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    Recorder and Registrar of Vital Statistics
    Emmet County Courthouse
    609 1st Avenue North
    Suite #7
    Estherville, IA 51334

    Phone: 712-362-4115
    Fax: 712-362-7454
    Email: record32@emmetcountyia.com
    Office hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, M-F

    The Office of the County Recorder was created by the First Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Iowa in 1839. The County Recorder continues to maintain official records of documents affecting real estate in order to protect innocent third parties in real estate transactions.

    The County Recorder's office is at the hub of the courthouse and functions to serve you. The County Recorder's office has many additional duties and services it provides to the public.

    Recording Requirements
    Military Service Records
    Vital Records
    Boats/Snowmobiles/ATV
    Hunting and Fishing
    Passports




    LANDS & RECORDS MANAGEMENT

    Your recorder/registrar is responsible for recording:
    *Deeds
    Change of Titles
    Affidavit of Surviving Spouse
    *Real Estate Contract
    *These documents need to have a Declaration of Value, Ground Water Hazard Statement, and payment of transfer tax when applicable.

    Fees for recording the above documents are as follows:
    $12.00 for first page
    +  $5.00 for each additional page
    +  $5.00 per parcel if more than one parcel is listed

    Your recorder is also responsible for recording:
    Mortgages
    Extensions
    Amendments/Modifications
    Releases/Satisfactions
    Assignments
    Easements
    Leases
    Bill of Sales
    Trade Names
    Articles of Incorporation
    Power of Attorney
    Plats of Surveys
    Corner Certificate
    Affidavits (with no legal)
    State/Federal Liens

    Fees for recording the above are as follows:
    $7.00 for the first page (Plats of Surveys)
    $7.00 (All Others)
    $5.00 for each additional page (All)
    Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filing fees are $14.00 for a new filing and $14.00 for a termination.
    We also do Lien Searches upon request.

    You may receive a copy of your military discharge (DD214) papers for no charge.
    Certification fees are $5.00 for the first page and $0.50 for each additional page.

    SEARCHES

    Our office is open to the public to come and do searches.  Our friendly staff is here to help guide you in your search for the records you desire.

    If you are requesting our office to do a search, regarding land tracts, you will need the following information:

    1. Names: who sold and who bought, if possible
    2. Dates
    3. Legal Description
    4. Type of Document
    Please allow us time in order to do the search. If you need copies, the cost is .50 cents per page. We need payment before the records can be mailed out to you.

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    MILITARY SERVICE RECORDS

    Discharge papers (DD214's) may be recorded for permanent records and certified to perfect claims. In order to obtain a Certified copy the original document must be presented for recording. The DD214 must be recorded before military exemption is applied toward property tax reduction.

    If the DD214 Military Discharge has been misplaced or destroyed, a certified copy may be obtained from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri or other Custodian of Record listed on the Request Pertaining to Military Records form.

    You may obtain the request form from the Recorder's Office or download a copy from the National Archives and Records Administration at http://www.archives.gov

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    VITAL RECORDS

    Certified copies of birth, death, and marriage can be obtained provided entitlement is proven. Certified copies are $20.00 each.

    Issues Marriage Licenses

    Registers Birth, Death & Marriage Certificates

    Military Discharges

    The Recorder processes applications for marriages in the State of Iowa. Marriage Licenses and Certificates of Marriage are also issued.

    Vital records of death certificates are available in the Recorder's Office.

    Vital Searches

    If you request our office to search vital records the fee will be $20.00 whether we have the record or not.  You can come in to the office and do the search yourself and there is no fee.  However, if you would like a copy for genealogy purposes, there is a minimal fee and it will be stamped "Not For Legal Purposes". Plain copy requests cannot be honored through the mail. Those are only for in person requests. Otherwise it will be a certified copy for $20.00. No requests can be made over the phone at the county level. You need to submit a letter or application form with all the pertinent information concerning the vital record you are looking for. To obtain a copy of the application form, click here and send it along with a money order to:

    Emmet County Recorder
    609 1st Ave N
    Estherville, IA 51334

    DEATH RECORDS

    The Recorders Office has official death registrations of Emmet County from 1880 to present.  All records are available for viewing during regular business hours. Record checks or verification of records over the telephone are not allowed per Iowa Code.

