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How do I get a 911 address?
A building permit generates the 911 address. After a completed building permit is returned to the zoning department, the E911 address will be assigned.
How do I get a 911 address marker?
After the property has been addressed, and the permanent driveway is in place, the 911 department will install a resident address marker. The fee for this marker is $110.
I signed up for Homestead and/or Military credit last year. Why isn’t it on my taxes? Do I need to sign again?
It will depend on when you signed the application. Applications must be signed on or before July 1st of the assessment year that you are first claiming the credit. If it is signed after July 1st, the credit is applied to the next assessment year.
Please remember that property taxes due are 18 months behind the current assessment year. For example, the current property taxes payable in September 2013 and March 2014 are calculated on the 2012 assessment year and values. If you signed up after July 1, 2012, but on or before July 1, 2013, your credit will be applied to the 2013 assessments on which the taxes will be calculated for the September 2014 and March 2015 payments. If you signed up after July 1, 2013, your credit will be applied to the 2014 assessments, which will be used to for the September 2015 and March 2016 property taxes.
Homestead and military credits were at one time applied for every year. In the mid-1980s, this was changed to a one-time sign-up. However, you do still have to sign up if you move to another house, even if it is next door or across the street.
Doesn't the Assessor raise my value according to the amount of taxes needed?
No, the Assessor raises or lowers the values of property according to the market value of real estate or in the case of agricultural land, according to productivity and CSR.
Assessments are set January 1st of each year, while the tax levies (tax rates) on these assessments are not set until July of the following year. (Example, the assessment notices from April 2013 were for the January 1, 2013 assessment. Tax levies for these values will be set in June of 2014 based on what the different taxing authorities budget in March and April 2014 for the next fiscal year of July 2014 - June 2015.)
The taxing authorities you pay property taxes to are listed at the bottom of your tax statement each year, along with their budget information and a breakdown of how much you are paying to each taxing body.
I disagree with my value. What can I do?
I would first recommend either looking at your property information on our Marion County Assessor website, or contacting our office, to see if we have everything listed correctly for your property. We will gladly provide a printout on your dwelling and/or buildings and explain how your value was determined. The Marion County Assessor's Beacon website is also a good place to find out how other comparable properties have sold.
If you still disagree with your value, there is an "Informal Agreement" period between April 2nd and April 25th. This process would involve a field appraiser coming out to look at your property to see if the value could possibly be adjusted so a formal protest with the Board of Review could be avoided. If an agreed upon value is reached, the Informal Agreement is signed by the aggrieved taxpayer and the value is changed for the current assessment year. This is merely an option; you may choose to go directly to the Board of Review with a timely filed, formal protest.
If no agreement can be made, or if you choose not to go this route, you may file a petition with the Marion County Board of Review. Petitions are available in the Assessor's Office or online at the county's web site or the Iowa Department of Revenue's web site. Petitions must be filed within the timeframe provided by the Code of Iowa. This is currently April 2nd to April 30th of any given year. The petitions are filed in the Assessor's Office.
The Board of Review will meet during the month of May. You may decide to have an oral hearing before the Board, or only decide to file your petition and submit any information you think is relevant to your petition. The Board will notify you by mail of their decision.
If you disagree with their decision, you may appeal within 20 days of the Board's adjournment, or May 31st, whichever is later. This date is usually May 31st. You may appeal to either the Property Assessment Appeal Board, or to Marion County District Court.
I paid xxxxx dollars for my house. Why isn't it assessed for that?
With the exception of agricultural land, real estate is assessed at current market value. The current market value for assessments are established every odd-numbered year and based on actual sales from the previous year. The Assessor's Office looks at all arms-length sales in the County, in a particular town, and of a certain building style to determine assessment for a number of properties at once.
An individual property may sell higher or lower than the assessed value for a number of reasons. There may have been a change in the property since our office last inspected the property. The change could have been something that would raise or lower the value.
