In order to comply with national standards, Iowa has adopted Document Formatting
Standards. Effective July 1, 2009, all documents presented for recording (except
those listed below) MUST meet the requirements outlined in chapters
331.606B, Code of Iowa.
||All documents shall consist of one or more
individual pages not permanently bound or in a continuous form. A page
means a writing, printing, or drawing, other than a plat of survey or a drawing
related to a plat or survey, occurring on 1 side only, and
not larger than 8 1/2 x 14. The document shall not have any
attachment stapled or otherwise affixed to any page except as necessary to
comply with statutory requirements. However, individual pages of a document may
be stapled for presentation for recording. Labels that are firmly attached are
||The first page of each document shall have
a top margin of at least 3 inches of vertical space from left to right which
shall be reserved for the recorder’s use. All other margins on the document
shall be a minimum of ¾ of one inch. Nonessential information such as
page numbers or customer notations may be placed in a margin except the top
||All preprinted text shall be at least 8
point in size and no more than 20 characters and spaces per inch. All
other text typed or computer generated, including but not limited to all names
of parties to an agreement, shall be at least 10 point in size and no more than
16 characters and spaces per inch.
||Each document shall be of sufficient
legibility to produce a clear reproduction.
||Each document shall be on white paper
of not less than 20 pound weight without watermarks or other visible inclusions.
||All signatures on a document shall be in
black or dark blue ink and of sufficient color and clarity to ensure
that signatures are readable when the document is reproduced. All names
shall be typed, printed, or stamped beneath the original signature.
||Embossed or inked stamps shall
not cover or otherwise materially interfere with any part of the document.
Each document that is presented for recording shall have the following
information on the first page below the 3 inch margin:
||Prepared By: The name of the business, name of the
individual, address and phone number
||Return To: The name and complete address
||Taxpayer Info: The name and address of the
taxpayer for any document of transfer
||The title of the document
||The names of all grantors and grantees
||The legal description
||***If insufficient space exists on the first page for all of the information
described in numbers 1-6 above, reference the page number where that information
is located on the first page.
||Documents dated on or after July 1, 2007, may not include any personally
identifiable information. Personally identifiable information is defined as an
individual’s Social Security number, bank account numbers, credit account
numbers, or debit account numbers.
The following documents are exempt
from document formatting requirements:
document that was signed before July 1, 2005.
||A military separation document.
||A document that was executed outside of the United States.
||A certified copy of a document issued by a governmental agency, including a
||A document where one of the original parties is deceased or otherwise
||A document formatted to meet court requirements.
||A federal tax lien.
||A filing under the uniform commercial code, chapter 554.
||A plat or survey or a drawing related to a plat or survey.
Non-standard Fee: On or after July 1, 2005, a document that does not conform to
the document formatting standards shall not be recorded except upon payment of
an additional recording fee of $10.00 per document or instrument. However, the
non-standard fee may not be applied to the following:
||The legibility requirements
||The requirement to include the taxpayer information on documents of conveyance
||The requirement that all documents have original signatures in black or dark
blue ink and the names of the parties typed below their signatures
Click on the links below for more specific information about the other
Recorders Home Page
Military Service Records Information
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»Land Records and Iowa Land Record Website
»Recording Information and Fees
»Iowa Real Estate Transfer Tax Calculator
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»Birth, Death and Marriage
Howard County Courthouse
137 North Elm Street
Cresco IA 52136
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
Cherri L. Caffrey
Employees in Recorder's Office:
used in the Recorder's office
By clicking on the links below you
will be leaving the Howard County website and opening a new website.
Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC)
Iowa Land Records
Other Related Links:
Iowa Secretary of State
State of Iowa Government
Iowa Department of