MUSCATINE, Iowa–It is that time of year when you should look at your license plates to ensure they have correctly placed current stickers. Most stickers go in the lower left corner. Peel off layers of old stickers. Do not decorate your plate with stickers all over, you can receive a ticket for improperly placed or missing stickers.
Check your vehicles regularly as stickers can come off or get stolen. If you bring a current registration to the Treasurer’s office, they will issue a free replacement sticker. If you do not have the registration, it will cost $3.
Remember that the first six numbers on the sticker match your license plate number. This helps you match them up if you have multiple vehicles.
The State of Iowa mails renewal reminders one month in advance. You must renew on time regardless of receiving that reminder. You have 90 days to renew, the month before, renewal month, and the month following with no penalty. The Muscatine County Treasurer allows you to choose any month. You may change months once. After that you must pay one full year each renewal period.
Whenever you sell, junk, or trade a vehicle, remove your plates. Buyers should retain the signed title and bill of sale in the vehicle while driving. They have 30 days to transfer registration and have plates issued. Sellers surrender old plates to the treasurer with the date of sale. If they have $10 or more remaining credit, they will receive a check within three to six weeks. If you leave plates on a vehicle you sell, you risk receiving parking or traffic camera tickets.
If you do not use a vehicle for over a year, return the plates before they expire and put it in storage. This ensures no penalty accrues after expiration. When you bring your vehicle out of storage, you pay one year of registration. If you do not renew a vehicle for over three years, the state considers it stored and you pay the one year with no penalty when renewed. Otherwise, you owe the late penalty of 5% of registration or minimum of $5 per month when delinquent.
Your renewal notice contains other important information, including a PIN for renewing online. A stop sign that says important information at the bottom of the notice means you must show other documentation, like SR22 insurance, parking tickets owed, or Clerk of Court stops. You must pay $1 postage on each mailed renewal. If you pay in person, deduct the postage fee.
The State of Iowa issues replacement plates on the 10th renewal. It will indicate Y for plates and include a $3 mailing fee. The state will issue your new plates. They include instructions for placing your new plates on your vehicle and returning the old ones, when convenient, for recycling.
The back contains a place for address changes. Notify the County Treasurer and the Driver’s License office of your change of address when that happens.
Contact the County Treasurer Monday through Friday 8-4:30 by phone at 563-263-6764 with any questions.