These changes could include such things as a new garage or addition, a deck, new siding or windows, a garage or deck removed, or the overall condition of the dwelling has depreciated beyond what it would normally. Sometimes, one may be willing to pay more for a specific feature in a particular property, or the seller may be willing to sell it for less to reduce their worries and maintenance costs. There are also characteristics of a property which may affect the market value, but are not assessed, such as landscaping or personal property included in the sale.
The assessed value of my house should be less than what I would sell it for?
Assessed values are to be at 100% fair market value. Your assessment should be near what you could expect to sell it for in the current market. As stated above, there could be a number of factors that would affect your sale price compared to your assessed value.
Why did my assessed value change from my odd numbered year assessment notice (2007) to what is listed on the website for 2007 valuation, or on my tax receipt payable for September 2008 and March 2009?
This was due to an Equalization order from the Iowa Department of Revenue (IDOR). The order was for a 6% increase to all residential property, including dwellings on agricultural property. This means that the Assessor's valuation in April of 2007 was 6% too low, according to the IDOR analysis. There is a possibility of equalization orders every odd-numbered year.
Odd-numbered years are reassessment years, and possibly state equalization years, as established by the Code of Iowa. This means that the Assessor's office reviews all sales of property and compares the sale price with the assessed value at the time of the sale. This sales analysis is done at the start of the year. Notices of the new assessment are mailed to property owners by April 1.
The Board of Review considers filed petitions during the month of May. After the Board of Review is finished, the Assessor then compiles, and submits to the Iowa Department of Revenue, an abstract of assessment and reconciliation report. This abstract report shows the valuation for the County by classification and location. The reconciliation report shows the reason for overall changes in valuation from the previous year. These include revaluation, new construction, building removal, change in classification, or annexation.
After receiving the valuation abstract and reconciliation report, the Department of Revenue performs their own sales analysis, determines the valuation for the year by adjusting the previous year's valuation report, and then compares their results to the current year's valuation report received from the County. If the total value for each class is within +/- 5%, no equalization orders would be determined to be needed. If the percentage difference is over or under 5% for a particular class of property, even if it's 5.1%, the Department of Revenue would issue an equalization order of 5%, or more, to the County for that class of property.
I own and farm 500 acres. Isn’t there something I need to sign up for now?
You are probably thinking of the Family Farm Tax Credit. This was required to be signed up every year by October 15th until 2001. If you signed up in 2001 or after, you do not have to sign again. However, if you have acquired more agricultural land after you last signed up, you will need to sign an application for the newly acquired land. Applications can be filed anytime. However, those filed after November 1st will be applied to the next year.
My house is in the country and I have 7 acres. Why aren’t I classed as agricultural?
Iowa legislators have enacted statutes that determine how a property is classed and assessed. Current statutes state that a property is to be classed according to its current and primary use. A property’s location or zoning does not determine classification for assessment. Agricultural real estate includes woodland, wasteland, and pastureland, but only if held in conjunction with other agricultural real estate.
A house on x number of acres with the primary use of the property is to live there, will be classed as residential. This would include properties with an out building, which might have a horse or two, or a couple of cows, or mow a couple acres to sell hay bales. These uses would be incidental to the primary use of the property as a residence. Agricultural classification of small parcels is appropriate when they are the site of an intensive livestock use which demonstrates intended agricultural profit. Agricultural classification is also appropriate when they are adjacent to and operated as part of a larger farming operation.
This would differ from a house on 40 acres with 30 acres of cropland and 200 hogs. Even though the house is their primary residence, the primary use of the overall property is agricultural.
My building that I use as a repair shop is in a residential area and zoned as residential. Why is it classed as commercial?
A building being used as a business will be classed as commercial, even though it may be in a residential area or zoned residential. Again, it depends on the primary use of the property.
If a property has a building being used as a repair shop business, and there isn’t a house, this will be classed as commercial. However, if they discontinue the business and use the property for personal storage or use, then it could be re-classed as residential.
A house would be classed as commercial if used primarily for business purposes, or has 3 or more apartments. However, if someone is using a room or two in the house for a business, i.e. beauty shop, insurance office, etc., and lives the rest of the house, this would be classed as residential.
