Iowa License Plate Lookup

Free Iowa License Plate Lookup

Search your Iowa license plate and get a free complete vehicle history report including: salvage status, theft or accident records, recalls and more!

Buying a used car in Iowa offers significant benefits due to the state’s affordability and high vehicle registration rate. As of 2022, Iowa is the second least expensive state to own a car, which includes lower insurance rates, registration fees, maintenance costs, and fuel prices. Additionally, Iowa ranks 5th in the nation for the number of motor vehicle registrations per 1,000 licensed drivers, indicating a strong car culture and a robust market for used vehicles. This provides buyers with a wide selection of used cars to choose from, coupled with the advantage of lower depreciation and potentially lower insurance premiums.

When purchasing a used car in Iowa, it’s important to take certain steps to ensure a wise investment. Obtain a comprehensive vehicle history report to check for past accidents and title issues, and have the car inspected by a trusted mechanic to uncover any hidden mechanical problems. Conduct a thorough test drive, be prepared to negotiate the price, and check for any active recalls on the vehicle. By following these steps, buyers can make informed decisions and take full advantage of the cost savings and diverse options available in Iowa’s used car market. offers free license plate lookup that will reveal past ownership, title information, liens, odometer reading and salvage records. Search license plates registered in the state of Iowa and get a complete vehicle history report for free.

Critical Information from a Free Iowa License Plate Lookup provides a comprehensive free license plate lookup service for Iowa, offering valuable insights about a vehicle’s history. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Vehicle Specifications: Obtain detailed information about the vehicle, including make, model, year, and body style.
  • Title Information: Access details about the vehicle’s title status, including whether it’s clean or branded (salvaged, rebuilt, etc.).

Iowa License Plate Serial Format

To contact the Iowa MVD:

Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, IA 50306

For vehicle registration inquiries: 515-237-3110
For further assistance: Help Center

  • Accident History: Review reports on any accidents the vehicle has been involved in, including the severity and any structural damage.
  • Odometer Readings: View the history of recorded odometer readings to detect potential odometer rollback fraud.
  • Vehicle Market Value: Get an estimated current market value of the vehicle, indicating the price at which it’s likely to be bought or sold.
  • Lien and Repossession Records: Check for any outstanding liens on the vehicle or if it has been repossessed.
  • Vehicle Use: Discover whether the vehicle was used for personal, commercial, or rental purposes.
  • Recalls and Defects: Find out about any manufacturer recalls or known defects associated with the vehicle.
  • Theft Records: Verify if the vehicle has been reported as stolen.
  • Title and Registration History: Access details about changes in ownership, title transfers, and the states where the vehicle was previously registered.

Using for your Iowa license plate lookup ensures you get a thorough understanding of a vehicle’s history, helping you make informed decisions when buying a used car.

Iowa Vehicle Registration and License Plate FAQ

Where do I go for license plate processing in Iowa?

The Iowa DOT MVD (Motor Vehicle Division) is a branch of the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) responsible for handling vehicle-related services such as registration, titling, and licensing within the state. It manages processes like issuing driver’s licenses, registering vehicles, and ensuring compliance with state regulations to promote safe and efficient transportation.

Like most states, Iowa issues two license plates for each vehicle. One plate is placed on the front, while another plate is placed on the rear. The license plate number consists of three letters and three numbers.

How do I register my vehicle in Iowa?

Register your vehicle at any county treasurer’s office within 30 days of becoming a resident. You will need your current ownership record and your Iowa certificate of title/registration. Registration fees may vary by county.

If you move to a different county within Iowa, inform your previous county treasurer about your new address within 10 days of establishing residency to transfer your vehicle registration to the new county.

How do I get a title for a vehicle in Iowa?

To get a vehicle title in Iowa, your vehicle must meet the state’s safety standards, indicated by a manufacturer’s label. Once this requirement is satisfied, you can start your title application at any Iowa county treasurer’s office. If you cannot meet the standard titling requirements, you can acquire a bonded title certificate by providing any associated documents. For damaged or lost titles, submit a request form to an authorized recipient.

You may also use the Iowa Electronic Lien and Title system to streamline your title and lien transactions and protect against title fraud.

What types of license plates are available in Iowa?

Iowa offers four types of license plates with 72 different designs:

  • Regular Plates
  • College and University Plates
  • Military Service Plates
  • Other Plates

Requirements may vary for each plate design.

How do I transfer a license plate in Iowa?

When selling a vehicle, indicate the plate transfer on the registration receipt. This ensures that the plate is properly transferred to the new owner. For more information, visit the page on license plate transfer on the Iowa DMV website.

How can I replace a lost or stolen license plate in Iowa?

You can request a replacement plate or a duplicate plate in Iowa for a specific fee. If you are in the state, you may need to provide proof of identity. If you are out of state and unable to request a duplicate plate, you may need a temporary driving permit to drive your vehicle within Hawkeye State.

Can I check the name of the vehicle owner through a license plate search?

No, license plate lookup tools do not usually disclose the personal information of the vehicle owner due to privacy regulations. License plate searches typically provide information about the vehicle itself, such as its make, model, year, and registration status.

To verify the vehicle owner, you may need to contact the Iowa DMV or the Iowa DOT to inquire about the process for accessing owner information. Generally, the Iowa DMV only releases the records to authorized individuals, agencies or those who have written consent from the vehicle owner.

More Resources for Iowa Drivers

Looking to purchase a used car in Iowa? Avoid costly mistakes by running a Free License Plate Lookup for your Iowa-registered vehicle! Don’t overlook these crucial checks:

  1. Accident History: Every year, approximately 6.0 million automobile accidents are reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Ensure you’re aware of any accidents the vehicle may have been involved in.
  2. Title Brands: Look out for critical title brands like flood, hail-damage, and salvage titles. These can significantly affect the value and safety of the vehicle.
  3. Special Purpose Designations: Check for special purpose designations such as taxi-use, rental-use, or police-use. These designations may impact the vehicle’s condition and reliability.
  4. Theft Records: Be sure to check for thefts. Use a VIN lookup to check for any active theft or previously recovered theft records.

Before finalizing your purchase, conduct thorough research and inspections to ensure you’re making an informed decision. Remember, a Free License Plate Lookup can provide valuable insights into the vehicle’s history, helping you make a more confident purchase decision. Whether you’re in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, or Davenport, protect yourself by running a comprehensive vehicle history check.

Enter an Iowa License Plate: