Whether you buy new or used, after you drive your car home, there will be some additional paperwork to complete in order to make the purchase official. To complete the process, you'll need to head to an Iowa county treasurer's office either in the county where you reside or in a bordering county. If you find that lines are long in your county, heading to a more rural bordering county could save you time. Once you're there, here's what you need to do to transfer the car title into your name, whether you bought from a dealer or a private seller.

Woman with red hair standing next to a red Hyundai.

How to Transfer a Car Title When Buying From a Dealer

You might think that buying a new car from a dealer will help simplify the paperwork, but the process is fairly similar to transferring a car title when purchasing privately. The documentation you need to bring does vary slightly, but it's a short list of items. When going to your county treasurer's office, you'll need to bring the following to transfer your car title:

If you paid sales tax at the dealership, you'll only need to pay the fees associated with transferring the car title and registering the vehicle.

How to Transfer a Car Title When Buying Privately In-State

Buying a car privately is a great way to save money, but it does put you in a position where you need to do your due diligence to make sure paperwork is filled out properly and the title of the vehicle you're buying is free and clear (i.e., no liens against it).  Once you have a car that you've purchased privately, you'll want to head to your county treasurer's office with the following information:

Close up picture of a car title.

How to Transfer a Car Title When Buying Privately Out-of-State

If you've been searching for a new-to-you used car and you ended up finding the perfect vehicle out of state, don't stress about it. The process of registering an out-of-state vehicle in Iowa is fairly straightforward. Again, the most important thing is making sure the title is free and clear before buying. Here's what you need to bring with you to transfer a car title from out of state:

Still Looking for Your Next Car?

If you haven't yet found the perfect car but you're preparing for the process once you do, you're already one step ahead. However, it might be time to look beyond the classified ads. If you want to streamline the car buying process and find the right vehicle, let PrivateAuto help you out.  PrivateAuto offers peer-to-peer car buying services along with technology to ensure a safe, stress-free transaction. This includes verified buyers and sellers so you can meet up and make a purchase safely. Want to try it for yourself? Get started today!