The only time location and zoning may help determine classification is when there is a vacant lot, which isn’t owned by an adjoining or adjacent building owner.
I served in the military. Am I eligible for the Military Service Property Tax Exemption?
There have been a number of changes by the Legislature in recent years that have expanded the eligibility for the Military Exemption on property taxes. Individuals that may not have been eligible in the past may qualify now. Click here for additional detailed information and/or contact the Veterans Affairs department.
Auditor & Elections
Do absentee ballots even get counted?
Yes. There is a myth that absentee ballots only get counted if the election is close, however this is not true. Under Iowa law, every ballot must be counted.
Can I request an absentee ballot by email?
Yes. You may complete an absentee ballot request form, email the request to our office, and a ballot will be mailed to you. However, in order for your ballot to be counted you must also mail in or drop off the original absentee ballot request form by Election Day.
Can I pick up or request a ballot for someone else?
No. In Iowa you can only request an absentee ballot for yourself.
Can someone else return my absentee ballot for me?
Yes, with restrictions. Only those who meet the criteria listed below are allowed to return absentee ballots.
- The voter.
- Someone living in the voter’s household.
- An immediate family member.
- A special precinct election official delivering a ballot as it relates to health care facilities.
- A delivery agent, if the voter is unable to return a ballot due to blindness or other disability.
- A delivery agent must return the ballot in person, not by mail or drop box.
- A delivery agent cannot return more than two absentee ballots per election.
- A delivery agent cannot be the voter’s employer or agent of the employer, an officer or agent of the voter’s union, or an actual or implied agent for a political party, candidate, or committee.
- A delivery agent must collect a signed form by the voter, stating they are being designated as a delivery agent. When delivering a ballot, the agent must provide the same identification as a voter at the polls and supply the signed designation form to the Auditor’s office.
- Someone returning an absentee ballot who is not allowed to or lies about it, commits a serious misdemeanor.
Do I need to sign the return envelope of my absentee ballot?
Yes! Your absentee ballot cannot be counted unless you sign the affidavit envelope that you seal your voted ballot in. If we receive a ballot back without a signature on the affidavit envelope, we will attempt to contact you to cure the ballot. Once contacted, you may decide to either:
- Request a replacement ballot and return it by 8:00 p.m. on election day
- Vote at the polls on election day
- Sign the affidavit in person at the county auditor’s office by 8:00 p.m. on election day
What is the last day I can turn in my absentee ballot?
You may hand deliver your ballot to the Auditor’s office up until the time polls close on Election Day.
Can I use power of attorney to request a ballot for my spouse, child or parent?
No. Under Iowa law, power of attorney does not apply for election related matters.
Does Marion County have a drop box for absentee ballots?
No. Ballots may be hand delivered to the Auditor’s office during regular business hours or returned with prepaid postage provided through the mail.
Can I get help marking my ballot?
Yes. If you need assistance completing your ballot, ask a precinct election official for help. A team of one Republican and one Democrat may help you mark your ballot. Each polling place also has an easy to use handicapped accessible marking device that can assist in the voting process as well.
Can I register to vote on Election Day?
Yes. Iowa law allows for Election Day Registration if you are able to provide Proof of Identification and Proof of Residency.
PROOF OF IDENTITY (must include a photo and current and valid expiration date).
- Iowa Driver’s License or Iowa Non-operator ID
- Out of state Driver’s License or Non-operator ID
- U.S. Passport
- U.S. Military ID or Veteran ID
- ID card issued by employer
- Student ID issued by an Iowa high school or college
- Tribal ID Card/Document (must be signed, with photo, not expired)
If the above Proof of Identity does not contain the voter's current residence, an Election Day Registrant must provide a seperate Proof of Residence.
PROOF OF RESIDENCE (must include name & current address, be current within 45 days, may be in electronic format).
- Residential Lease
- Utility Bill, including a cell phone bill
- Bank statement
- Government Check
- Other government document
- Property tax statement (current within 45 days of final payment date)
Can I take my absentee ballot to the polls on Election Day and vote there?
