Recording Requirements

Document Format & Recording

All documents presented for recording must be legible and reproducible and shall have typed or legibly printed on them the names of all signatories including the names of acknowledging officers beneath the original signatures. Documents must be signed, dated, and notarized.

For all documents pertaining to real estate, a complete legal description is required. The abbreviated legal description found on tax statements should not be used.

A minimum of 3" of space is required at the top of all documents. Immediately below this space must be typed the name, address, and phone number of the individual who prepared the document.


Each document of conveyance (excluding mortgages and assignments and releases of mortgages) is required to have the following statement immediately below the preparer's information: "Address Tax Statement To: (Name and address of the taxpayer)."

See "Document Formatting Requirements" for additional requirements.

Transfer tax will be affixed to all deeds conveying real estate with a consideration of more than $500. Transfer tax is based on $0.80 per each $500 of value, with the first $500 being exempt. If a document is exempt from transfer tax, the exemption pursuant to Chapter 428A.2, Code of Iowa, must be stated on the face of the document.

All conveyances of real estate recorded after January 1, 1979, must be accompanied by a Declaration of Value form, unless exempt pursuant to Chapter 428A. 

The requirements for filing a groundwater hazard statement have changed as of July 1, 2022, with the passage of House File 2343, reforming how sellers will process groundwater hazard statements.  The Iowa Land Records team coordinated with the Iowa DNR to host a training webinar for real estate professionals regarding the new process.  To avoid confusion and to ensure a smooth transition to the new process, we encourage the real estate community to review the webinar recording and other resource materials from the live webinar that was held on June 9, 2022.

Click on this link to go to the Iowa Land Records Resource page for links and the presentation.

Call the Story County Recorder's Office at (515) 382-7230 if you have any questions.