Most new boats must be registered through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources before they can be sailed.
VESSELS THAT REQUIRE REGISTRATION
- Vessels sailing in Iowa waters
VESSELS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION
- Any boat that is propelled only by oars or paddles, inflatable and less than 7 feet
- Boats registered in another state and not being used in Iowa for more than 60 days
- Canoes and kayaks, less than 13 feet
- A ship's lifeboat
- Swimming aids
- Boats registered in another country temporarily plying in Iowa waters
- Boats owned by the United states, a solitary state, a county, or a municipality used for search and rescue operations or for educational purposes
TO REGISTER IN PERSON
- You can register a boat in person by visiting your local County Recorder's Office.
- You must bring a completed boat registration application and proof of ownership such as a bill of sale, original registration, sales tax receipt when needed, invoice, bill of lading, certificate of origin, or out-of-state title.
TO REGISTER BY U.S. MAIL
The boat registration application and proof of ownership can also be mailed to the nearest County Recorder's Office.
Boat registration fees range from $5 to $28, depending on the size of the vessel. See here for a more detailed breakdown of the registration fees. In addition, there may be vessels registered in Iowa may be subject to sales taxes in the county of registration.
- Both the vessel registration number and current decals must be clearly displayed on the vessel, according to Iowa requirements
- For additional information, see the Iowa Boating Law and Registration page, or call the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at (515) 281-5918