Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a 911 address sign?
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.
How do I get a 911 address or sign?
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.
Where do I get the 911 address and sign?
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.
How much does a sign cost?
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.
Who installs the signage?
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.
Where does the sign go?
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.
Who is responsible for replacing a damaged sign?
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.
How does the county determine my address?
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.
Why can't I assign my own address?
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.
I’m planning on developing a new subdivision and want to have specific street names. Can this be done?
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.
Will my address ever be changed?
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.
What are the office hours of Cedar County 911?
Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Appointments are also available.
How do I add or remove someone from my deed?
To add or remove someone from your deed following a marriage, divorce, death, etc., we recommend contacting an attorney or abstract/title search company to have the proper documentation drawn up and recorded. The Auditor’s office cannot prepare deeds for property owners.
How do I get an abstract for my property?
Contact an abstract/title search company to have one prepared.
How do I split or combine parcels of land?
A split or combination of lots or parcels of land must be approved by the necessary planning department. If you live in the county (outside of any city limit) you should start the process with the county planning department. If you live inside a city’s boundaries, contact your city’s planning department to sign off first.
Do you have property abstracts on file?
No. Abstracts are not filed in our office.
Does your office handle Divorce Records?
No. The Cedar County Clerk of Court can help you with divorce records. You may contact them at (563) 886-2101.
How do I add or take somebody off the title of my property?
You can file a deed in our office. We do not have blank forms available in our office. Many people have a lawyer create one. All documents recorded must meet Iowa document formatting standards.
What are your hours of business?
General office hours are 8:00 am-4:00 pm, Monday thru Friday via telephone or email. Appointments for new Passports must be made via phone. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office at (563) 886-2230.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Credit Cards, Cash, Checks or Money Orders
New Passport Applications require a check or money order that will be sent in with the application.
Where are you located?
Cedar County Courthouse
400 Cedar Street, Suite 105
Tipton, IA 52772
Who can get a copy of a Military Record?
Veterans and individuals with entitlement. For more information, please contact our office at (563) 886-2230.
Can I get my birth record if I was born overseas?
Birth records of persons born in foreign countries who are citizens at birth may write to:
Passport Services Correspondence Branch
US Department of State
1111 19th Street NW Suite 510
Washington DC 20522-1705
How do I get my birth certificate?
To obtain a copy of your birth certificate, you can make an appointment to come in person or apply by mail. We should have your record if you were born in Cedear County, your parents were married at the time of your birth and you were not adopted. We also have single parent birth's after July of 1995 through present day. We may not have your birth certificate if you were born in the years 1921 through 1941, but we can foward your request to the state. If you apply in person, you will need to fill out an application, bring your photo I.D., and $15.00 cash/check. If you apply by mail, complete and sign* the Vital Record Application. Please enclose the $15.00 fee in the form of cash, check, credit card (additional 3% fee) or money order.
*All signatures must be notarized. If the request is by mail, the applicant must sign in front of a Notary Public and include a clear photocopy of the applicant's current government-issued photo identification.
I was not born in Cedar County. How can I get a copy of my birth certificate?
The Iowa Department of Public Health has birth certificates for all Iowa births. Vital Chek can process your request by phone at (866) 809-0290. For Iowa births, we can also forward your request to the state or correct county. If you have any questions please call the recorder's office at (563) 886-2230. For births outside of Iowa, you will need to contact the vital records department in the state of your birth or go to https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/index.htm.
What's the difference between a certified copy and an uncertified copy?
A certified copy has what most refer to as a “raised seal” and states that the copy is a true and correct reproduction of the original record from the state or county. An uncertified copy or a “plain” copy has no seal or verbiage indicating authenticity. An uncertified copy also has a stamp noting “not for legal purposes”.
Can a marriage license be applied for in Cedar County if the marriage ceremony is to take place in a different county?
Yes, the license is valid in any county in the state of Iowa. It is not valid outside of Iowa.
Can we change our names through marriage?
Yes. In fact, a marriage provides the opportunity to legally change your name. Because of this, it is important to complete the application correctly and in full. Do not use initials or nick names unless you wish them to become your legal name.
Do we need a blood test to get married?
What is the legal waiting period for remarrying after a divorce?
None. A marriage can take place at any time once a divorce is final. However, you may not apply for the marriage license until the divorce is final.
Who is legally able to perform a marriage ceremony in the state of Iowa?
A leader of a religious institution or an Associate District or District Judge. The fees and availability for each Judge may vary. For more Officiant Information click here.
How long does it take to get a passport?
Processing times can vary depending on workload and occasional unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters.
For more information on passports and/or processing times please go to www.travel.state.gov.
What are your hours of business?
Passport appointment times are from 8:00 am-10:30 am and 1:00 pm - 3:15 pm. You must call for a passport appointment at (563) 886-2230.
Where are you located?
The Passport Office is located on the first floor of the courthouse.
Do we process licenses for the DNR?
The Recorder’s Office processes transactions for the Department of Natural Resources. This includes: boat, snowmobile, ATV & ORV titles/registrations. Also included is hunting and fishing licenses, deer and turkey tags.
For more information, go to www.iowadnr.gov.
What are your hours of operation for snow removal?
Generally, snow removal units will not operate between the hours of 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. on the paved routes and between the hours of 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. on the unpaved roads. See Code of Ordinances.
Does the county repair damaged mailboxes caused by snow removal?
Your mailbox and post should be able to withstand potential discharge from snowplows. Please take time, in the Fall of the year to evaluate your mailbox’s integrity. Mailboxes must meet the standards of the United States Postal Service. The County will not replace mailboxes damaged or knocked down by the force of snow thrown from the plow per Code of Ordinances.
