County Recorder

The Office of the County Recorder was created by the first Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Iowa in 1830 (Iowa would not become a State until 1846).

The basic duty of the county recorder is much the same today as it was then:

"To maintain official records of documents affecting title to real estate in order to preserve property rights and protect innocent third parties in real estate transactions."

Preservation and Technical Innovation
The responsibility of maintaining a major historical archive makes the County Recorder both a preservationist and a technological innovator. Preservation means honoring our shared history by carefully maintaining old records in their original format for future generations. Technology simply allows us to store today’s records using today’s methods. Which are typically less expensive and definitely consume less space! Almost every parcel of land in America is represented in a recorded document that is protected and made available in one of the approximately 3,600 recording jurisdictions in the US; these documents are at the foundation of a massive behind-the-scenes process that connects the inherent value of property to the rest of the economy.

Although this basic duty of the office remains relatively unchanged, many additional functions have been entrusted to the office. We issue marriage applications, register birth, death and marriage records and provide certified copies of these documents. We provide registration, title and lien services for those who own recreational vehicles such as boats, snowmobiles and ATVs. In addition, we assist in completing and mailing applications for passports including photo services.

Such widely varied responsibilities make the Recorder’s Office an important site for services and document archives.

We are here to provide excellent service to our customers and visitors; as such we actively seek feedback from the public we serve. Please let us know any suggestions you have.

The Washington County Recorder’s Office cannot provide legal services and cannot prepare legal documents.