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Boat Records

Jefferson County, Iowa

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Recorder Pages

Contact Info

Recorder: Kelly Spees

Elected official
Assumed office 01/01/2011
Term expires 2026

Office Hours:

Mon-Fri 8am - 4:30pm

Phone / Fax:

Phone: (641) 472-4331
Fax: (641) 472-5094


County Courthouse
(Main floor / North side of building)
51 W Briggs Ave. Ste. 4
Fairfield, Iowa 52556-2820

Liz Hickenbottom, Deputy Recorder
Chris Carter, Recorder's Clerk

Boat Registration, Titles & Liens

Expiration & Penalty

Current boat registrations expire April 30, 2025 and can be renewed anytime after January 1, 2025.  The registration period is currently 3 years.  A $5.00 penalty will automatically be added for renewals after April 30th.  If you have not renewed since April 1, 2022 or before, a $5.00 penalty has already been added to your renewal.

Fee Schedule:

  • No motor or sail – $16.90
  • With motor or sail –

less than 16 ft. – $27.40

16 ft. to under 26 ft. – $40.90

26 ft. to under 40 ft. – $79.90

40 ft. or more – $154.90

  • All personal watercraft – $49.90 (includes jet skis & wave runners)
  • Documented Vessels – $29.90

Iowa Dealers must complete registration and titling process for buyers of all watercraft.

New boats full fee (above) in the first year, 2/3 in the second year, and 1/3 in the third year.

Registration and title (if applicable) for a new boat requires a MCO/MSO (Manufacturer’s Certificate/Statement of Origin) AND Bill of Sale from the dealer.

The purchaser of a previously registered Boat must present the following to transfer ownership:  previous registration signed by seller AND previous title (if titled) signed on back by seller AND Bill of Sale signed by seller listing purchase price of the boat ONLY.  Also must have buyer’s Iowa DNR # OR Iowa Driver’s License # OR Social Security # AND birthdate.

Boat transfers and duplicate registrations are $3.75.

Since July 1, 2005 per the Iowa Department of Revenue:  Sales of boats are subject to state sales tax of 6% (plus local option tax, if applicable) and will be collected by the County Recorder at time of transfer.

(Boat trailers are licensed by the Iowa Department of Transportation through the County Treasurer’s Office and tax is collected for trailers there.)

All boats over 17 ft. in length (except canoes and kayaks) or all boats with a lien must be titled.  Titles are $12.75 and liens are $12.75.

Notice: County Courthouse Offices will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024 in observance of Memorial Day.

Temporary Polling Location Change: Fairfield 2nd Ward will vote at the County Engineer's Office, 901 N 8th St., Fairfield effective for the June 4, 2024 Primary Election.