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Procedures to Follow When Selling a Used Car in Iowa

With the price of used cars still on the rise, you have decided to sell your used vehicle and believe you have negotiated a good price. What are the next steps you should follow? Not all states have the same procedures, so always check with your state Department of Transportation.

In Iowa, if you are purchasing a replacement vehicle from a dealer, dealers are very helpful with the necessary paperwork. After delivering the vehicle to the dealer, remove the license plates and the dealer will transfer your license plates to the vehicle you have purchased. Complete the top section on the back of the vehicle’s title and present the title to the dealer. Provide the dealer with the name of the county where the vehicle was last registered and date the license plates expire. If your vehicle is nine model years old or newer, provide the dealer with a completed an odometer statement. if your vehicle is seven model years old or newer, you should also provide the dealer with a completed damage disclosure statement and vehicle registration receipt.

If you are not purchasing a replacement vehicle from the dealer, keep the registration receipt and turn the plates in to your local IA DOT office.

If you sell your vehicle privately to an Iowa resident, give the buyer the completed odometer statement, the completed certificate of title, the name of the county where the vehicle was last registered and date the license plates expire, a damage disclosure statement if your title was issued before January 1, 2005, and a bill of sale. The bill of sale gives the buyer documentation of the sale and provides the seller with a receipt for the transaction. If possible, go with the buyer to the county treasurer's office to complete the title transfer.

If selling to a non-Iowa resident, give the buyer the completed odometer statement and damage disclosure statement and certificate of title with your portion completed.

Whether they are an Iowa resident or non-Iowa resident, have the buyer complete and sign a Buyer’s Acknowledgement of Delivery of Vehicle & Title form, which shows evidence of sale and delivery of the vehicle to the buyer. Submit the form to the country treasurer's office where your vehicle was registered. This protects you from being potentially held liable for damage involving the car after you've officially sold it. You will also need to return the plates along with Plate Cancellation form 411122, or transfer them to another vehicle if you buy one within 30 days.

Last, but not least and often overlooked in a private party car sale is auto insurance. Make sure to cancel your insurance as soon as possible after you have removed your plates, so you do not continue paying to insure a car that you no longer own.

When in the market for a used car, stop by Carousel Preowned. Carousel Preowned serving Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, North Liberty, Marion, and Coralville, IA, is proud to be an automotive leader in our community. We do our best to ensure your complete satisfaction every time you step into our car dealership. This is why we offer the widest selection of used and pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs and provide true ease of purchase in Iowa.

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