Yes. While we prefer you vote the ballot that was mailed to you, you are allowed to surrender your absentee ballot at the polls on Election Day and vote there.
Do I need to show ID to vote?
Beginning January 1, 2019, Iowa voters will be required to show a driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, passport, military ID, veterans ID, Tribal ID or Voter ID Card at the polls before they vote. Voters, starting in 2019, without an ID may cast a provisional ballot or have another registered voter attest to their identity.
I am already registered but my information needs updated; can I do that on Election Day?
Yes. While we recommended updating your information prior to Election Day to expedite the voting process, you may wait to do this on the day of the election. If you are updating your address, make sure you go to the correct polling place for your new address. When updating your address you will need to provide:
Proof of Residency in addition to Proof of Identity.
I can't get out of my car; can someone bring me a ballot to vote from there?
Yes. If you are unable to enter the polling place, a bipartisan team of election workers will be sent to your car to help you vote.
I lost my absentee ballot; can I just go vote on Election Day?
Yes. When you go to vote, a precinct election official will verify with the Auditor’s Office that your absentee ballot has not been returned. If the Auditor’s Office has not received a ballot you will be able to vote.
What do I need to bring with me to vote?
Starting in January of 2019 you will be required to show identification. If you need to register to vote on Election Day, you must bring proof of identification and proof of residency.
What if I lost my ID or forgot to take one with me to the polls?
If you do not have your ID, you may either cast a provisional ballot or have another registered voter attest to your identity. Attesters must provide proper identification for themselves in order to attest to another voter’s identification.
What if I'm still waiting in line when the polls close?
As long as you are in line to vote at the time polls close you will be allowed to vote.
Election General Information
What is Voter ID?
Voters must provide a valid form of identification to vote. Voters who do not have a valid ID may have another registered voter in the precinct attest to their identity (attestor must provide valid ID), use Election Day Registration documents, or may cast a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is a ballot that is reviewed by a bipartisan team at a later date, therefore, is not tabulated on Election Day. There are six approved types of identification that may be used:
- Iowa Driver’s License (not expired more than 90 days)
- Iowa Non-operator ID (not expired more than 90 days)
- U.S. Passport (not expired)
- U.S. Military ID or Veteran ID (not expired)
- Iowa Voter Identification Card (must be signed)
- Tribal ID Card/Document (must be signed, with photo, not expired)
What if I do not have an ID?
Registered voters who do not have an Iowa Driver’s License or Iowa Non-Operator ID are issued an Iowa Voter Identification or PIN Card. The Voter ID Card contains a PIN Number that will be used specifically for voting purposes and must be signed before going to the polls. If you should have a Voter ID Card and do not, please contact our office to have one sent to you.
Where do I vote?
Where you vote is determined by where you live and you must vote in the precinct to which you are assigned for your ballot to be counted. To find your polling place please visit the Polling Places page on our website.
Can I vote for someone that is not on the ballot?
Yes. For each race on the ballot a blank line is provided to write in a name of whomever you choose. Make sure you fill in the oval that is in front of the name you wrote.
Do I have to vote for everything on the ballot?
No. You can vote for as much or as little as you would like; it’s all up to you!
Can I get a new ballot if I make a mistake or lose my ballot?
Yes. If you make a mistake on an absentee ballot, mark your return absentee envelope "SPOILED” and return to the Auditor’s office via mail or in person. If you return your absentee ballot by mail, contact the Auditor’s office to request a new one.
On Election Day, if you make a mistake, write “SPOILED” across the ballot and return to the precinct election official to receive a new one.
If I change my mind on who I want to vote for after I have returned my ballot, can I get a new one?
No. If you have already returned your absentee ballot to the Auditor’s office you may not request a new ballot if you have changed your mind on who you wish to vote for.
Can an Independent or No Party vote in a Primary Election?
Yes and No. In Iowa, you must be a member of a political party to vote in a Primary Election. Those who are registered as Independent or No Party need to declare affiliation with a political party to participate in the Primary Election.