How can I get notifications of information on road closures and construction projects?
How do I add a new or widen an existing driveway or field entrance?
How do I apply for dust control?
I am building a new house. Who do I need to contact?
Please contact the Zoning Department.
My E-911 marker needs replaced; who do I call?
Please call the 911 Coordinator. All other directional signs are handled by the Secondary Roads Department.
What is Right-of-Way?
The Road Department possesses an easement in order to maintain the road for public usage. The amount of right-of-way varies from road to road. If you need to know a specific ROW for a road, please call the office at 563-886-6102. Landowners may not place or cause to be placed, an obstruction within any county right-of-way per Iowa Code.
Who do I call about installing a new septic system?
Please contact Environmental Health.
What is the policy on installing supplemental signs like school signs, children at play signs, business signs, etc.?
Please read our Sign Policy.
When can I renew my driver’s license?
You can renew up to 180 days before and 60 days after your expiration date. If you are over expired you will have to retest.
How much will my license cost?
An operator’s license is $4 per year.
A CDL is $8 per year.
I lost my driver's license, how can I get a new one?
Call our office at 563-886-2557 to make an appointment to replace your license.
How much will an ID cost?
An ID costs $8 and is good for 8 years. The same documents are needed to get an ID as getting a driver's license.
I got my license renewed but the expiration only shows it’s good for one month?
Yes, the paper license expires in 30 days. Your real plastic license should arrive in the mail within that time frame. If it has not arrived in 30 days, please call the number on the back of the paper copy to see if it has been returned to them, if they can track it for you, or if they can give us permission to reissue.
Can I schedule a driving test?
We do driving tests on Tuesdays by appointment only. We do not do CDL or motorcycle drive tests.
For a CDL driving test, Visit the Iowa DOT website to schedule an appointment.
What is the phone and fax number to the DOT?
Fax : 515-239-1837
What does my child need to take their permit test?
They will need their birth certificate, social security card, and a parent with them. If the parent cannot be present, they will need to bring in a signed parent affidavit form.
How does my child get a school permit?
They must have taken driver's education and held their permit for 6 months with no accidents or citations. They will need to fill out a Minor School Affidavit and have it signed by their principal. Most schools have these at their disposal.
My child drives to their other parent's house every other week. Can we put two addresses on their school permit?
Yes, as long as they are the parents. No other address can be put on the form. No address out of the school district is allowed. Put the second address under “Additional address that student intends to drive from" on the Minor School Affidavit.
I’m 16, what do I need to do to get my license?
You will need to bring in a parent and your current permit. You must have taken driver's ed, held a permit for one year, and have a clean driving record for the past six months.
I’m 17, what do I need to do to get my full license?
You will need to bring in a parent to sign if you are under 18. You must have held the intermediate license for a year with a clean record. After you turn 18, those requirements are no longer needed.
How can we pay vehicle registrations?
For vehicle registrations, you can do that:
- on the Iowa Treasurers website
- at the counter or
- by mail
Do I have to have an appointment?
Depending on what you need to do. If you are only needing to renew your registration(s), turn in plates for refunds, swap out for vanity plates, or do a title transfer you do NOT need an appointment.
Driver’s License is the only department within the Treasurer’s office that requires appointments.
If paying registration online, where can I find my PIN?
Your PIN is specific to you and should not change so you can use it from year to year. The PIN is located on your renewal notice in the top right-hand corner. If you cannot find it, you can contact our office at 563-886-2557.
Can I put a vehicle title into someone else’s name?
Yes. The new owner does not need to be present at the time of transfer. However, the new owner will have to have the appropriate forms completed beforehand. If you are transferring a title on behalf of another person, you may download Form 411007 from the Iowa DOT website. They must complete and sign this form.
How do I get a replacement title?
Download Form 411033 from the Iowa DOT website.
There is a 5-day waiting period if the original title is lost. (If the original has been altered or spoiled in some way, please submit the original title to us with Form 411033 and we will process a replacement title in the same day.)
Anybody whose name is on the face of the title MUST sign the replacement application.
The replacement title must be ordered where the title was made (county specific). The fee is $25.00.
How do I order personalized/vanity license plates?
Most personalized license plates can be ordered online on the Iowa DOT website.
How do I get a salvage title vehicle inspected?
You must complete the inspection form on the DOT website and then contact the sheriff’s office to schedule an inspection with them.
Questions about abandoned vehicles?
Visit the Iowa DOT website for more information.
When are property taxes due?
Because we run on a fiscal year and not a calendar year:
- First half taxes are September 1st, delinquent October 1
- Second half taxes are due March 1st, delinquent April 1
How can we pay taxes?
You may pay by any of the following convenient ways:
- Through the mail. Postmark must be by September 30 for the first half payment and March 31 for the second half payment to avoid penalty.
- In our office at the Courthouse from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Online through the Iowa Treasurer's website. You must have the 5-digit receipt number located on your tax statement available.
When do I receive my property tax billing/statement?
Taxes are billed every fall and statements typically go out in the mail in mid-late August.
Where can I find my receipt number to pay taxes online?
Your receipt number is printed on your statement. If you need assistance finding your receipt number please call our office at 563-886-2557.
Where do I file for homestead credit?
Almost all credits are applied for through the Assessor's Office.*
*The one we handle is the elderly/disabled credit which is a paper that has to be completed each year. It is due by June 1st and you’re qualified based on yearly household income.
What is the penalty if property taxes are paid late?
1.5% penalty is assessed per month after the due date.
What and when is a tax sale?
The tax sale is the sale of any unpaid property taxes within the county as of the first part of June. The tax sale is held electronically on the third Monday in June.