Assessor’s Office FAQs

Q: When can I sign a Homestead Credit?
A: You can sign a Homestead Credit after your Deed is recorded in the county Recorders office and you actually move in the property before July 1 of a given year.

Q: Do I have to live in a property to get a Military Credit?
A: No. All you need to do is own the property and live in Iowa.

Q: How do I figure taxes on my home?
A: Multiply the value by the Rollback percentage minus Homestead Credit. Then multiply that figure by the Levy rate (rounded to the nearest even dollar).

$ 50,000 Assessed value (residential class)
x 48.4558% Rollback percentage (2004)
$ 24,228 Rollback Value (Taxable)
– 4850 Homestead Credit
$ 19378 Net taxable value
x 46.63535 Levy * Per thousand (varies with taxing district)
$ 903.70 Net tax before rounding off to the nearest dollar.
$ 904.00 Property tax (Rounded to the nearest event dollar)

Q: What are the qualifications for Family Farm Credit?
A: The farm must be family owned and family farmed. The farm can not be rented to a non family person. * The farm can be custom farmed.
* Family member by Iowa Code definitions by Blood, marriage or by adoption or formerly by either.

Auditor’s Office FAQs

Q: Where can I get a Plat Book?
A: The Auditor’s office for $30.00 plus shipping if applicable.

Q: When do I need to re-register to vote?
A: Anytime you move or have a name change you need to re-register to vote.

Q: If I do not vote, is my voter registration deleted?
A: No. Voter registrations are deleted only if our office is noticied in writing or if your registration is inactive for two consecutive general elections.

Q: How long does it take to get a passport?
A: You need to allow at least 4-6 weeks. However, there is an expedited process for individuals who need quicker service. For more informatin, see the US State Department Passports site.

Passport Requirements:

  • For children under 16, there is now a requirement for both parents to sign the application
  • For applicants 16 & older, the US Dept of State fee is $110.00 and the Union County Recorder is $35.00.  The passport will be good for 10 years.
  • For applicants 15 & younger, the US Dept of State fee is $80.00 and the Union County Recorder is $35.00. The passport will be good for 5 years.

A new passport card is available for application and will be for LAND & SEA travel only between the US, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda & the Caribbean only.  Fees to the US Dept of State are $30.00 for ages 16 & older and $15.00 for ages 15 & under.  The $25.00 (Fee goes up to $35.00 on April 2, 2018) application fee to the Union County Recorder still applies.

Conservation Office

Q: How much does it cost to rent a cabin at Three Mile Lake Recreation Area?
A: Sunday through Thursday nights are $55 per night per cabin, Friday and Saturday nights are $65 per night per cabin. Lakeshore cabin $70 per night Sunday – Thursday; $80 per night Friday & Saturday.

Q: How do I reserve a cabin at Three Mile Lake?
A: Cabins can be reserved by logging onto If you have any questions please call 641-347-5100. All messages will be returned.

Q: What is in the cabins, and what do I need to bring?
A: All cabins are furnished with: 2 sets of bunk beds, a fold-out couch, table and chairs, dorm sized fridge, and a microwave. Outside there is: a picnic table and a fire ring for each cabin, and 2 water hydrants are shared by the cabins. You will need to bring: sleeping gear (sleeping bag, sheets, blankets, pillow, etc.), cooking supplies and equipment, eating utensils, etc.

Q: Is there plumbing in the cabins?
A: No, but there is a heated shower house right next to the cabins which has showers, flush toilets, and running water, and is handicap accessible.

Q: How do I reserve the Lodge at Three Mile Lake?
A: You can reserve the Lodge at Three Mile Lake by calling 641-347-5100 and checking availability. All messages will be returned.

Q: Can I reserve a camping spot and how much does it cost?
A: The Union County Conservation Board has set a policy of “first come, first served” which means that we cannot accept reservations for camping spots. The camping fee is $15 per night for sites with electric hook-ups (84 sites).

Q: How do I get to Three Mile Lake?
A: Three Mile Lake is approximately 3 miles north of the town of Afton, approximately 15 miles east of Creston, and approximately 25 miles west of Osceola. From U.S. Highway 34, turn North on County Highway P-53 (Creamery Road), turn west (left) on 150th Street. 150th Street leads to the main boat ramp and the campground entrances are marked by directional signage.

Q: Can I make just a one night reservation?
A: Except for the Friday and Saturday.

Emergency Management FAQs

Q: How can I read the Union County Multi-Hazard Emergency Plan?
There is a copy located at the Emergency Coordinator’s office at 208 West Taylor Street in Creston.

Q: What does the Union County Multi-Hazard Emergency Plan include?
The Annexes (chapters) are:

  1. Command & Control;
  2. Communications & Warning;
  3. Damage Assessment;
  4. Emergency Public Information;
  5. Evacuation;
  6. Fire & Medical Emergency Service;
  7. Health & Medical;
  8. Law Enforcement;
  9. Mass Care;
  10. Shelters;
  11. Public Works & Utilities;
  12. Radiological Protection;
  13. Resource Management;
  14. Human Services;
  15. Search & Rescue;
  16. Hazardous Materials Planning & Response;
  17. Terrorism Response.

