Auto Transport Services in Iowa

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Known as America’s Heartland, Iowa is much more than the rows of corn and other agriculture for which it is known. Financial services, manufacturing, and a burgeoning biotech industry are all becoming just as prominent as the agriculture for which the state is known. Auto transportation is key here since public transportation doesn’t often extend from town to town, which depending on which part of the state you are in, can be quite a distance.

Cost & Time To Ship Your Car Examples

Shipping To/FromCostDistanceEstimated Time In Transit
Des Moines to Davenport$169169 miles1 – 2 days
Chicago IL to Des Moines$334334 miles2 – 4 days
Des Moines to Memphis TN$463617 miles3 – 5 days
Texas to Iowa$687916 miles3 – 5 days
Iowa to Philadelphia$6361060 miles4 – 6 days
Massachusetts to Iowa$7631272 miles4 – 6 days
Iowa to Florida$8371395 miles4 – 6 days
Phoenix AZ to Iowa$8661443 miles4 – 6 days
Des Moines to Nevada$8731455 miles4 – 6 days
San Francisco CA to Iowa$11051841 miles5 – 7 days

*Prices and times are estimated. They can vary depending on the season and what type of vehicle you are shipping.

Tips For Handling Iowa Car Transport Companies

When you are looking to book Iowa car transport services, keep a few key tips in mind.

  • Get quotes from a variety of Iowa vehicle shipping companies: When you are looking for Iowa auto transport, get quotes from numerous Iowa automobile transportation companies to ensure that you get the best possible rate for your personal budget.
  • Ship to the nearest depot: There aren’t a lot of large cities dotting the Iowa landscape. Therefore, you need to plan ahead when shipping your vehicle to or from the state, to ensure that you can locate a depot nearby for auto transport purposes.
  • Look for a company with an office in Iowa: If you are shipping your vehicle to or from Iowa, it pays to find a company that has a local office. This ensures that you have a representative on-site to answer questions and offer assistance should you find you need it when dropping your car off or picking it up.

A drive through the state of Iowa can be cathartic, as you glimpse miles of farmland rich in natural resources. Moreover, as you pass by numerous towns with their own Main Street USA feel, you’ll be glad that you shipped in your own vehicle to give the state it’s due diligence as you maneuver around from locale to locale.

Services And Information


A-1 Auto Transport ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-452-2880 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.


Iowa Auto Transport Companies Directory

Central Petroleum Transport Incorporated

This Iowa-based transport business provides a wide array of service options, from long-distance transport to intra-state offerings. Moreover, it is an affordable company that prides itself on specializing in moving cars of all sizes and quantities. Offering open and enclosed carriers, door to door and terminal to terminal deliveries of vehicles, trucks, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, boats and more. BBB accredited shippers, see their reviews online.

4036 Southgate Dr

Sioux City, IA 51106

712- 258-6357

Central PetroleumTransport Inc.

Vitran Express

Vitran Express can transport cars of any type, from customized vehicles to large groupings of autos for dealerships. Moving through the flatbed truck or personalized service, the company offers options of all types for consumers looking for Iowa-based transport and logistics. Ships nationwide to anywhere in the United States. Licensed, bonded and insured Iowa auto shippers. Visit them online, call or email for a free price quote.

2125 Commercial St

Waterloo, IA 50702

319-232-5139

Vitran Express

Iowa Car Registration

Registering a car must be done in person in the state of Iowa, at the treasurer’s office. For this, you should have a disclosure statement for damages (when applicable) and your odometer statement. You should pay the necessary fee and also bring your driver’s license and vehicle title. The fee may be based on the car’s price and weight or it may be standardized.

To drive a car in Iowa legally, you have to register it. This must be done at the treasurer’s office, with the DOT in the county you’re based in. If it’s your first time registering a vehicle, this section can serve as a guide.

For New Citizens in Iowa

After you’ve become a resident of Iowa, you must register your automobile within 30 days at the treasurer’s office in your local county. If you’re new in the state, you must first obtain a driver’s license from Iowa before you can register the automobile. Even if you have valid license plates already, if they are from your old state, you must get new ones from Iowa.

If you want to register an automobile, you must:

  • Provide the title of your vehicle;
  • Submit a completed 411007 Form.

If you’ve leased your automobile, you must submit a completed 411179 Form. You don’t have to obtain a title from Iowa. However, if you don’t have one for your automobile, you can’t transfer your registration. If your registration is not transferable, you cannot sell your car.

In cases where the title was lost, to have a new one issued, you must speak to the previous state. So, you can sell a car, you must first get a transferable registration by titling it in Iowa.

You need to visit the treasurer’s office in your local county in person to register your vehicle. You may also look for a satellite office. Vehicle registration may not be done online or through mail.

Leased Vehicles

Generally, you can get all the documentation for your car’s registration ready from the dealership who sold it. They will also send it to the DMV in your stead. Until you receive your license plates via mail, you can use the temporary tags they’ll give you to drive your vehicle.

