recorderadmin bldg
Tama County Recorder's Office
Tama County Administration Building
104 W. State Street, P.O. Box 82
Toledo, IA 52342

Telephone (641) 484-3320 Option #2
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday

Amelia Kemper, County Recorder/Registrar

Angie Princehouse,
Deputy/Passport Acceptance Agent
Marcia Sawdey, Deputy


We want to keep the public and our staff healthy during this time.


Background & History
The County Recorder's office is at the hub of county administration. A significant portion of duties performed by other county officials is dependent on work performed by your County Recorder.

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

To learn what your County Recorder/Registrar can do for you, and what is needed from you in order for her to be able to perform official duties on your behalf, click on the following areas of responsibility.

Document Formatting Standards
A full review of all the changes and requirements as of July 1, 2009



Declaration of Value Form

Land and Records Management

DNR - Licenses - Registrations - Applications

County Decal Application - Ordinance II.4 ATV & ORV Regulations

Military Record Application


Vital Records

Other Responsibilities

Background and History of Iowa's County Recorders

Iowa Real Estate Transfer Tax Chart

mastercardvisaDiscover Card
VISA, Mastercard and Discover are now accepted for payments of any service at the Recorder’s Office.
There will be a processing fee added to the cost of the service of 3% of the total.

Recording and Registration Fees:
Most recording and registration transactions require a fee. Recording fees are generally $7.00 for the first page recorded and $5.00 for each additional page of a transaction.

All deeds, changes of title, affidavits of surviving spouse, etc., any document that changes ownership of a property, needs to add an Auditor’s Transfer fee.  The Auditor’s Transfer fees are $5.00 for each different block and/or section mentioned in the deed’s legal description.  Auditor’s Transfer fees are not to exceed $50.00 for one instrument.

Effective July 1, 2009, the Iowa "Time of Transfer" inspection is required. All properties that are going to be sold and/or transferred that include a private wastewater treatment and/or water supply must have these facilities inspected by a Certified Inspector (listing of certified inspectors may be found at Any deficiencies must be addressed before the sale/transfer takes place. The inspections and statements must be recorded with the Tama County Recorder's Office at the time of legal transfer.

Documents submitted by mail without the proper fee will be returned, unrecorded. Therefore, if you are unsure of the exact fee amount, you should call the Recorder's office for clarification. A portion of recording fees collected for the county provide a form of property tax relief.

Land and Records Management
Your Recorder is responsible for recording your: Deeds; Contracts; Mortgages; Assignments, Releases; Federal and State Tax Liens; Plats & Surveys; Section Corner Certificates; Monument Preservation Certificates; Military Service Records; Easements; Affidavits; Condemnations; Trade Names; Leases; 28E & Drainage Agreements; Bills of Sale; Articles of Incorporation; Fencing Agreements; Financing Statements; numerous other documents.

Land record searches are available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week at and real estate documents may be recorded electronically through that portal.  We are working to convert our historical paper records to electronic records and make them available for internet searching after they have been redacted to remove sensitive personal information.  Search index and view images beginning 1/1/1997. If you need a copy of a document prior to 1997, please call our office at 641.484.3320 Option #2.  No Vital Record or Military information is available online.  We will continue to use technology to make the office more accessible to the public

E-Submission with Iowa Land Records from Iowa Land Records on Vimeo.

DNR Licenses - Registrations - Applications
Your Recorder/Registrar is responsible for selling or issuing: Boat, Snowmobile, ATV, ORV and ORM Registrations/Titles/Liens; Hunting and Fishing Licenses; Deer and Wild Turkey Tags; Fur Harvester Licenses; Habitat, Duck and Trout Fees; Landowner/Tenant Gun & Archery Permits.


Boat registrations are on a 3-year cycle and may be renewed from January 1 through April 30, 2022 without penalty for 2025 decals.

If renewing by mail, you will need to add $1.00 per item requested for postage.

Renew Registration- Documented Vessel - $29.90
Renew Registration- All Personal Watercraft - $49.90
Renew Registration- Any length, without motor or sail - $16.90
Renew Registration- Less than 16 ft (Motor/Sail) - $27.40
Renew Registration- 16 ft to under 26 ft (Motor/Sail) - $40.90
Renew Registration- 26 ft to under 40 ft (Motor/Sail) - $79.90
Renew Registration- 40 ft and over (Motor/Sail) - $154.90
Boat Title - $12.75
Boat Lien - $12.75

ATV/Snowmobile/ORV/ORM registrations are on an annual cycle and may be renewed from September 1 through December 31 of each year without a penalty. Current cost of a renewal is $17.75.

