Official State of Iowa Website

Iowa Statutes

You will find Iowa statutes in the Iowa Code (organized by topic) and the Iowa Acts (session laws organized by the legislative session in which they were passed). When you are citing a statutory law to a court, you should usually cite the relevant section or sections of the Iowa Code. 

The Iowa Code is published in print every two years by the Iowa General Assembly and is published electronically annually on the Iowa Legislature website. The Iowa Code includes the Iowa Constitution. An annotated code version of the Iowa Code is published by a company called Thomson Reuters. The Iowa Code Annotated is not available for free online, so you will need to visit a law library if you would like to use it.

The Iowa Legislature's website   

The Iowa Legislature’s website provides many different ways to interact with the Iowa Code. You can access the Iowa Code in two ways from this pageIcon of a sign with a red arrow pointing in one direction and a yellow arrow pointing in the other direction 

  • You can access the official version of the code by downloading the volumes in PDF format. The official version of the Iowa Code currently has 8 volumes, and each of these volumes has well over a thousand pages, so you may want to avoid downloading the volumes on your phone.  

  • You can also view the chapters from any of the 16 titles of the code. Once you select “Chapters” next to any title, you will see the option to download entire chapters of the code or select “Sections” to view a list of sections. 

Additionally, you can search the Iowa Code, browse by category, or use the Iowa Code index to locate relevant code sections.     

The Iowa Legislature website offers videos that can help you understand how to better navigate the website.

What to do after you find a code section

When you find a code section that seems relevant to your case, remember that your research is not done! More than one code section may affect your situation, so make sure you check the surrounding code sections. Also look for a section called “Definitions” in the chapter or title where you found the relevant section or sections, as this section might give more information on the meaning the legislature intended for the words used in the code section. Icon of a checklist and pencil

You will also want to make sure that the code section is current, meaning that no new statutes have changed the section.  

Because the language of the code section rarely gives a complete picture of the law on a topic, you will also want to look for cases that discuss your code section and your issue more generally. Annotated codes are a great way to find cases that cite to the code section or sections you have found, but to access an annotated code, you will need to visit a law library. 

Visit our Finding Case Law section for more information on good ways to find cases on your topic.