If I chose a party do I have to vote for all of their candidates?
It depends on the election. For Primary Elections, you can only vote for candidates from the party to which you belong. In General Elections, you are free to vote for anyone you like, regardless of their party affiliation.
How do I add or remove a name on my property?
We can only make changes to parcels with an officially recorded document. To add or remove someone from ownership on your property following a marriage, divorce, death, etc., we recommend contacting an attorney so proper documentation may be created and recorded.
How do I combine parcels?
Often a combine of parcels can be done with a simple request to our office. However, in order to be combined, parcels must hold the same type of class for taxation (e.g. Agricultural, Residential, Commercial) and must hold ownership with the same exact name or names.
How do I get an abstract for my property?
Contact an abstract/title search company to have one prepared.
How do I split a parcel of land?
A split of land must be approved by the necessary planning department. If you live in a city you should start the process with your city’s planning department. If you live in the County, outside any city limits, you should start the process with the County Planning and Zoning Dept.
Do I have to register to vote for every election?
No. You would only need to re-register if your information has changed and you need to update it.
Can I update my voter registration over the phone?
No. All updates to voter registration must be made in writing or online through the Iowa DOT if you have an Iowa Driver's License or Iowa Non-operator ID.
How do I update my address?
If you have moved recently and need to update your address simply fill out a new voter registration form and submit it to the Auditor’s Office. If you do not update your address after a move through a new voter registration form and do not vote in the next general election, you will be marked inactive (inactive voters may still vote with proper ID). Registration will be canceled if two more general elections pass with no voter activity.
I just registered and received a card in the mail but there is a mistake on it; what do I do now?
If you notice a mistake on your voter card please contact the Auditor’s Office and/or submit a new registration form to correct your information.
I registered as an independent; why does my card say "NP" or "No Party"?
Iowa does not recognize an “Independent” party. Instead, “No Party” is used to indicate a lack of affiliation with a political party.
Can someone with a previous felony conviction vote?
Those with a prior felony conviction are permitted to vote if their voting rights have been restored by the Governor, including through Executive Order. For more information about restoration of rights, contact the Governor’s office or visit the voter registration page on our website
Can a homeless person register to vote?
Yes. Any eligible voter in Iowa may register to vote. Many of those who are homeless have a nontraditional address. A person without a home just needs to provide an address or description of where they sleep the most, wherever that may be.
Board of Supervisors
How would a member of the media get in contact with the Board of Supervisors?
Any media wishing to make contact with a Marion County Board of Supervisor should contact our Public Information Officer Emily Feagins. Media should indicate which board member they would like to speak with and what the topic of discussion would be.
CROSS Mental Health and Disability Services
What services does the CROSS MHDS Region provide?
County Rural Offices of Social Services (CROSS Region) provides resource referral and care coordination as well as financial support for eligible mental health and disability service programs to individuals in South Central Iowa.
How can I get a caseworker?
Please contact one of our service departments that would best assist your situation with the contact information below.
100 S Main
Osceola, IA 50213
Jail Re-Entry Services
2003 North Lincoln
PO Box 627
Knoxville, IA 50138
T: (641) 828-2238 ext. 3869
Cell: (641) 218-1722
2003 North Lincoln
PO Box 627
Knoxville, IA 50138
T: 641-828-2238 ext. 3870
Where can I access information about community services and supports?
How can I apply for food stamps AND/OR Medicaid?
You can apply for food stamps and Medicaid on their website. You can call also call 1-855-944-3663 to apply for food stamps over the phone.
What is the Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa (CHCSI) Access Center?
Please visit their website for more information.
Where is the Access Center located?
Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa Access Center
219 West Washington St.
Peer Hotline: 1-800-708-5129
What services does the CHCSI Access Center provide?
Court-ordered evaluations, mobile crisis, observation, peer support, crisis stabilization, and subacute.
What is the CROSS ACT (Assertive Community Treatment) Program offered through Resources for Human Development?
Please visit their website for more information.
What is the process to receive CROSS ACT services?