    If you would like a certified copy of our county record, you must make a written application, provide photo ID, pay appropriate fee, and show satisfactory entitlement. Entitlement would include the person named on record, spouse, mother, father, brother, sister, child, legal guardian, or legal representative. Applicant must be 18 years of age.

    Certified copies are available at $20.00 each to those persons with entitlement. Uncertified/Genealogy copies are available at $5.00 each. Mail requests along with a money order to address below:

    Emmet County Recorder
    609 1st Ave N
    Estherville, IA 51334

    EXCEPTIONS: The records of deaths occurring between 1921 and 1941 can be obtained from the Iowa Department of Public Health listed below. Statewide record searches are available from the state registrar.

    STATE APPLICATION
    Iowa Department of Public Health
    Bureau of Vital Records
    Lucas State Office Building, 1st Floor
    321 E 12th St
    Des Moines, IA 50319-0075
    Telephone: (515)281-4944 (credit card application with $5.50 additional fee)

    BIRTH RECORDS

    The Recorders Office has official birth registrations of Emmet County from 1880 to present. All records are available for viewing during regular business hours. Record checks or verification of records over the telephone are not allowed per Iowa Code.

    If you would like a certified copy of our county record, you must make a written application, provide photo ID, pay appropriate fee, and show satisfactory entitlement. Entitlement would include the person named on record, spouse, mother, father, brother, sister, child, legal guardian, or legal representative.  Applicant must be 18 years of age.

    Certified copies are available at $20.00 each to those persons with entitlement. Uncertified/Genealogy copies are available at $5.00 each. Please mail your requests along with a money order to address below:

    Emmet County Recorder
    609 1st Ave N
    Estherville, IA 51334

    EXCEPTIONS

    The records of births occurring between 1921 and 1941 can be obtained from the Iowa Department of Public Health listed below. Per Iowa Law the County Recorders do not have records of single parent births prior to July 1, 1995, adoptions, and records ordered sealed by a court of law. These records may be obtained by contacting the Iowa Department of Public Health listed below. Statewide record searches are available from the state registrar.

    STATE APPLICATION:
    Iowa Department of Public Health
    Bureau of Vital Records
    Lucas State Office Building, 1st Floor
    321 East 12th St.
    Des Moines, IA 50319-0075
    Telephone: (515)281-4944 (credit card application with $5.50 additional fee)

    MARRIAGE APPLICATIONS

    The Recorders office is where you apply for a marriage license.

    A marriage application cost is $35.00. The bride, groom and third party (age of 18), will all need to bring photo identification at time of application. Bride and groom will need to know how to spell parent's full names, including mother's maiden name.

    If bride and/or groom are under 18 and older than 16, an application for minor will need to be signed by a parent or legal guardian. The bride and groom must appear before a judge and have this application signed.

    There is a 3 day waiting period before actually getting the marriage certificate. The bride or groom can pick up the license and certificate of marriage after 3 business days. There is a three-day waiver form available for an additional $5.00 if the bride and groom need their license and certificate of marriage issued the same day. The bride and groom need to appear before a judge for a signature on this waiver.

    The State of Iowa does not require blood tests.

    After the ceremony the official will mail the completed Marriage Certificate to our office for filing. We will then record it and make a certified copy and mail it to you.

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    Boats - Snowmobiles - ATVs

    Boat Registrations

    Boats are renewed every three (3) years Boat owners should renew their boat licenses by April 30th to avoid penalty. Renewal notices are sent out as a reminder to those customers who already have a registered boat in Emmet County.
    Any vessel that is over 17 feet in length will need to be titled.

