Emmet County Iowa Recorder's Office

Recorder and Registrar of Vital Statistics

Emmet County Courthouse
609 1st Avenue North
Suite #7
Estherville, IA 51334
ph: 712-362-4115
fax: 712-362-7454

Office hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, M-F


Emmet County Recorder:
Diann Minion

EMAIL


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.


Emmet County Recorder Information

  • Recording Requirements

    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.
  • Lands and 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
    Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filing
    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)

    Military Discharge Papers
    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 of who sold and who bought, if possible
    2. Dates
    3. Legal Description
    4. Type of Document
    5. Scan Number or Book and Page
    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.
  • 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 Emmet County Recorder's Office.
    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.
  • Vital Records

    Certified copies of birth, death, and marriage can be obtained provided entitlement is proven. Certified copies are $15.00 each.
    Your County Recorder's Office:
    Registers Birth Certificates
    Registers Death Certificates
    Processes Applications for Marriages
    Registers Marriage Certificates
    Issues Certificates of Marriage
    Issues Marriage Licenses
    Military Discharges
    Provides Vital Records of Death Certificates

    Vital Searches
    If you request our office to search vital records the fee will be $15.00 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 $15.00. No requests can be made over the phone at the county level. You need to submit an 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. Also, Iowa statewide death certificates are now available from 1954 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 $15.00 each to those persons with entitlement. Mail requests along with a money order to:
    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 through the Recorder's Office Forward to State Process. Call 712-362-4115.

    Birth Records
    The Recorders Office has official birth registrations of Emmet County from 1880 to present. Also, Iowa statewide birth records are now available from 1990 to present, however we do forward to states in our office, so we can do your processing for you, the record will just come from the state office if prior to that, and we will take the hassle out of your application. 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 $15.00 each to those persons with entitlement. Please mail your requests along with a money order to:
    Emmet County Recorder
    609 1st Ave N
    Estherville, IA 51334

    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 state issued, valid photo ID 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 district judge for a signature on this waiver. This normally requires travel to a near by town, and an appointment with the judge.
    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 within 15 days. We will then record it and make a certified copy and mail it to you.
  • Boats - Snowmobiles - ATVs

    Boat Registrations
    Boats are renewed every (3) years. Boat owners should renew their boat licenses after January 1 and by April 30th to avoid penalty. Reminder ads will be printed in the local papers, no notices will be mailed.
    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
    01/01/2019
    to 04/30/2020

     Cost Fees
    05/01/2020
    to 04/30/2021

    Cost Fees
    05/01/2021
    to 12/31/2021

    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

    If mailed you will need to add $1.00 per item requested for postage.
    All boats 17ft or longer and any boat that carries a lien, needs to be titled. The exceptions are Canoes, Kayaks, and inflatable vessels regardless of length.
    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. Transfers need a bill of sale, current registration, and title if applicable, all signed by the seller or sellers.
    Boat renewals can be mailed in for an additional $1.00 mail fee, or brought to the recorder's office in person at:
    Emmet County Recorder
    609 1st Ave N Suite 7
    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.
    Renewals run from September 1 - December 31 each year. A notice will be printed in the area newspapers, we do not send out renewal notices. The renewal fee is $17.75 for snows and ATV's. Any late renewal or late registration will be charged a $5.00 penalty.
    Snowmobiles also require to have Trail pass to ride anywhere other than private property, which are $17.75, so snows total are $35.50 total, + mail fee (if mailed).
    Every Snowmobile or ATV transfer requires a signed title from the seller / sellers, and a Bill of Sale. Some states do not title these units, but just register them. Call our office at 712-362-4115
    with questions prior to purchase with the requirements from the other state, to insure the proper documentation is received from the seller.
    Transfer fee is $11.50 for the title, $17.75 registration fee, and $11.50 lien fee. Duplicate Registrations are $7.75, Duplicate Titles $11.50. Mailed renewals are available for $1.00 mail fee.
    Make checks payable to:
    Emmet County Recorder
    609 1st Ave N Suite 7
    Estherville, lA 51334
    * If your address has changed, please notify us on the new address on mail renewals as well as walk-in. Mail in requests should also provide us with your Registration # or VIN #, and name unit is registered to.
    ALL OUT OF STATE ATV'S AND SNOWMOBILES MUST BE REGISTERED IN YOUR STATE, AND HAVE AN IOWA TRAILPASS AFFIXED TO IT.
  • 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 $22.00
    1 Day Fishing $10.50
    7 Day Fishing $15.50
    Trout Fee $14.50
    Hunting $22.00
    Hunting / Habitat Combo $35.00
    * Lifetime Fishing $61.50
    * Lifetime Hunting $61.50
    Migratory Bird $11.50
    Federal Duck Stamp $28.50
    Fur Harvester (under age 16) $7.50
    Fur Harvester (age 16+) $26.50
    Turkey (+ general hunting license and habitat fee) $28.50
    Deer (+general hunting license & habitat fee) $28.50
    (* for those age 65 and older)
    Non-Resident Licenses
    Fishing (16+) $48.00
    7 Day Fishing $37.50
    3 Day Fishing $20.50
    1 Day Fishing $12.00
    Trout Fee $17.50
    Hunting / Habitat (18+) $144.00
    Hunting / Habitat (18 & under) $45.00
    Migratory Bird $11.50
    Fur Harvester / Habitat $247.00
    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 iowadnr.gov