Please contact the Program Director:
1514 N. Lincoln Unit A
Knoxville, IA 50138
T: (641) 632-2678
F: (641) 632-2681
Do you have a courtesy dock?
Is there a fee to launch a boat?
Where is the boat ramp located?
The boat ramp is ¾ mile east of Cordova Park entrance on County Road G-28.
Are park gates locked at night?
Yes, at 8:00 pm nightly.
Are pets allowed in the cabins?
Can I get back into the park after the gates are locked?
You will be provided with a code.
Can I leave my boat on the shore during cabin stays?
Do you accept credit cards?
Do you allow tents or camping units adjacent to the cabins?
Do you have boat docks?
Do you have cable or satellite TV?
Do you rent boats or other watercraft?
Yes, we rent Canoes, Contact Marla at 641-205-3820
How big are the cabins?
Two bedroom cabins are roughly 900 square feet. Three bedroom cabins are roughly 1700 square feet.
How do I find out availability of cabins?
How do I make a reservation?
How far in advance can I make a reservation?
Reservations may be made up to two years in advance
How many people will the cabins sleep?
The two-bedroom cabins will sleep 6, and the three-bedroom will sleep 10.
Is smoking allowed in the cabins?
What amenities are included in the cabin?
The camper will need to provide pots & pans cooking utensils, table service, toiletries, and bedding.
What is the reservation cancellation policy?
25% of the total fee is non-refundable. The remainder is refunded if the cancellation is made more than 14 days prior to your arrival date. Within 14 days there are no refunds.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes, for reservations only.
Do you allow campers to cut their own wood?
Yes, dead wood on the ground with hand or bow saws only.
Do you allow chainsaws to be used in the campgrounds?
Do you have coupons or punch cards for frequent campers?
Do you sell firewood at the campgrounds?
Yes, at Roberts Creek East, West, and the Marion County Park.
How close to my arrival date can I make a camping reservation?
Reservations must be made at least 4 full days prior to your arrival date.
How do I cancel my camping reservation and do I get a refund?
Cancellations must be made at least 14 days prior to your arrival date by phone or e-mail. The fee for 2 nights of camping is non-refundable.
How do I check for available campsites?
How do I hold a campsite without a reservation?
The site must be paid for, the registration card must be filled out, and the site must be occupied by a camping unit, boat trailer, or vehicle.
How do I make a camping reservation?
Reservations may be made at MyCountyParks.com
How far in advance can I make a camping reservation?
Reservations may be made up to 1 year in advance.
How many camping units per site?
You may have one tent or one wheeled unit per site.
How many people are allowed per site?
Is there a fee for making a camping reservation?
The My County Parks Website charges an administrative fee of $4.00 for each campsite or cabin reserved.
What services are available at the campground?
Campsites vary from 50/30/20 amp full-service sites to 50/30/20 anp water and electric sites. Each
campground has a modern restroom/shower facility, sanitary dumping station, water hydrants, and fire rings.
What types of camping surfaces are available?
Concrete slabs and rock.
Will I be able to get into the campground after closing time?
Who do I contact for Historical Village information? (In regard to tours, church reservations, historical information, etc.)
Historical Society President
Do you have a Disc Golf Course?
Yes, near the East campground of Roberts Creek Park.
Do you have any parks close to Lake Red Rock?
Yes, Roberts Creek Park and Cordova Park are located adjacent to Lake Red Rock.
What are the rates?
Current cabin and camping rates may be viewed at MyCountyParks.com
What cities are closest to your parks?
Marion County Park
on the West edge of Knoxville
Roberts Creek Park
7 miles West of Pella
9 miles West of Pella
When is the next Hunter Education Course in Marion County?
See the Iowa DNR website for more information.
Where can I get additional information?
Picnic Areas & Shelters
Do you have completely enclosed meeting facilities?
Do you have shelters and can they be reserved?
Yes, reservations are on a first come-first serve basis, and if desired they can be reserved for a fee of $25.00 -
$40.00 by calling the appropriate Park. (Marion County Park only)
Do your shelters have electricity and lights?
