Iowa Bill of Sale Forms (5)


An Iowa bill of sale form ratifies the agreement formed between two (2) parties for the transfer of an item. It binds the buyer to pay the seller the listed amount in exchange for ownership. Each person solidifies the terms by completing and signing the document. Once this step occurs, neither party can make edits, negotiate, or alter the sale.


  • Boat and car bill of sales notarization laws vary by county.
  • Iowa has a self-made motor vehicle bill of sale document that residents must use.
  • After completing a bill of sale, an owner has to register their trailer with the state.

Types (5)

Boat Bill of Sale – A form that contains concrete details on how and when the transfer of a vessel happened.

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Firearm Bill of Sale – A document used when a seller gives a buyer a gun as a gift or in exchange for cash or trade.

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General Bill of Sale – For a buyer and seller to record a deal for an uncategorized item.

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Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale – Used when selling a car to include information about the vehicle, buyer and seller, and payment.

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Trailer Bill of Sale – A document used to prove ownership of a utility trailer.

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Signing Requirements

Bill of Sale TypeBuyer SignatureSeller SignatureNotarization
FirearmRequiredRequiredNot required
General (others)RequiredRequiredNot required
Motor VehicleRequiredRequiredCounty-based
TrailerRequiredRequiredNot required

What is an Iowa Bill of Sale?

An Iowa bill of sale is a contract created by a buyer and seller to assign financial responsibilities therein. Generally, the buyer gives the seller a monetary amount or personal property of equal value to acquire ownership. If the deal occurs by trade, the person completing the document must include the identifying information of both items.

Most bill of sale forms in Iowa do not require notarization. However, certain counties request residents to have their boat or vehicle bill of sale notarized. Individuals who live in these counties must complete the information up to the signatures section. Once in the notary public’s presence, they can sign their names. The notary gives their approval after checking the identification of both individuals and watching them sign.

The state rejects incomplete bill of sale forms with incorrect information. They can fine or arrest buyers and sellers who intentionally provide false statements or details (§ 321.13).

Registration Forms: Boats

Registration packets and fees go to an Iowa county recorder location

  • Bill of Sale – A form that contains information about how and when a buyer purchased a vessel.
  • Application (DNR Form 542-8067) – To apply for watercraft registration in Iowa.
  • Payment – Fees based on the registration month and boat length.
  • Identification (ID) – The applicant must present an official document verifying their identity.

Additional (Optional) Documents

  • Request for Bonded Registration and/or Title for Boats (DNR Form 542-0855) – A document used when the previous boat owner did not apply for registration. The state only sees it as valid if it has a signature from a conservation or peace officer.
  • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) – For new and titled boats purchased from a dealership.
  • Registration & Title – For previously registered and/or titled vessels. If these documents have been lost, damaged, or stolen, check the “duplicate” box on the application.

Registration Forms: Firearms

Residents do not need to register their guns in Iowa, nor do they need a permit to carry them. However, the state offers a concealed weapons license to qualified individuals who want to expand their firearm carrying rights. 

  • Application for Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons (Form WP5) – The applicant completes this form and then sends it to a local sheriff or commissioner for approval or denial.
  • Application for Annual Permit to Acquire Pistols/Revolvers (Form WP3) – The state does not require gun owners to have a license to carry. However, this document provides residents with a permit to exempt them from background checks when purchasing a firearm.
  • Handgun Safety Training – Individuals must provide official proof that they passed a gun education course taught by a certified instructor (§ 724.9).
  • Identification (ID) – The person applying for a permit must present an official ID that proves the applicant goes by the name listed on the card and lives in Iowa.

Registration Forms: Vehicles

The person who needs a car registration must bring the applicable forms to an Iowa county treasurer’s office.

  • Bill of Sale – Serves as a formal record of a car transfer.
  • Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration (Form 411007) – Used by residents to apply for an Iowa title and registration. Owners of leased vehicles must complete a separate document (Form 411179).
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form 411077) – Documentation of the automobile’s mileage when the buyer purchases it.
  • Insurance (Liability Policy)
    • Bodily Injury (one person): $20,000
    • Bodily Injury (2+ people): $40,000
    • Property Damage (per accident): $15,000
  • Payment – The list price and vehicle’s age impact the fees.
  • Title – The owner must present the signed, original copy of the title. If the title does not exist (due to being lost, stolen, or destroyed), the owner must complete an application to replace the title (Form 411033).
  • Identification (ID) – The applicant must prove their residency and personal information by giving the county treasurer an acceptable document, such as a driver’s license.

Additional (Optional) Documents

Registration Forms: Trailers

Trailer registration happens at a nearby county treasurer’s location.

  • Bill of Sale – Documents the sale of a utility trailer from one owner to another.
  • Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration (Form 411007) – To obtain a utility trailer’s title and/or registration.
  • Payment – A state-provided calculator to estimate fees before the registration appointment.
  • Identification (ID) – The individual applying for registration and title must give the county treasurer their driver’s license, passport, state ID, or another official photo ID that lists their credentials.