Boat Registrations & Titles


The Recorder’s office partners with Iowa Department of Natural Resources to register and title boats for Washington County residents.


Boat registrations expire every 3 years on April 30, with the next expiration date being April 30, 2025.  Boat fees are based on the type and length of the boat.  All boats over 17 feet in length (except canoes and kayaks) require a title.  In addition, all boats with a lien must be titled.  A $5.00 penalty is applied to renew an expired registration.

Items Needed When Transferring A Boat:              

v  Bill of Sale-shows sale tax has been paid, if applicable.


v  Registration (signature of seller required)


v  Title, if applicable (signature of seller required) 


Change of ownership not made within 30 days from the sale date will be charged a $5.00 penalty, in addition to normal fee.


           Boat Registration Application Form


Iowa Sales Tax Information:


v  Sales of boats and other watercraft in Iowa are subject to the state sales tax of 6% plus local option taxes, if any.  This applies to sales by individuals, as well as dealers.


v  Anyone purchasing a boat from an individual should obtain a receipt that shows the cost of the boat, or note price on back of registration.


v  If a trailer is purchased with the boat, the motor vehicle use tax for the trailer portion is paid to the County Treasurer.


For more information regarding boating laws, visit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website at or contact Washington County DNR officer Wes Gould at 641-660-3441.
Registrations end at 4:00pm each business day.