Yes (no lights in shelter # 3 at Marion County Park)
How many steps to the top?
Is the tower handicapped accessible?
Is there a fee?
Yes, $0.50 per person, payable at the turnstile. You will need to bring your own quarters.
How do I fill out a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Open Records request, or Public Information request for Marion County?
Marion County follows Open Records Law Iowa Code §22.1. For more information on how to request information from Marion County you should contact Emily Feagins our Public Information Officer
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 Marion 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. 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, or money order. Once we receive your request, we’ll mail it out the following business day.
*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 Marion County. How can I get a copy of my birth certificate?
The Iowa Department of Public Health has birth certificates for all Iowa births. Their phone number is (515)281-4944. 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. 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”.
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
Do you have property abstracts on file?
No. Abstracts are not filed in our office.
Does your office handle Divorce Records?
No. The Marion County Clerk of Court can help you with divorce records. You may contact them at (641) 828-2208.
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, or you can get one online or some office supply stores have the form for purchase. All documents recorded must meet Iowa document formatting standards.
What are your hours of business?
General office hours are 8:00 am-4:30 pm, Monday thru Friday via telephone or email. Our services are available by appointment. Appointments can be made at www.marioncountyiowa.gov or by phone. Appointments for Passports must be made via phone. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office at (641) 828-2211.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Recording Documents: Cash, Checks or Money Orders
Passports: Checks or Money Orders
DNR transactions: Credit Cards, Cash, Checks or Money Orders
Vital Records: Cash, Checks, or Money Orders
Where are you located?
Marion County Courthouse
214 E. Main St.
Knoxville, IA 50138
You must enter the building through the south doors.
Who can get a copy of a Military Record?
Veterans and next-of-kin of deceased veterans have full access to the record. Next-of-kin includes the un-remarried widow or widower, son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister of the deceased veteran. For more information, please contact our Veteran’s Affairs Department at (641)828-2201.
Can a marriage license be applied for in Marion 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 8:30 am-10:30 am and 1:00 pm-2:30 pm. You must call for a passport appointment at (641) 828-2211.
Where are you located?
The Passport Office is located on the first floor in the northwest corner of the courthouse.
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?
Residents apply for dust control by contacting one of our approved vendors. Dust control is applied May 15th and July 15th. Applications must be turned into the vendor no later than April 15th for 1st application and June 15th for 2nd application. No exceptions. Per County Policy, dust control season ends on October 1st, and normal blading operations resume.
I am building a new house. Who do I need to contact?
My E-911 marker needs replaced or our street sign was knocked down. Who do I call?
Emergency Management. All other directional signs are handled by the Road Department.
What are your hours of operation for snow removal?
Generally, snow removal units will not operate between the hours of 8:00 PM to 4:00 AM during a snow emergency. See Code of Ordinances.
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 641-828-2225. 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?
How do I get a copy of an incident report or an accident report?
Please call 641-828-2220 and ask for the records custodian and they will be able to assist you. Some charges may apply for records request.
How do I contact a deputy who handled my incident or complaint?
Please call 641-828-2220 and ask for the deputy who you spoke with regarding the incident or complaint. If the deputy is available you may be connected to speak with the deputy. If the deputy is unavailable you will be able to leave a message on that deputies voicemail. You will be contacted as soon as the deputy is available, please remember that our deputies work varying shifts, so the may be on their days off when you call.
How do I pay a traffic citation?
Tickets can be paid at the Clerk of Court in person, through the mail, or online. The information how to pay is listed on the citation.
How do I pick up recovered property or evidence that has been recovered?
Please call 641-828-2220 and ask to speak with someone for property return. A supervisor will speak with you if available or return your call as soon as possible. Some property may require a court order for return. You must set up an appointment for property return.
How do I request a background check?
Complete criminal history checks are done through the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI). Forms can be obtained on the Iowa Department of Public Safety DCI website.
When can I renew my driver’s license?
You can renew up to 180 days before and 60 days after your expiration date. They can always renew late, but if they are over a year expired they will have to retest for everything.