Your car’s price may contain the titling and registration fees. You may also opt to take the paperwork to the office of the treasurer in your local county on your own. Remember, you will have to pay the titling and registration fees.

Leased cars: The dealer usually manages the car’s registration if it’s been leased from him. However, if they can’t or won’t do it, use the 411179 form and follow the steps explained below to do it yourself.

Cars Bought From a Private Owner

You need to have a driver’s license from Iowa to buy a car within the State. To prove the ownership’s transfer, the seller and you must complete a Sale Bill and sign it. However, this is not a requirement for registering the vehicle.

From the seller, you must receive:

  • The title of the car. A title transfer must be signed for by both the seller and you.
  • The odometer statement. Before submitting the application for the car’s registration at the treasurer’s office in your local county, you must complete the odometer statement.
  • A statement for disclosing potential damage.

After obtaining all the necessary documents, visit the treasurer’s office:

  • Make sure you have your driver’s license obtained in Iowa.
  • The 411007 form must be completed with the right box containing the odometer reading for your automobile.
  • Hand over the loan paperwork, car title, and other paperwork which prove you own the car.
    • To register your automobile, you must get the lender to complete the documents (in case there is a loan on it);
  • Finally, you must pay the appropriate registration fees.

After the registration is complete, you will get your license plates.

Military Registration in Iowa

If you’re an Armed Forces member and an Iowa resident, you must follow similar registration laws. The fees you pay for the car’s registration is also the same.

Your family members, if they do not live in Iowa, are not required to register automobiles in their possession. To register an automobile in Iowa, the steps mentioned above must be followed, with a few exceptions:

  • The car’s weight will decide the fees you will have to pay.
  • An Iowa residency certification must be completed by a commanding officer.

Fees for Registering a Vehicle in Iowa

Depending on the vehicle you wish to register, the fee you will have to pay may be standard or based on its weight and price.

A standard fee must be paid for the following vehicle types:

  • Up to $20 for motorcycles,
  • $55 for multipurpose cars, like a Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco, Chevy Blazer, etc.
  • $50 for automobiles older than 12 years, with the exception of the ones above.
  • $60 for cars modified for persons with disabilities.
    • If the car is old, the fee may be cheaper.

Fees Based on Weight and Price

Registration fees, in some cases, can result from the combination of a fee derived from the car’s weight and a percentage from its price. Such calculations are valid for:

  • Passenger vehicles.
  • Slow automobiles.
  • Multipurpose automobiles built in 1993 or later.
  • 2010 or younger trucks with no more than 10 thousand miles.

Fees based on weight: The automobile’s list price will gain $0.4 for each 100 lbs of the car’s weight. The registration cost can be obtained by summing the vehicle’s cost based on its weight and the list price’s percentage.

Truck registration fees: The registration fee for buses, tractors, and trucks are based on their weight and age.

License Plates in Iowa

When you first register your car, you will get license plates for it. If you went to a dealership to buy the car, your license plates will arrive through mail from the DOT.

On the rear plate, you will have to stick a registration sticker that will come along with the plates:

  • The sticker should be placed on the plate’s left lower corner if the license plates are big (trucks, cars, etc.).
  • The sticker should be placed on the left upper corner if the license plates are small (motorcycles).

For a fee, you can get several different types of license plates at the DOT. Personalized plates are also included. Personalized and special plates are usually sent through mail.

Other Iowa Resources

Iowa.gov – official government website for the state of Iowa.

Iowa Wikipedia Page – everything you need to know about the state of Iowa.

University Of Iowa – The University of Iowa is a major national research university located on a 1,900-acre campus in Iowa City in southeast Iowa, on the Iowa River near the intersection of U.S.

Iowa On Craigslist – local classifieds and forums for jobs, housing, for sale, personals, services, local community, and events.

Joe Webster

Written by Joe Webster

Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

Reviews from Customers in Iowa

  • A1 Auto Transport helped me move a vehicle to Iowa from Houston. I was a bit nervous, no knowing much about such services.

    Thanks to Joe, I was able to clear the fog a little. He answered all my questions and explained everything in a way that left no room for interpretation. The details were straightforward. I picked Sunday as the pickup date, since I wasn’t at work, and they accommodated me.

    The truck arrived an hour early, yet the driver patiently waited for me to arrive. He thoroughly checked my car for scratches or anything that might affect the transport then drove it onto the truck. I was given a 2 day time window during which the car was supposed to arrive in, and it got to Iowa in the evening of the first day. The trip didn’t damage it at all. Next time a friend wants to move, I’ll surely recommend A1 Auto Transport.

    - Kevin U.
  • EXCELLENT! This is the third time, and it still feels like I am a new customer. The reservation and shipment processes are simple and quick.  I was in a hurry the last time I called A1, so they asked me for the best time to call back. I was not expecting they’ll go an extra mile by calling me even after working hours as I requested. They surely find ways to make you feel valued.

    A1 Auto Transport took care of every single detail of my shipment to Iowa. I do not recall any misses. I am wondering how they train their employees. This company earned two thumbs up!!

    - Justin M.

Auto Transport Services in Iowa

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