    IOWA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES BOAT REGISTRATION FEES

     TYPE OF TRANSACTION

    Cost Fees
    01/01/2013
    to 04/30/2014

     Cost Fees
    05/01/2014
    to 04/30/2015

    Cost Fees
    05/01/2015
    to 12/31/2015

    New Boat or Reactivate - Documented Vessel

    $29.90

    $21.50

    $13.20

    Renew Registration - Documented Vessel

    $29.90

    $29.90

    $29.90

    New Boat or Reactivate - All Personal Watercraft

    $49.90

    $34.90

    $19.90

    Renew Registration - All Personal Watercraft

    $49.90

    $49.90

    $49.90

    New Boat or Reactivate - Any length without Motor or Sail

    $16.90

    $12.90

    $8.90

    Renew Registration - Any length, without Motor or Sail

    $16.90

    $16.90

    $16.90

    New Boat or Reactivate - Less than 16 ft (Motor/Sail)

    $27.40

    $19.90

    $12.40

    Renew Registration - Less than 16 ft (Motor/Sail)

    $27.40

    $27.40

    $27.40

    New Boat or Reactivate - 16 ft to under 26 ft (Motor/Sail)

    $40.90

    $28.90

    $16.90

    Renew Registration - 16 ft to under 26 ft (Motor/Sail)

    $40.90

    $40.90

    $40.90

    New Boat or Reactivate - 26 ft to under 40 ft (Motor/Sail)

    $79.90

    $54.90

    $29.90

    Renew Registration - 26 ft to under 40 ft (Motor/Sail)

    $79.90

    $79.90

    $79.90

    New Boat or Reactivate - 40 ft and over (Motor/Sail)

    $154.90

    $104.90

    $54.90

    Renew Registration - 40 ft and over (Motor/Sail)

    $154.90

    $154.90

    $154.90

    Boat Title

    $12.75

    $12.75

    $12.75

    Boat Lien

    $12.75

    $12.75

    $12.75



    Only new registrations apply to this fee table. Renewal fees will always pick up the fee of the first year listed plus there is a $5.00 penalty charged on boats that are renewed after the renewal deadline. A boat must have a current registration before it may be transferred into some one else's name.

    Boat renewals can be mailed in for an additional .50 cent fee, or brought to the recorder's office in person at the following address:

    Emmet County Recorder
    609 1st Ave N
    Estherville, IA 51334

    If there are any address changes please provide us with the correct information.

    Snowmobile & ATV Registrations:

    Snowmobiles & ATV's are renewed every year and expire on December 31st. No renewal notices are sent out for snowmobile/ATV in Emmet County. A notice will be in area newspapers and radio stations and posted in the courthouse. The renewal fee is $17.75. There is also a title fee of $11.50 and if there is a lien, a $11.50 lien fee will apply. Any Snowmobile/ATV that is done after the renewal date will be charged a $5.00 penalty to have it brought up to date.

    Every Snowmobile/ATV that is sold must have a Title signed and a Bill of Sale. The transfer fee is $11.50 for the title, and, if applicable, $11.50 for the lien plus full renewal fee of $17.75. Duplicate registrations are also $6.75. Should you need a duplicate title, there is an application to fill out. They are $11.50 and there is a 3-day waiting period.

    For your convenience in renewing registrations, we accept renewals through the mail. Please provide your Iowa snowmobile or ATV VIN number, Social Security number and birth date of name on the registration and payment of $17.25 each.

    Makes checks or money orders payable to: EMMET COUNTY RECORDER and mail to:
    Emmet County Recorder
    609 1st Ave N
    Estherville, IA 51334

    If there are any address changes, please provide us with the correct information.

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    HUNTING AND FISHING

    Our office issues hunting and fishing licenses. You will have to know the name, date of birth and social security number or drivers license number or DNR PIN number of the person for whom you wish to obtain the license. We do not accept credit cards.

    Lifetime hunting and fishing licenses may be obtained for persons who are 65 years of age or older. These individuals no longer are required to obtain habitat stamps. However they are required to obtain migratory bird stamps, if needed for hunting and trout stamps for fishing.

