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Military Vehicle Registration in Iowa

Chris Ciesla has provided his experiences with antique plate registration requirements in Iowa:

Basics:

  • Minimum age of vehicle: 25yrs
  • Mileage limit: none
  • Use Restriction: to and from shows and parades
  • Fee: $5 per year

Iowa does not clearly define what a "show" is. There are numerous car shows sponsored by small car clubs on a regular basis. What's to say you can't schedule your own show, where ever you want to have one?

Iowa has something called SME or Special Mobile Equipment registration. SME is intended for equipment that can move on highways, but is not used to transport anything other than itself. A co-worker of mine, has a Dodge pick-up with an air compressor mounted on it. He uses an SME plate and it's registered as an "air compressor." Other people have registered fire trucks as "water pumps" and an M-880 series Contact Maintenance Truck as a "generator."

Another interesting thing is that you don't need a title to get an SME plate. This might be a good idea for anyone who wants to run their M-274 on the road. Perhaps you could put a generator on the bed and register it as a "generator."

One more thing here in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Transportation will issue a title for a completely homebuilt vehicle. There are several "dune buggies" running around the area that are homebuilt from kits. I've not inquired directly, but it may be possible to get a title for an M-151 or HMMWV that is made out of parts this way.

Chris Ciesla