Frequently Asked Questions
Am I qualified to vote in Iowa?
In Iowa you must be registered to vote. To qualify to register to vote, you must be:
1. A U.S. citizen
2. An Iowa resident, and
3. At least 17 1/2 years old (must be 18 years old by election day to vote.)
1. Be a convicted felon (unless your voting rights have been restored),
2. Be judged mentally incompetent to vote by a court, or
3. Claim the right to vote in any other place.
To register please complete a voter registration form.
Where is my polling place for the Primary, General and other Elections?
For the Primary and General Elections, the polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. statewide. Please contact Cindy Gosse, Auditor and Commissioner of Elections to find your polling place or click here to view the list of precincts. Information on all other elections can be found here.
If you have moved between counties, pre-register to vote in your new county 10 days before general and primary elections and 11 days before all other elections. If you miss the pre-registration deadline, Election Day Registration is available.
How do I request an absentee ballot?
Any registered voter in Buchanan County may request an absentee ballot by contacting Cindy Gosse, Auditor and Commissioner of Elections.
The Auditor's office can mail the form to you for completion or you may visit the Iowa Secretary of State website to download an absentee ballot request form.
How do I apply for a U.S. Passport Book/Card?
- For first time applicants and minors, submit a completed passport application form DS-11 to your nearest Passport Acceptance Facility. For qualified adult renewals, submit form DS-82*.
- Submit evidence of U.S. citizenship: certified U.S. birth certificate, previous U.S. passport book/card, Certificate of Naturalization/Certificate of Citizenship, or Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
- Provide one recent color passport photograph. Effective November 1, 2016, you must remove eye glasses for your passport photograph.
- Present valid photo identification, such as, a driver's license, state ID card, student ID, military ID, or Federal/state/municipal employee ID card.
- Submit proper payment; check or money order.
*Visit the Auditor's office or https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html for the DS-11 and DS-82 forms and to review the requirements for renewal by mail.
When do I need to apply for a passport in person?
- You are applying for your first passport book/card?
- You are under age 16 or your previous passport book/card was issued when you were under age 16.
- Your previous U.S. passport book/card was lost, stolen or damaged.
- Your previous U.S. passport book/card was issued more than 15 years ago.
- Your name has changed since your U.S. passport book/card was issued and you are unable to legally document you name change.
AUDITOR'S OFFICE IS PROCESSING PASSPORT APPLICATIONS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
I need to travel within two weeks, how do I get a passport in a hurry?
If you are traveling in less than 2 weeks, or need to obtain a foreign visa within 4 weeks, you are eligible to schedule an appointment at one of the regional passport agencies. You may be required to provide proof of your travel plans.
Schedule an appointment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using the automated appointment system at 1-877-487-2778.
What is the difference between a passport book and passport card?
The U.S. Passport Book is valid for international travel by air, sea or land.
The U.S. Passport Card is only valid for entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry.
How long are passport books/cards valid?
- 10 years for adults (age 16 & older)
- 5 years for minors (under age 16)
What are the fees for a passport book/card?
Passport fees paid to the U.S. Dept. of State by check or money order are non-refundable:
U.S. Passport Book:
Minors (under age 16) = $80.00
Adults (age 16 & older) = $110.00
U.S. Passport Card:
Minors (under age 16) - $15.00
Adults (age 16 & older) = $30.00
U.S. Passport Book & U.S. Passport Card:
Minors (under age 16) = $95.00
Adults (age 16 & older) = $140.00
An Execution Fee is a non-refundable fee paid by all applicants to the Acceptance Facility when applying for a first time passport book or card. This $35.00 fee (check or cash) is the same amount for all applicants regardless of age. If applying for both the book and card on the same application, only one Execution Fee is due.
*Visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html to get current estimated processing times and expedition fees if needed.
How do I apply for a fireworks permit?
The Fireworks Permit Application must be completed and returned to the County Auditor's office not less than fourteen (14) days in advance of the date of the display. Buchanan County sells these permits only to qualified operators with a pyrotechnic certification and in the unincorporated areas of the county for a fee of $25.00. All documentation must be provided accurately or the application will be rejected by the Board of Supervisors.
NEWS RELEASE ON JUNE 13, 2017:
New legislation legalizes fireworks, however, in 2013 Buchanan County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance restricting the use of fireworks. The ordinance allows firework displays in Buchanan County only if a permit is approved by the Board of Supervisors. Part of the permit process requires that a certified or licensed pyrotechnician conducts the display.
The new legislation in Iowa legalizes the sale of fireworks and firework displays during certain times of the year. Under the new law the sale and display of fireworks is only allowed during June 1-July 8 and Dec. 10-Jan. 3. Buchanan County will allow the use of 1.4 Consumer fireworks between these dates with a permit.
How do we obtain or renew a permit for beer, liquor and cigarette licenses?
Buchanan County sells, on behalf of the State of Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, permits for beer, liquor and cigarette licenses for sales by businesses in the unincorporated areas of the county.