Passports

(effective 01/27/19)
Emmet County Assessor's Office is an authorized Passport Agent. Passport applications are accepted Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Applying for a Passport

  • Items needed to apply for a Passport Book or Passport Card

    • Passport application - print legibly in black ink. Do NOT sign the application. You will sign the application in front of the Passport Acceptance Agent.
    • CERTIFIED (has raised seal) copy of your Birth Certificate, Naturalization Certificate or expired passport.
    • Valid Driver's License or other government issued photo ID.
    • Passport photo. Photos can be taken by the Emmet County Recorder for $10.
    • Two (2) checks for each application. See fee information below.
    • Each person applying for a passport must apply in person, including children.

    If the applicant is 16 or 17

    • Applicant must appear in person, sign application and shw photo ID.
    • Parental consent is required by at least one parent appearing in person with a valid ID.

    If the applicant is UNDER 16

    • Applicant must appear in person.
    • Parental consent is required by BOTH parents appearing in person with a valid ID. Ask for details if one of the parents is unable to appear in person.

  • Passport fees for Adults (16 and older)

    • Passport fee (check / money order) payable to US Department of State - $110 (book) or $30 (card)
    • Execution fee payable to Emmet County Recorder - $35
    • Passports for Minors (15 and under)

      • Passport fee (check / money order) payable to US Department of State - $80 (book) or $15 (card)
      • Execution fee payable to Emmet County Recorder - $35

  • Passports for Adults (16 and older)

    • Passport fee (check / money order) payable to US Department of State - $186.48 (book) or $90 (card)
    • Execution fee payable to Emmet County Recorder - $35
    • Overnight Delivery (book only) payable to USPS - $25.50 (fees subject to change)

    Passports for Minors (15 and under)

    • Passport fee (check / money order) payable to US Department of State - $156.48 (book) or $75 (card)
    • Execution fee payable to Emmet County Recorder - $35
    • Overnight Delivery (book only) payable to USPS - $25.50 (fees subject to change)

    Visit travel.state.gov for the most up-to-date processing times and other passport / travel related information.

  • Requirements For Obtaining a U.S. Passport

    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.

  • Apply Online

    Apply online for your passport!


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q) Are divorce records kept in the Recorders office?

    A) No, those records are at the Clerk of the District Court. Their phone number is: 712-362-3325.

  • Q) Birth Certificate - where do I get a copy?

    A) A birth certificate can be obtained in the Emmet County Recorder's Office.

  • Q) Does the Emmet County Recorder have records for out of the county births and deaths?

    A) We do have immediate access to some out-of-county and out-of-state vital records. But we can also get you the out-of-county and out-of-state records that we do not have immediate access to.

    Stop in or call us at 712-362-4115 to apply and we will make the process as easy as possible for you.

  • Q) When are hunting and fishing licenses available for sale?

    A) Licenses go on sale December 15 for the following calendar year.

  • Q) If I'm 65, do I need a habitat stamp for fishing and hunting?

    A) No one needs a habitat stamp for fishing. At 65 y/o and up, if you purchase a lifetime hunting license you will not need a habitat stamp since it is included with the purchase of the lifetime hunting license. However, if you do not purchase the lifetime hunting license and buy the standard hunting license instead, you will have to also purchase a habitat stamp.

  • Q) Can a boat, snowmobile, or ATV be transferred on an expired registration?

    A) No, the current owner must bring registration up to date and sign CURRENT registration on the back of the certificate.

  • Q) Where do I apply for homestead / military tax credit?

    A) At the Emmet County Assessor's Office.

  • Q) ATV - Where can I receive information about registering mine?

    A) Contact the Emmet County Recorder's office on the 2nd floor of the Emmet County Courthouse.

  • Q) Boats - Where can I receive information on boating registration and regulations?

    A) Contact the Emmet County Recorder's Office.

  • Q) Real Estate -- How do I request information on liens on real estate parcels?

    A) Mortgages, state, and federal liens are available in the Recorder's Office, located on the 2nd floor of the Emmet County Courthouse. Lien judgment information is available in the Clerk of Courts Office located on the 3rd floor of the Emmet County Courthouse.