• TITLE TRANSFERS

IA Title Transfers

When you buy or are given a new vehicle, the most important step in obtaining ownership over the vehicle is to get the title transferred from the previous owner to your name. This will be the main method of proving you are the vehicle’s lawful owner, and ensuring that you are able to move forth with your vehicle’s registration and other vehicle services as well.

You should never purchase a vehicle without a title, and you should never forget to transfer the vehicle title to ensure that you are able to prove the vehicle is yours and not someone else’s. The DMV must also be able to keep track of the vehicle’s owners, knowing who to send the important documents for the vehicle to.

There are various different vehicle transactions that cause the need for a title transfer in IA, including:

  • New vehicle purchase
  • Vehicle sale
  • Vehicle loan payoff
  • Vehicle transfer between family
  • Vehicle received as gift
  • Vehicle donation
  • Vehicle inheritance
  • Vehicle title name correction

Selling Your Car in Iowa

Selling your vehicle is a process in itself, featuring several guidelines, requirements, and practices that should be taken into consideration. While you are searching for the best of the best in vehicle selling tools, the vehicle history report is definitely going to shine much brighter than the rest. This report is just the thing that your potential buyers are looking for in order to properly judge the value and quality of the vehicle.

Once you sell the vehicle, it is time to transfer the title, which can be done with the following steps:

1.   Locate current vehicle title

2.   Both buyer and seller must sign rear section of title certificate

3.   An accurate odometer reading must be input into the appropriate section of the title

4.   Print and sign your name in front of the notary public

5.   Remove plates, keeping or surrendering, depending on the law of the state

6.   Give title to the vehicle’s new owner, who is responsible for completing the transfer

While a Bill of Sale may not be a requirement, it definitely can’t hurt to complete one with the buyer.

Buying a Vehicle in Iowa

Getting a vehicle from a dealership can be the easiest method as the dealer will complete the titling, registration, and even plating of the vehicle for you. If you, however, decide that a used vehicle would be better for you, you must complete your title transfer on your own with the DMV.

1.   Get the signed title from the seller – which is a must and is not a step that should ever be skipped.

2.   Ensure the seller has completed the appropriate portion on the title. If they haven’t and you don’t find out until you get to the DMV, you will have to wait to transfer the title and register the car.

3.   Appear in front of a notary public in the county and sign your portion of the title next to “buyer”.

4.   Visit your local vehicle servicing DMV office.

5.   Complete the appropriate form provided by the DMV.

6.   Show your photo identification card or another form of ID.

7.   Pay your title transfer fee in office.

8.   Pay the necessary sales tax if applied.

Check with the DMV to determine whether the seller must complete any other forms before the title can be transferred so you aren’t wasting your time. Be sure to complete the title transfer before the time allowed by the state is up so you aren’t hit with higher fees.

Removing a Title Lien

If there is a lien on the title, you will have to first have it removed before the title can be transferred into your name. You must contact the DMV and the lien holder to determine the appropriate steps for removing the lien so you can claim ownership over the vehicle.

Title Transfers for Different Situations

Whether you are selling, gifting, or donating the vehicle, the title transfer process is going to be the same. You must print and sign your name in the appropriate section of the title, getting it notarized as you do so, providing the new owner with all the documents and title that is needed for the transfer to take place.

While the circumstances, costs, and overall process may change a bit, the new owner is always going to be the responsible party for completing the transfer of title certificate on the vehicle before any other actions can take place with the vehicle – including driving it.


 

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