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How to Register a Custom or Antique Vehicle in Iowa

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Like most other motor vehicles, custom-built and antique vehicles must be properly registered and titled in the state of Iowa. However, the process of registering an antique or custom-built vehicle is different from registering a regular vehicle. If you have brought an antique or custom-built vehicle into Iowa for a first time registration, or if you have custom-assembled a vehicle in the State, you will be referred to a County Treasurer's Office near you.

WHAT ARE ANTIQUE AND CUSTOM BUILT VEHICLES?

  • In Iowa, an antique vehicle is defined as any motor vehicle that was manufactured at least twenty-five years ago. A Street Rod is a motor truck or car with gross weight under 10,000 pounds built by a known vehicle manufacturer or it is a vehicle built to look like a vehicle built before 1949.
  • The State defines a custom-built vehicle like a Reconstructed Vehicle or a Specially Constructed Vehicle, as any motor vehicle that has been assembled or completely reconstructed using new or used parts. A "Replica" is any vehicle other than motorized bicycle or motorcycle and with gross weight under 10,000 pounds built as a reproduction of an original vehicle by a recognized builder. It comprises of frame, body and other vital parts. Custom vehicles are registered with the make as "custom-built." The model year will be the year of the vehicle is built to look like.

HOW TO REGISTER AN ANTIQUE OR CUSTOM BUILT VEHICLE

You will have to visit a County Treasurer's Office near you to register your antique or custom-built Vehicle. When registering a custom-built or antique vehicle, you will need to bring the following materials to the renewal office:

  1. A completed and notarized Title Application, when obtaining a title for a new, custom-built vehicle.
  2. The Certificate of Title or manufacturer's certificate of origin, for antique or custom vehicles that have already been titled.
  3. A completed Damage Disclosure Statement for vehicles older than seven years, if ownership is being changed.
  4. An Inspector's Report, certifying that the vehicle is safe to take on the road. The Department of Transportation will provide the report, following the vehicle inspection. The vehicle must be registered within 30 days of inspection.
  5. A Bill of Sale showing ownership of the vehicle or of all major components used.

FEES

When registering an antique or custom-built vehicle, you will be required to pay the appropriate titling fees applicable in your county. Check with your County Treasurer on the exact amount to be paid and the acceptable mode of payment.

RENEWING A CUSTOM-BUILT OR ANTIQUE VEHICLE REGISTRATION

Your custom-built or antique vehicle's registration will clearly indicate when it will expire. The process for renewing the registration on a custom or antique vehicle is the same as renewing the registration on a regular motor vehicle.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Auto Insurance is required for all custom vehicles operated in Iowa.
  • See also Title Transfers and Registering a Non-Custom Vehicle.
  • A custom built or antique vehicle has to undergo annual inspection by a qualified inspector.
  • In absence of proper title documents, a vehicle can be registered by [ filing a bond as a condition] to obtain a title and registration plates. The completed application must be mailed to:
    Iowa Department of Transportation
    Office of Vehicle Services
    Box 9278
    Des Moines IA 50306-9278
    Phone 515-237-3148    

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