You must have an Iowa Registration Certificate and registration decals to legally operate a vessel on Iowa’s public waters. Exceptions: Inflatable vessels that are 7’ or less and canoes and kayaks that are 13’ or less and have no motor or sail.

Documentation necessary to register and title a vessel:

  • Application form filled out and signed by buyer
  • New boat – Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO or MCO) and Bill of Sale proving sales tax has been paid
  • Used - Bill of Sale - signed by seller and notarized & current registration signed over.
  • Title – if vessel was previously titled - signed by seller

Iowa Boating Reference Guide

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Affidavit & Applications

Affidavit for Unregistered or Untitled ATVs-Boats-Snowmobiles-ORVs
Application for ATVs-Boats-Snowmobiles-ORVs

Bill of Sale