at 515-281-8688.