The Clay County Treasurer provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about motor vehicles.


  Clay County Treasurer - Motor Vehicle FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Motor Vehicles:
Where are you located?
What hours are you open?
What is you phone/fax number/e-mail address?
How can I contact the Iowa Department of Transportation, Office of Vehicle Services?
If I purchase a vehicle, where do I get the title transferred into my name?
I have lost my validation sticker, where do I obtain a new one?
What should I do with my plates when I sell or junk my vehicle and where do I go to get a refund on my plates?
Where do I get additional forms if they are needed to complete the vehicle title process?
What are my payment options?
How do I change my mailing address?
Where do I apply for personalized license plates?
Where do I go to get a personalized plate replaced if I have lost one of mine?
I have lost one of my license plates. Where do I go to get a replacement plate?
If I put my vehicle in storage, do I have to renew the plates every year?
When I take my vehicle out of storage, do I get free plates to put back on the vehicle?
How do I "junk" a vehicle?
What does the name connector "and" or "or" mean on the face of my vehicle title as it relates to selling my vehicle?
When can I renew my vehicle registration?
What do I do if I lose my certificate of title or need a "Replacement Title"?
What is needed to apply for a motor vehicle title?
How does the Drivers Privacy Protection Act of 1994 affect motor vehicle records kept in the Treasurer's Office?

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding Motor Vehicles:
Q: Where are you located?

A: The Motor Vehicle Office is located on the first floor of the Clay County Administration Building in Spencer, IA.
Q: What hours are you open?

A: The Motor Vehicle Office is open Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Q: What is your phone/fax number/e-mail address?

A:
The phone number for the Motor Vehicle Office is (712) 262-2179.
The fax number is (712) 262-5793.
Please e-mail messages and questions to Sandra S. Geidl, Treasurer
Q: How can I contact the Iowa Department of Transportation, Office of Vehicle Services?

A: Park Fair Mall
PO Box 9278
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9278
Telephone: (515) 237-3148
Q: If I purchase a vehicle, where do I get the title transferred into my name?

A: If you live in Clay County, you must title and register your vehicle at the motor vehicle department in the Treasurer's Office.
Q: I have lost my validation sticker. Where do I obtain a new one?

A. If both registration and sticker are lost, the cost will be $3.00 for a duplicate registration and a replacement validation sticker. If only the sticker is lost, bring in the current registration and a replacement sticker will be issued free of charge.
Q: What should I do with my plates when I sell or junk my vehicle and where do I go to get a refund on my plates?

A: You can bring your plates and registration to the motor vehicle department; the information is entered into our system and, if approved, a refund will be sent to you within four to six weeks. A refund will not be allowed for an amount less than $10.00.
Q: Where do I get additional forms if they are needed to complete the vehicle title process?

A: Additional forms can be acquired at the motor vehicle department at the Treasurer's Office. Many forms used in the motor vehicle department may be accessed at www.iowatreasurers.org. Most forms may be printed from this site.
Q: What are my payment options?

A: You may make payments with cash, money order, cashier's check, or personal check. Credit card  and debit card payments are accepted in the office. You may pay motor vehicle registrations on the Internet using a credit card, debit card, or by e-check.  The website for online motor vehicle payments is: www.iowatreasurers.org/tagsearch.phpCLICK HERE for answers to commonly asked questions about online payments.
Q: How do I change my mailing address?

A: If you have moved within or into Clay County, call (712) 262-2179 to change your mailing address.
Q: Where do I apply for personalized license plates?

A: You can pick up an application for personalized plates at the Clay County Treasurer's Office. You can mail the form to the address on the form, or the Treasurer's Office will mail the form for you. Payment must accompany the form.  Forms are also available on the Treasurer's website - CLICK HERE.
Q: Where do I go to get a personalized plate replaced if I have lost one of mine?

A: You can apply for duplicate plates by bringing in your current registration and your remaining plate to the Treasurer's Office. The fee is $5.00. You will be notified by our office letting you know when your replacement plates have arrived.
Q: I have lost one of my license plates. Where do I go to get a replacement plate?

A: You can receive a replacement set of plates at the Treasurer's Office. You will need to bring your current registration and your remaining plate, and pay a $5.00 fee for a duplicate set of plates.
Q: If I put my vehicle in storage, do I have to renew the plates every year?

A: No, you can put the plates "in storage" at the Clay County Treasurer's Office. This will eliminate you from paying a penalty when you take the vehicle out of storage. However, in order to store the plates, they do need to be currently registered. The plates and registration need to be turned into the Treasurer's Office and registration will be stamped "STORED" and returned to you.
Q: When I take my vehicle out of storage, do I get free plates to put back on the vehicle?

A: A new set of plates will be issued and a full year registration fee collected.
Q: How do I "junk" a vehicle?

A: The owner of a vehicle will be issued a "Junking Certificate" after surrendering the title, plates, and registration to the County Treasurer and filling out an application for a junking certificate. There is no fee for this procedure. The vehicle being junked can never be titled again.
Q: What does the name connector "and" or "or" mean on the face of my vehicle title as it relates to selling my vehicle?

A: The name connector "and" means that both owners that are listed on the face of the vehicle title will have to sign as sellers when the vehicle is sold.

The name connector "or" means that only one of the owners that are listed on the face of the vehicle title will have to sign as seller when the vehicle is sold.
Q: When can I renew my vehicle registration?

A: You may renew your registration by paying the appropriate fee the month before, the month of, or the month after the registration month.
Q: What do I do if I lose my certificate of title or need a "Replacement Title"?

A: An application for a Replacement Title must be made in the County Treasurer's Office where the title was originally issued. If a lien is listed on the vehicle of record, the lien holder must apply for the Replacement Title. If there is not an open lien, the application must be signed by the owner (s). The application must be held for five (5) days before the Replacement Title is issued. The cost is $25.00. When a Replacement Title has been issued, the original title is void.
Q: What is needed to apply for a motor vehicle title?

A: The applicant (s) must provide an Iowa driver's license number or a social security number, date of birth, and full legal name. Each applicant (s) must sign the application for title.
Q: How does the Drivers Privacy Protection Act of 1994 affect motor vehicle records kept in the Treasurer's Office?

A: The law closes personal information of an individual in the motor vehicle record to the general public. Personal information means information that identifies an individual, including social security number, driver license number, name, address, and telephone number.

Click on the links below for more information:
Property Taxes
Property Tax FAQ
Motor Vehicles
Treasurer's Main Page