How to Register a Boat in Iowa

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Situated in the Mid-Western part of the United States of America, Iowa is in close proximity to two important rivers of North America- Missouri and Mississippi. This 19th-century state is full of cornfields, rivers, and lakes. Lake Red Rock, Rathbun lake, Big Spirit Lake, etc., are pretty popular for boating as well as fishing.

Both wealthy and middle-class people in Iowa go for buying watercraft as spending the holidays on the water is a popular activity in this state. If you own a boat, you will have to go through its registration process, and it will be necessary to acquire the boat title. So, keep reading to know basic facts about registration in Iowa.

What Type of Boats Must be Registered in Iowa?

In the state of Iowa, each and every boat is subject to registration and titling. Even the boats of coast guards also need proper boat registration. But, there are some exceptions. If you have any inflatable vessel with a length below 7 ft, you won’t have to go for boat registration at all.

Similarly, the Kayaks under 13 ft in length can also be operated without registration and titling.

What Information is Required to Register a Boat in Iowa?

To register your boat, you will require a few documents. The most important document is the bill of sale or the proof of ownership. If you buy the boat from a previous owner, you have to transfer the ownership to your name. Other than this document, you will also need the boat registration application form. If you are going for a renewal, you should keep the title and registration certificate of the boat with you.

How Much Does it Cost to Register a Boat in Iowa?

It can be pretty expensive in Iowa to register a boat. If you own a new boat without a motor, it will cost you around 10 dollars for its registration and titling. But, for other personal crafts, it will be more than 30 dollars. For renewal of registration in Iowa, you will have to spend around 50 dollars and above.

Where Do You Go To Register Your Boat in Iowa?

It is the department of natural resources which takes care of the boat registration of every water vehicle. This governmental body will issue the final certificate of registration. These days, the Iowa DNR has online websites, and you can mail them for inquiry. Some boat owners go to DMV or Driving Motor Vehicles office to register their boat. You can submit the boat registration form there; after that, they will guide you to the Department of Natural Resources for further titling process.

Can You Mail Your Boater Registration Form in Iowa?

Yes, you can. If you own a second-hand boat, you can mail the boater registration certificate for renewal. Sometimes, the transfer is also possible through the mail. Due to the worldwide pandemic of Coronavirus, the Iowa DNR will entertain mailed copies of boater registration from the boat operators. If there is any case of theft or permanent damage to your boat, you should mail it to the Iowa DNR within ten days.

Where Do You Have to Keep the Boat Registration Number in Iowa?

Many boat owners in Iowa prefer keeping the Boat Registration Number as a decal. They paint this registration number in block letters so that other boats can see this number from a certain distance. Generally, the registration number of a boat is on both sides of its forward half. You should not place any fishing net, life belt, or any anchor rope on top of the registration number.

Where Do You Display Hull Identification Number in Iowa?

Since 1972, all the boats are bound to have a visible Hull Identification Number. This multi-character number makes your boat unique. The Hull Identification Number is generally found on the rear side of the transom. The Hull Identification Number is near either the hull or the transom, whichever is at the lowest part of the boat. According to the federal law of Iowa, every boat owner should show this HIN number on their boat. You can install some bright light on your boat to help others see the Hull Identification Number.

Many people are seen in Iowa operating pontoon boats, deck boats, fishing boats, etc. If you wish to join that group, you should purchase a boat under your budget and do the registration as soon as possible. It may take a while but keep your patience.