Snowmobiles also require a User Permit costing $17.75 to use public trails. If renewing by mail, you will need to add $1.00 per item requested for postage

There is only one acceptance agent in our office so calling 641-484-3320 Option #2 before coming in is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  NO applications will be taken after 3:30 p.m.

Office hours for taking passport photos are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Passport photos are $15 for a set of 2 prints.

Traditional book in which countries place their stamp. Must have a book when flying anywhere outside the United States.

Will fit in wallet and allow land or sea passage to Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda. The card cannot be used for flying to a destination.

Requirements for application are as follows:

1. Completed application form up to line 20 only, typed or legibly printed in CAPITAL LETTERS, using black ink. Application form must be signed in the presence of the Acceptance Clerk.

2. One Passport Photo (Full Face, 2”x2”, white background)

3. Valid driver's license.

4. Both parents who are named on the applicant's birth certificate may apply for a minor under age 16. Both parents must sign application.

5. U.S. born citizens must submit a certified birth certificate or a previous passport. Certificates must bear the official seal of the state or county where born. You must submit your original naturalization certificate if you are a naturalized citizen.

6.  AGE 16 AND OVER : (Valid for 10 years)
Passport Book Fee - $130; Execution Fee - $35 = $165
Passport Card Fee - $30; Execution Fee - $35 = $65
Apply for both at the same time = $195

 7. AGE 15 AND YOUNGER: (Valid for 5 years)
Passport Book Fee - $100; Execution Fee - $35 = $135
Passport Card Fee - $15;  Execution Fee - $35 = $50
Apply for both at the same time = $150

8. Allow up to 11 weeks for regular mail and processing.

9. EXPEDITE SERVICE : (5-7 week turnaround)
$60 additional fee per application

10. NO CASH WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR THE FEE TO BE SENT WITH THE PASSPORT APPLICATION, ONLY CHECK OR MONEY ORDER.  You may still pay the processing fees/photo fees by cash, check, money order or credit card.

You may also access the passport website at

Vital Records

Your Recorder: Issues Marriage Licenses; Certifies Vital Records; Register Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates

Chapter 144.43 clearly gives the public the right to inspect and copy vital records (that have not been sealed) in the custody of county registrars. "Inspection" can only be done in person by the customer. Copying may be done by hand by the customer on-site, otherwise a photocopy can be made if the document is in an allowable condition to do so. Photocopying can only be done by the County Registrar. A reasonable fee will be charged for this service.

Application for a Vital Record

Please keep in mind that if requesting by mail, your signature needs to be notarized and a photocopy of your driver's license needs to be sent along with a check for $15 per certified copy being requested.

Please make checks payable to "Tama County Recorder".

With the implementation of the Iowa Vital Records System, our office has access to all death and marriage records from the state from 1954 and forward. We also have statewide access to birth certificates from 1986 forward and the ability to forward requests for births previous to 1986 to the state.

Application Process: Applications to search for a vital record event for the purpose of obtaining a certified copy must be in writing, completely identify the record, satisfactorily establish entitlement to the record being requested and be accompanied by satisfactory photo identification. Entitled persons include the person names on the record or that person's spouse, children, legal parents, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings or legal representative or guardian. Representatives and legal guardians must provide additional proof of representation or guardianship. Applicants must be 18 or older. A $15 fee is required to search for a record and includes one certified copy. Each additional copy of the same record is also $15. If the record is not located, the applicant receives a notification to that affect. The
$15 search fee is not refundable. Fees are payable in US funds by check or money order.

Uncertified, plain paper copies of vital records may be obtained at a cost of $3.00 per record which will be stamped "Not For Legal Purposes".

Marriage License Instructions:
Couple to be married and one Witness, who must be at least 18 years of age, needs to fill out the application at our office or in front of a notary.  A photocopy will be taken of each person’s photo ID.  The cost for a marriage license is $35.00, payable at the time of the application.  The marriage license may be picked up at the Recorder’s Office any time after four days.  If the license is not picked up within six months from the date of application, the application is considered null and void.

Application received on:
License ready to issue:

The Recorder's Office does not have Divorce Records. They are handled by the Clerk of Court. 641-484-3721

If you should have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Other Responsibilities
Your Recorder/Registrar also: Collects real estate transfer tax ($1.60 per $1,000 of consideration - first $500 is exempt) on conveyances of property, a small portion of which is retained in the county's general fund.

Supports the federal and state governments by performing federal and state tax lien searches and research of current records for the public.

Collects and reports auditor's fee on transfer of property.

Certifies recorder's records.

Emails document requests for various title search companies, attorneys, realtors, etc. for a fee of $2 per document.

Makes records available for genealogy research.

Files detailed reports monthly, quarterly and annually to the county and to state agencies.

Iowa's County Recorders are proud of their tradition and
looking forward to the future.

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