So you think you're important, eh? Maybe you were born and raised in Iowa and went on to accomplish great things in athletics, politics, entertainment, or something like that. Or, maybe you bought the first house in a development and want to really stick it to your neighbors.

Brady Street

Whatever the case may be, wanting to change the name of the Iowa street you live on can be done. I'm not here to tell you it's impossible but it sure isn't easy.

Can You Name Your Street After You?

The answer is yes but that most likely going to happen. Let me tell you why the answer is 'yes' if you live in the state of Iowa.

attachment-Iowa Map

Back in 1990, the 73rd Congress of the State of Iowa added a new section to chapter 1236 titled, Land Surveys and Plats. Section 592.7, which was amended in 1990 from 1989, reads:

"Whereas, certain cities throughout the state of Iowa have passed ordinances changing the name or names of certain streets in the cities; Now, therefore, it is provided that the acts of the city councils of the cities in enacting the ordinances changing the names of certain streets are hereby declared valid."

Great! That means you need to convince the city council you live in to change the street. Sounds easy, right? If you convinced the city council, here is what needs to happen for recording a change of street name is found in section 354.26. To save you the time, that says:

" A vacation, correction, or replatting as provided for in this chapter shall be recorded and an exact copy shall be filed with the auditor and assessor. If a governing body changes the addresses or street names shown on an official plat, notice of the change shall note the name or other designation of each official plat affected and shall be filed with the recorder, auditor, and assessor. The recorder shall note the vacation, correction, or replatting on the index and record of the official plat or upon an attachment to the official plat for that purpose. The auditor shall make the proper changes on the plats required to be kept by the auditor."

What does that mean? You're making government work a lot and we know how that can go.

It Costs Quite A Bit To Change The Name Of A Street

I don't have the exact figures but let's think about it for a second. If you change the name of your street to, I don't know, Kenney Street. Sure, the street sign on your block would change but so would every other street sign that kept going east to west or north to south.

Ingram Publishing
Ingram Publishing

Say you live on Locust Street. There are W Locust and E Locust streets. If they changed that to Kenney Street, every street sign at every intersection on that road, regardless if it was east or west would need to be changed.

That's not only forking out the money to buy new signs but paying workers to change them. You would also need to redo every single city map and if it's a major thoroughfare, even state maps. Plus, you have to call Google. Ugh.

Don't forget, the post office and your neighbors now have to learn your new street name all because you got it changed. Are people really going to like that?

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Dedication Of Land Is The Way To Go

That's so much easier and it costs a lot less, except for the plaque in your honor. Section 354.19 of the Iowa Code lays out the proper way to dedicate land to you and what land can be dedicated. Here's what it says:

"An official plat which conforms to this chapter and has attached to the plat a dedication by the proprietors to the public and approval of the dedication by the governing body is equivalent to a deed in fee simple from the proprietors to the public of any land within the plat that is dedicated for street, alley, walkway, park, open area, school property, or other public use. An approved dedication of land for street purposes by the proprietors establishes an easement for public access, whether or not a deed has been recorded or the improvement of the street is complete, except when the resolution approving the plat specifically sets aside portions of the dedicated land as not being open for public access at the time of recording for public safety reasons. The recording of a subdivision plat shall dedicate to the public any utility, sewer, drainage, access, walkway, or other public easement shown on the plat."

That section also says the auditor’s plat can't serve to dedicate the following:

  • Streets
  • Alleys
  • Parks
  • Open areas
  • School property
  • Public improvements
  • Utilities

I know, it's getting confusing. Just leave the naming of streets up to city officials. Your name is cool, it's just no street-name worthy.

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