Recording Basics/Recording Fees

In order to comply with national standards, Iowa has adopted Document Formatting Standards. Senate File 371, which takes effect July 1st, 2005, states that all documents presented for recording must meet certain requirements. Below are some the basic guidelines.

The Basics:

Paper: White, not less than 20 pound weight, without watermarks or other visible inclusions
Paper: One Side only
Top Margin: At least 3 inches across the top of the document
Other Margins: Shall be minimum of 3/4 of one inch.
Text: At least 8 point, legible & reproducible (10 point, fill in information)
Signatures: Black or dark blue ink v names typed, printed or stamped beneath signatures

Notary: State law requires that all instruments have signatures notarized. See Iowa Code, 9E.14, 9E.15.

Notary Public Information
State of Iowa Notary Seal/Stamp Requirements

Information Required on 1st page (Example 1st Page):

Name, address & phone # of preparer
Name of taxpayer & complete address
Return Address
Title of Document
Grantor’s Name & Grantee’s Name
Legal Description (If the space on the 1st page doesn’t allow for the necessary information, the page where it is located must be noted.)

On or after July 1st, 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 ten dollars per document or instrument.

In addition to the above, DEEDS require the following:

Revenue tax affixed to represent the full sale price over $500.00. Click here for tax calculator. If exempt from revenue tax, exemption must be so stated on the face of the document. Exemptions are listed in Code of Iowa Chapter 428A.2.
All deeds must be accompanied by a declaration of value form unless exempt (see above chapter 428A.2). This applies also to any documents of conveyance; Contracts and assignments of contracts on Quit Claim Deeds. Certain documents are exempt from the Declaration of Value.

Declaration of Value Forms:

Each Declaration of Value submitted to the Recorder must ALSO have a Groundwater hazard Statement submitted with it. [Code of Iowa Sec. 558.69] Groundwater Hazard Statements are exempt on all conveyances that are exempt of Declaration of Value except LEASES AND PLATS.

Groundwater Hazard Statement Forms:

Recording Fees

Type1st PageEach Additional
Type: Affidavit1st Page: $7.00Each Additional: $5.00
Type: Change of Title*1st Page: $7.00Each Additional: $5.00
Type: Contracts*1st Page: $7.00Each Additional: $5.00
Type: Deeds*1st Page: $7.00Each Additional: $5.00
Type: Leases1st Page: $7.00Each Additional: $5.00
Type: Mortgages*1st Page: $7.00Each Additional: $5.00
Type: Plats**1st Page: $7.00Each Additional: $5.00
Type: Releases1st Page: $7.00Each Additional: $5.00
Type: Trade Names1st Page: $7.00Each Additional: $5.00
Type: UCC1st Page: $7.00Each Additional: $5.00


$7.00 fee consists of $5.00 per page + $1.00 recorder management fee per transaction + $1.00 e-commerce fee per transaction. [Chapter 331.604, Code of Iowa]

Multi-document Real Estate Related Filing: $7.00 per each additional transaction.

Documents larger than 11X14 are required to have original sized copies to accompany it.

A page longer than 14 inches and any attached piece will be considered an additional page.

*In addition to the above recording fees, Deeds, Change of Name, Condemnations and Contracts require an additional $5.00 transfer fee for each separate parcel of real estate involved. $50.00 Maximum Fee.

**Plat of Surveys and Surveyor’s drawings are also subject to additional fees. Please see table below:

UCC copies are $1.00 per page.

Copies of documents are $0.50 per page (Effective August 14th, 2001)

Certification of a document is $5.00 (Effective January 4th, 1999)

Copies of Federal Tax Liens and Releases are $5.00 per copy (See Iowa Code 331.609(3)d.)