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Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Do I need a 911 address sign?

A

If you live or have a business in the Cedar County unincorporated area, then yes, you need a sign. Some people get a 911 sign even if they do not have a home or business at a particular location. A 911 sign is a convenient way to let delivery drivers or emergency services know where you want a delivery dropped or when you want someone to find you.

Q

How do I get a 911 address or sign?

A

It’s pretty simple to apply for a 911 sign - see our directions at link. A map of your parcel (or even your parcel number) helps a lot! If you are putting in a new driveway, please ensure that the Cedar County Secondary Roads department has approved the driveway prior to obtaining a 911 address. 

Q

Where do I get the 911 address and sign?

A

Cedar County residents and businesses get their signage from the EMA Office located at 1410 Cedar Street in Tipton. We can usually assign your 911 address and provide you with a sign on the same day – usually within 20 minutes. In cities and towns, contact the city clerk for your specific address.

Q

How much does a sign cost?

A

The cost of the signage is currently set at $50. This included the post, the sign, and hardware to attach the sign to the post along with a set of instructions. Prorated charges may be applied when purchasing replacement parts. The 911 Office only accepts cash or check.

Q

Who installs the signage?

A

The property owner is responsible for installing the signage. Cedar County Secondary Roads can be contracted to install the sign at your cost. Please ask for more information about this option.

Q

Where does the sign go?

A

Per Cedar County ordinance, the signage is to be placed to the right of the driveway as you face the property from the access road. The post/sign needs to be out of the right of way. Before installing your sign and post, be sure to call 811 to have utilities marked. Even if you think you know where the utilities are located in your area, please call to ensure that you are placing your sign in a safe spot.

The post that comes with the address sign is a 6-foot post. Please install the post so that the post is 4-feet in height. 

Q

Who is responsible for replacing a damaged sign?

A

Per the Cedar County rural addressing ordinance, the property owner is responsible for replacing any damaged or missing 911 signage. In addition, it is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure the signage is always visible. This includes clearing brush, tall grass, and preventing snow from piling up around the signage and blocking clear line of sight.

Q

How does the county determine my address?

A

Cedar County measures 24 miles wide by 24 miles long. Starting in the northwest section of the county (in Pioneer Township), a grid pattern is overlayed on a map of the county much like a checkerboard. The numbering starts at 0 in that corner and extends to the number 2400, both to the east and to the south. Addresses in rural Cedar County are then actually mileage markers; if your address is 1400 210th Street, this address tells first responders that you are 14.00 miles from the Western Cedar County border. If your address is 600 Rose Avenue, our first responders know that your address is 6.00 miles from the Northern Cedar County border.

Once a 911 address is determined, it is forwarded to the United States Postal Service and becomes the official address of the property. Every city in Cedar County may have its own addressing method, which is separate from the county system. And finally, it is worth noting not every county in Iowa plots its addresses the same way.

Q

Why can't I assign my own address?

A

As our addressing system is based upon a mile marker grid, and because every address is a mile marker, residents cannot assign their own addresses. Addresses throughout the county can only be assigned through the 911 Coordinator. This ensures that a proper mile-marker measurement is made and that the address is loaded into 911-dispatching and response systems.

Q

I’m planning on developing a new subdivision and want to have specific street names. Can this be done?

A

Any new street name in Cedar County must be approved by the 911 Coordinator. In most cases, a specific street name request will be approved. There are some instances where street names may not be approved, such as in the case of a street being named after a living person, street names that are homonyms (Allen Drive and Alan Drive), street names containing words that are offensive or have unconventional or frivolous spellings.

Q

Will my address ever be changed?

A

Unfortunately, the changing of an address number or a street name can, and does, occur. Renaming a street, or changing an address, only occurs when there is a definite tie to public safety. If your address needs to be reassigned, or your street name needs to be changed, you will receive notification from the 911 Coordinator.

Q

What are the office hours of Cedar County 911?

A

Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Appointments are also available.