General Information

Sandie Smith
Black Hawk County Recorder/Registrar

Garth Goodrich
Deputy Recorder

Jane Hartley
Deputy Recorder

Black Hawk County
316 East 5th Street, Room 208
Waterloo, Iowa 50703-4774

Phone (319) 833-3012

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Monday thru Friday

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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The Iowa Department of Revenue (IDR) encourages you to use the resources available to help you understand your Iowa tax responsibilities.

The IDR provides many self-help opportunities for you on our Web site. At you’ll find:

News: We also provide a free eList service. This service sends periodic e-mails with
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Research: The Iowa Tax Research Library (ITRL) can also be accessed through our Web site:

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