Iowa Lakes and Rivers — The Memorial Day Weekend — the unofficial start of the summer recreation season — is only four days away. Watercraft activities like boating, fishing, water skiing, and riding personal watercraft are popular throughout the summer in Iowa.
But since this is the first time many will have been on the water this year, it might be a good time for a boat registration reminder.
All Iowa watercraft registrations expired April 30th of this year. If you haven’t re-registered your boat at your county recorder’s office, a $5.00 penalty will be added to the renewal cost for an expired Iowa registration. There is no grace period. But a $5.00 penalty is better than a fine from the Department of Natural Resources for an expired registration.
Boat owners must register their vessel with the DNR. Vessels registered in Iowa must display their current registration decals and the Iowa-issued registration numbers provided by the County Recorder. In addition, the operator must carry the registration certificate on board. Registrations must be renewed every three years and are nontransferable. These can be acquired starting January 1st of the new registration cycle and are valid for three years.
Residents can obtain registrations and renewals from a County Recorder Office. Nonresidents can obtain registration from their home state or an Iowa registration from the County Recorder’s in the county of primary use.