How much will my license cost?
A simple renewal (with no endorsements) will be for 8 years and will cost $32 dollars. ($4 per year).
I lost my driver's license, how can I get a new one?
Make an appointment and we’ll reissue. You will need to bring your social security card or number to prove your identity.
How much will an ID cost?
An ID cost $8 and is good for 8 years. Same documents are needed to get an ID as to get a driver's license.
I got my license renewed but the expiration is wrong (1 month)?
Yes, the paper license expires in 30 days. Your real plastic 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, call Ankeny or Ottumwa DOT Stations. For motorcycle testing, call C&C in Chariton, DMACC in Ankeny, or other surrounding counties may do them. Visit the Iowa DOT website to schedule an appointment.
What is the phone and fax number to the DOT?
Phone: (515) 244-8725
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 hold 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 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
- by drop box (outside the south entrance of the courthouse)
- at the counter
- by mail
- over the phone for a fee (2.25% of total)
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, or swap out for vanity plates, you do NOT need an appointment.
If you are transferring a title, you may self-schedule an appointment.
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 (641) 828-2202.
Can I put a vehicle title into someone else’s name?
No. The new owner needs to be present at the time of transfer or 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
If a customer wants to pay the full year taxes at one time, they will typically pay the whole year in September.
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 new drop box located by the south door of the courthouse.
- Over the phone by credit card for a 2.25% fee.
- In our office at the Courthouse from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 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?
Where do I find out what I paid for taxes last year?
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 paper that has to be completed each year, 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.
Is a building permit required in Marion County?
A building permit is required for any permanent structure built in Marion County. There is no charge for agriculture
What permits and inspections are required by Marion County when building?
A septic permit and inspection will be done by the Marion County Environmental Health Department. Building
permits are issued by the Zoning department. Marion County does not do building inspections. At the time a building
permit is submitted the zoning staff will cover the setback and zoning regulations required by Marion County. In
most cases when a principle building is built, Marion County may observe the setback stakes before construction
begins to make sure the setbacks have been applied for the correct zoning. The State of Iowa requires electrical
permits and will do electrical inspections.
Is Marion County a zoned county?
Yes, Marion County has been a zoned county since 1971. Before you change the use of your building or land it is
advised to contact the zoning office and make sure it conforms to the Marion County Zoning Ordinance.
Zoning classification and tax classification are two separate classifications. These two classification systems have
different definitions, operate under different rules, and are administered by different offices. Before making a change
in use of your land or building it is advisable to also contact the Assessor’s office.
I want to divide my land, what do I need to do?
Contact the Marion County Zoning office to see what will be required in your area. Marion County does have a
subdivision ordinance. All land divisions must be approved by Marion County. Depending on the location of
the property City land division regulations may apply.
How do I get a septic permit?
Contact the Environmental Health office to set up a meeting at your site. It is recommended that you also select a
septic contractor and have them out at the site as well. Next, EH staff will determine what type of system needs to be
installed and if a percolation/soil test is required. Finally, the property owner will pull a septic permit from the EH
office and septic installation may begin.
I have a mechanical septic system; do I have to have a certified contractor maintenance agreement?
Yes, a maintenance contract is required for the life of the system. All monitoring and servicing shall be
performed by a manufacturer’s certified technician. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that an adequate
number of certified technicians are available to service all aerobic treatment units at the specified intervals.
Aerobic treatment units shall be inspected for proper operation at least twice a year at six-month intervals by the
I am selling my home, what do I need to do with my septic system?
Iowa's time of transfer septic system inspection law (SF261) was passed by the Iowa legislature in April of 2008 and
took effect July 1, 2009. The new law requires that every home/building served by a septic system have that septic
system inspected prior to the sale or deed transfer for the home/building. The purpose of the law is to eliminate sub-
standard or polluting septic systems. All inspections must be conducted by an inspector that has been certified by the
department. It is better to have the time of transfer inspection completed sooner, rather than later, lessening the risk of holding up the sale closing.