The Recorder collects real estate transfer tax for the Department of Revenue, of which a portion stays in the county. The County Recorder issues hunting and fishing licenses, other special licenses and stamps, registers and title boats, snowmobiles and ATV’s. The recorder also conducts federal and state tax lien searches, and collects use tax for the Department of Revenue.

Recorder's Index Online

Vital Records

On July 1, 1997, the Recorder’s took over the vital records division from the Clerk of District Courts. The Recorder’s office now issues all marriage licenses. As of April 27, 2009, same sex marriage is legal in the state of Iowa. The Recorder’s office is also an Acceptance Facility for the processing of passports.

The Recorder’s duties are defined by state statues and established by state agencies through administrative actions.

Early Days

The Black Hawk County Recorder’s Office was created by the first legislative assembly of the Territory of Iowa in 1839. Our Iowa system of recording and preserving real estate records is derived from the English Common Law. The pilgrims from Holland, as early as 1624, set up a recording system for the Plymouth Colony. The Acts of Iowa General Assembly for 1853 make references to the Recorder.

English Common Law

In 1860, the law was revised to say that “each organized county” shall elect a County Recorder, as well as other offices, to provide local government services. In 1854, the law was passed to separate the elective offices of Recorder and Treasurer. In 1866, the Recorder was required to enter deeds for taxation and to keep transfer books for that purpose. It wasn’t until 1868 that the office of County Auditor was established to keep the transfer books. Finally, in 1878 the law changed to say the Recorder was required to keep the office in the county seat and to record “at length and as speedily as possible, all instruments in writing which were delivered to the Recorder.”