Q: How can I get a new address?
A: If you live in a rural area an application must be filed with either the E911 Coordinator at 208 West Taylor St or the Union County Engineer at 1001 Commerce Rd., both in Creston.

If you live in:
Afton – Afton City Clerk at 115 E. Kansas St. in Afton, 347-5224
Arispe – Mayor, 641-346-2205
Creston – Creston Public Works Dept, Old Depot in Creston, 782-5410
Cromwell – Cromwell City Clerk, 782-4047
Lorimor – Lorimor City Clerk, 641-763-2297
Shannon City – Shannon City Clerk, 641-346-2591

Q: What if my address sign is bent or destroyed?
An address sign that is damaged must be reported to the Coordinator (641-782-1622) for repair or replacement. There is a $25 charge for habitual replacements.

Q: Can I get a map of Union County with street names and addresses?
Yes. There are two sizes available, large 58”X36” (full Color) for $36.00 or small 36”X23” (full Color) for $19.00. In addition to the above, we now have a full color folded (road map style) county map for $4.00 that also displays all rural addresses and streets of all the towns in Union County. All maps can be requested through the Union County Auditor or the Union County Emergency Management office.

Recorder’s Office FAQs

Q: What do I need to buy my hunting, fishing, deer, or turkey license?
A: You need to bring your driver’s license or a past DNR license that shows your permanent DNR number. If you wish to purchase a license for a gift, you will need either a DNR number or their SSN and date of birth.

Q: What are the opening season dates?
A: Go to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources web site for information.

Q: How do I get a copy of my deed?
A: The fee is $.50 over the counter, $1.00 local fax and $2.00 per page out of town fax. By mail is $1.00 per page.

Q: What is the fee for a marriage license?
A: The fee is $35.00. You can download a copy of the application and directions from the Recorder’s page or the Download page.

Q: Who needs to sign a marriage license?
A: The marriage license needs to be signed by the couple getting married and one witness that knows the couple. All signatures will need to be notarized. We can do this in the office, but all parties will need to bring a valid government issued photo ID. The application can also be completed elsewhere and then filed at our office. You can download a copy of the application and directions from the Recorder’s page or the Download page.

Q: Does the marriage have to take place in the county where the license was obtained?
A: No. The couple can get their license from any county recorder in Iowa and get married anywhere in Iowa. You can download a copy of the application and directions from the Recorder’s page or the Download page.

Q: How soon can I get a certified copy of a vital record?
A: By mail, we try to get it processed the same day we receive it. In person, time permitting, the same day. Be sure to bring a valid government issued photo ID + $20.00 and have a tangible interest.

Q: What is the price for a certified copy of a vital record?
A: The fee is $20.00. You can download a copy of the application and directions from the Recorder’s page or the Download page.

Q: Genealogy requests?
A: Our records are open to the public for searches.  If you want as certified copy, the fee is $20.00. Go to to the Genealogy Requests page for more information.

Process to Apply for a certified copy of a vital record by mail:

  1. Print the second page of the application
  2. Complete the application and have your signature notarized
  3. Enclose a copy of your driver’s license
  4. Enclose a self addressed stamped business size return envelope
  5. Enclose the $20.00 processing fee
  6. Mail to: Recorder, 300 N. Pine, Suite 5, Creston, Iowa 50801

If your request is for someone born before 1990 and the parents were not married at the time, you will need to request the certified copy through the State of Iowa.  The Recorder’s office can assist you with electronically requesting those documents.

We do have applications available for other states, if you need that information.

Q: What do I need if I plan to buy a boat, snowmobile, or ATV out of state?
A: Please call the office to get information for the state you plan to buy from. Generally, you will need both a Registration and Title signed by the owners and a Bill of Sale.

Q: Can I get my certified copy from Union county if I was born in another county?
The Union county Recorder’s office can do certified copies of birth certificates from 1990 forward statewide.  We can also process death and marriage certificates statewide from 1954 forward.

Sheriff’s Office

Q: When can I leave money for my spouse or friend currently in jail?
A: Money for inmates can only be left during visiting hours or can be mailed to:

Inmates Firstname Lastname
% Union County Sheriff’s Office
302 North Pine Street
Creston, IA 50801

Treasurer’s Office

Q: How many days before and after my birthday do I have to renew my driver’s license?
A: You have 30 days before and 60 days after your actual birthday to renew your driver’s license.

Q: When is my property tax due?
A: The 1st half property taxes are due September 30th and the 2nd half property taxes are due March 31st of each year.

Q: When is the annual tax sale held?
A: The tax sale is held every year on the third Monday of June. Check back during the previous week to download a tax sale list and the tax sale bidder registration forms.