    Brochures and seasonal information may be picked up at our office.

    Iowa Resident Licenses
     Fishing $19.00
    1 Day Fishing $9.50
    7 Day Fishing $13.50
    Trout Fee $12.50
    Hunting $19.00
    Hunting Habitat (under age 65) $13.00
    *Lifetime Fishing $52.50
    *Lifetime Hunting $52.50
    Migratory Bird $10.00
    Federal Duck Stamp $15.00
    Fur Harvester (under age 16) $7.50
    Fur Harvester (age 16+) $22.50
    Turkey (+ general hunting license and habitat fee) $24.50
    Deer (+general hunting license & habitat fee) $28.50
    (* for those age 65 and older)


    Non-Resident Licenses

     Fishing (16+) $41.00
    7 Day Fishing $32.00
    3 Day Fishing $17.50
    1 Day Fishing $10.50
    Trout Fee $15.00
    Hunting (18+) $112.00
    Hunting (18 & under) $32.00
    Hunting Habitat $13.000
    Migratory Bird $10.00
    Hunting Preserve $7.00
    Falconry $28.00
    Fur Harvester $202.00


    Residents and Non-residents under 16 years of age can fish without a license.

    For more information on hunting and fishing in Iowa go to www.iowadnr.com

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    PASSPORTS

    Emmet County Attorney's Office is an authorized Passport Agent. Passport applications are accepted
    Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

    REQUIREMENTS FOR OBTAINING A U.S. PASSPORT:

    Completed Application in black ink: DO NOT SIGN APPLICATION

    Evidence of Citizenship: One of the following 3 documents must be submitted with your
    application and will be returned with your new passport.

    Birth Certificate: A certified copy of a birth certificate issued by the county or state. It must show the birth record was filed
    within one year after the date of birth and must have the registrar's signature and the raised, impressed, embossed or
    multi-colored seal of the Registrar's office. A notarized copy of a hospital birth certificate is not acceptable.
    Please be sure that the parent's names are listed on the birth certificate. Also review your certificate for accuracy and spelling.

    Naturalization Certificate: A person who claims US citizenship by naturalization must submit the original
    Certificate of Naturalization with the application.

    Expired Passport: This is acceptable. However, if the child was under 14 when the passport was issued,
    you must submit a certified copy of the birth certificate along with the expired passport.

    If you had a prior passport you must submit that with your renewal application.

    Renewal applications are available in the office but will not be processed by Emmet County.

    Passport Photo: Front view of applicant, taken within the last six months. Photos may be obtained in the
    Emmet County Recorder's Office for a cost of $10.

    Photos and birth certificate will be submitted with your application. Your birth certificate will be returned to you
    with your passport.

    Personal Identification: A valid driver's license or photo ID. Expired ID is not accepted. Anyone under 18
    must have a parent along with the parent's ID for parental consent and signature. Both parent's signatures
    are required for children under 14.

    Payment: Each passport should be paid by two (2) checks or money orders as indicated below (debit or
    credit cards are not accepted): $25.00 payable to "Emmet County Recorder" and $110.00 payable to
    "U.S. Department of State" - valid 10 years (if under 16 years of age - $80.00 - Valid 5 years)

    Passport Cards: Age 16 and over are $30.00 payable to "U.S. Department of State" and under the
    age of 16 $15.00 and $25.00 payable to "Emmet County Recorder"

    The Passport Acceptance Agents' National Service Commitment states: Customers will receive their
    passports within 4-6 weeks from the receipt of completed applications by Passport Agencies.
    Those customers who wish to receive their passports sooner may request expedited service,
    which will take about two weeks. The use of two-way overnight delivery is highly recommended
    for all expedited requests, and only one passport can be returned in each return envelope. The
    fee to expedite is an additional $60.00 plus the overnight fees.

    Apply online for your passport!


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    Frequently Asked Questions