Iowa Boating Information
Registration Questions:(515) 281-5918
Boating Registration Website:
State Tax Department Website:
Registration Grace Period (Days):60 days
Boat Sales & Use Tax Rate:6%
Credit For Tax Paid In Another State:Yes
State Decal Required For Documented Vessel:Yes
Boat Titles Issued:Yes
Notes:Local sales and use tax also apply.
Boating Law Administrator(515) 281-0122
Maximum Speed Limit:70mph on Interstate or Posted Speed Limit
Maximum Dimensions For Trailer:53'L x 8'6"W x 14'H
Maximum Overall Length with Vehicle & Trailer:70'
Minimum Weight Requiring Separate Trailer Brakes:3,000 lbs
Trailer Equipment Requirements:
Safety Chains:Yes
Brake Lights:Yes
Clearance Lights:Yes
License Light:No
Turn Signals:Yes
Flares:No, but lights required or triangles
Breakaway Brakes:Yes (Over 10,000 lbs.)
Two Trailers:Yes
Insurance:Not required specifically for the trailer, may fall under the vehicle insurance.
Oversize Permit Office (IAPS):(515) 237-3264
For specific questions about boating issues or BoatUS Government Affairs, please e-mail the department at

Iowa Boating Alerts:

E15 now at Pumps in Iowa - Buyer Beware

Testing by the DOE has indicated that higher blends of ethanol such as E15 can cause engine failure in marine engines and currently Iowa sells E15 at the same roadside gas pumps where you may fuel your trailer boat. E15, or gasoline with 15% corn-ethanol may also be enticing because it is commonly the lowest-priced fuel at the pump. Please make sure to take a good, long look at the pump before selecting fuel for your boat. Currently there is no marine engine warrantied to run on any gasoline fuel containing over 10% ethanol.