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How To Sell Your Car in Iowa And Follow All State Rules

How To Sell Your Car in Iowa While Following All Rules

Have you been looking for guidelines on how to sell a car in Iowa? Are you lost as to what to do and what papers need to be filled out? Do you feel confused and stressed with all that needs to be done?

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If you’ve been trying to find tips and steps on how to sell a car in Iowa privately, we’re here to help! Check out and read over our steps and tips that will assist you staying organized with all requirements, documents, fees and details for a successful sale of your Iowa car!

Need additional information for selling your car privately here in Iowa? Visit the Iowa DOT today!

Sell Your Car in Iowa While Following All State Rules

Selling a vehicle can be quite easy.  Before advertising the vehicle, selling online or even privately, it’s important that you understand state and federal requirements, so that you will avoid problems between you and the buyer.

Understating the Iowa Vehicle Registration System

The state of Iowa has a staggered registration system. All vehicle license plates expire on the last day of the month, in which the vehicle owner was born.  For vehicles with more than one owner, the state may choose which owner's birth month will be used. Vehicles that are owned by entities, companies or corporations, the county treasurer will designate the month in which the registration expires.

Once the birth month to be used is established, that information will act as the point of renewal for the vehicle's license each year providing the ownership of the vehicle or any vehicle that replaces, does not change. Truck tractors and trucks over five tons gross weight are registered using a calendar method.

Removal of Iowa License Plates

For vehicles purchased within 30 days, the plates can be placed on the vehicle, as long as the fees are paid on the replacement vehicle.

If a replacement vehicle is not purchased, you must surrender the plates in to the county treasurer.

What if I Need a Duplicate Car Title here in Iowa?

When applying for a duplicate title in the state of Iowa, you must do so at your local IA DMV office. You will receive a duplicate title if the original was damaged or lost your original one. To get your duplicate car title, you must:

  • Complete the Application for Replacement of Iowa Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle (Form 411033)
  • Then, submit the form to the county treasurer's office, where the title of your vehicle was originally issued.
  • You will be charged a $25 fee.

How To Sell a Car in Iowa & the Notice of Sale Form

As an Iowa vehicle seller, you must fill out and file form #411107 which is called the “Notice of Sale of Vehicle and Delivery of Title”. Additionally, you have to file this form with the county treasurer of the county where the vehicle is registered.

Once filed, the form will serve as a document that is certifying the sale or transfer of ownership of the vehicle as well as the assignment and delivery of the title to the buyer.

Then, after the filing of this form, you can expect that the county treasurer will place a copy of the registration receipt for the vehicle on file, in the county treasurer’s office

Furthermore, on that day, the treasurer will make note or the receipt of the form in the vehicle registration and titling system.

Beforehand, you as the Iowa car seller must have already assigned and delivered the certificate of title for the vehicle.

What About the Odometer Statement?

What About the Odometer Statement?

A vehicle's odometer is a document that has recorded the number of miles driven. This document is important and must be given to the buyer of the vehicle. It must also be an honest account of the miles and correct.

If the odometer does not display the correct mileage, you must check the correct boxes on the form that indicate a reason the mileage is not actual. Be prepared to explain why the mileage is not correct.

On the back of the Iowa Certificate of Title in the assignment area, you should see an area for the odometer statement.  The state of Iowa requires that the odometer statement be completed. If there is no odometer statement on the back of the Iowa title, feel free to visit your county treasurer to get one.

How to Sell A Car in Iowa – Completing a Damage Disclosure Agreement

Here in Iowa, all vehicles must have a damage disclosure agreement. The exceptions to this are:

  1. Motorcycles
  2. Motorized bikes or vehicles
  3. Specialized mobile equipment
  4. Vehicles that are more than seven model years old
  5. Truck tractors and motor trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 16,000 pounds or higher.
  6. New motor vehicles and a true mileage of 1,000 miles or less, unless the vehicle has damage for which the cost of repair exceeds 50 % of the fair market value.

How to Sell Your Car in Iowa to an Iowa Resident

Here in Iowa, selling your car to a fellow Iowa resident is not impossible, but requires a system. As the seller, you must give the buyer the following:

  1. Bill of Sale
  2. Certificate of Title
  3. Damage disclosure statement
  4. Completed odometer statement
  5. Name of county where the vehicle was last registered as well as the date the license plates expire.

Next, you the seller, must complete the assignment, odometer and damage disclosure areas on the back of the title.

In some instances, a varying damage disclosure statement is required. For questions concerning such, talk to your county treasurer's office as you work to complete the title transfer.

If you’re not able to accompany the buyer to transfer the title, make sure you get a receipt from the buyer stating the person has bought the vehicle and has delivery of the vehicle as well as the car title.

Selling your Iowa Car to A Non-Iowa Resident

If you’re selling your car to a resident who lives outside of Iowa, you must give the buyer a:

  1. Certificate of title with the assignment portion completed correctly.
  2. The odometer statement and damage disclosure statement, completed correctly.

If the non-Iowa resident doesn’t current license plates for the vehicle and the car is currently registered, the Iowa county treasurer will issue a 30-day transit plate for a fee of $3.00.

Preparing Your Car for An Online Sale

Preparing Your Car for An Online Sale

Have you decided to sell your car online? With one look at online selling you will see that you are in great company. For example, the Des Moines Craigslist offers an array of cars for buyers to choose from!

As you can see, each online ad has lots of pictures. Your ad will have to have the same. Additionally, you will have to write a description about your car that allows potential buyers to know all about your car. For example, if you put in a new starter in your car, you should let buyers know! If your car has new mirrors or even a new windshield, you should let buyers know!

Finally, you will have to provide some way for buyers to get in touch with you. Either an email or a phone number will work best.

How to Sell Your Car in Iowa and Make it Attractive!

Just because you’re selling a used car, doesn’t mean it has to look like one. Although commons sense, we are providing some tips that can help you sell your car fast!

  1. Car Wash and Detail. A good wash of your vehicle is imperative. This shows buyers that you care about your used car. It also shows that you place effort in all you do! You may even spring to have it detailed and can even let buyers know that it was professionally detailed.
  2. Taking Care of Repairs. If your car has a fender that is bent, or some hail damage, you may want to get those things fixed, before you sell it. If not, then you should let buyers know that there is damage on the car. Worried no one will buy it because there are blemishes on your car? No worries at all! Some buyers enjoy fixing up cars and will see your car as a prize, despite the damage! Just be honest with your buyer. You will not be hindering your car’s sale!
  3. Replacing Parts. If your car needs a new oil filter, replace it. Time for new hoses and belts too? Replace them too! Your car needs to be one that is “showroom” ready and you have to have it ready!

Test Drives

Chances are, you will have a buyer or two, who request to test drive your used car. You can handle this request a number of ways. Once you agree to a test drive, you may ask for a copy of that potential buyer’s driver’s license.  Even if you are circling around the block, you want to stay protected.

Additionally, you may want to accompany the potential buyer, as they test drive your vehicle. It may also help to have a family member or a friend join the two of you on the test drive. Ultimately, it’s your decision to allow for test drives or not.

Sell Your Used Car to Cash Cars Buyer

If you are in the market for a quick sell of your used car and have decided that a private or online sale is not for you, you can sell your car to us!

We offer quick cash for used cars! Just enter your car’s information into our used car assessor and you will have an instant offer on your car in minutes! 844-663-7286! Call us today and let us help you answer “how to sell my car in Iowa” with an answer that involves quick cash!

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