Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR)

Iowa Judicial Branch


Certified Shorthand Reporters maintain a complete record of judicial proceedings. This includes reporting by machine shorthand all spoken communication during the proceedings, and maintenance of exhibits and witness lists. It requires the ability to provide a verbatim transcript of the proceedings, which is accomplished by typing, dictation, or the most modern method of using computer-aided transcription (CAT) wherein the original computer writing of the court reporter is translated into English by use of computers and dedicated software. This method requires advanced skills by the court reporter and provides instant written translation of spoken words for hearing-impaired citizens. Reporters may work as freelancers in pretrial discovery work, or as official reporters hired by the State and other entities. Due to the nature of the job, accuracy and speed are vital with emphasis on grammar, English, spelling, and various technical terminology, including legal and medical.  

Code Citation IC, 602.3101-602.3302; Iowa Court Rules chapter 46

Who Applies All candidates for the shorthand examination must apply for certification.

When To Apply Applications must be on file at least 30 days before the date of examination.

Initial Requirements To sit for an exam, an applicant must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, have attained proficiency of 200 words per minute or more in a shorthand reporting course; or had at least two years of experience as a shorthand reporter in making verbatim records of judicial or related proceedings; or graduated from a shorthand reporting school approved by the National Court Reporters Association. An individual who holds the designation of Registered Professional Reporter from the National Court Reporters Association by passing said association’s examination on or after May 1, 1973, and who is in good standing with the association may, upon application to the Iowa Board of Examiners, become certified in Iowa upon successfully passing a written examination. Veterans or other persons certified in another state may be certified in Iowa if the examination administered in the other state is substantially equivalent to the NCRA exam, and the veteran or other person successfully passes the Iowa written examination.

Duration One year.

Processing Time Thirty days.

Fee Structure Application: $200 Renewal: $100 Exam: None Other: $100 – Late filing penalty $50 – Extension Request A license must be renewed annually by completing continuing education requirements, filing an annual continuing education report by December 1 of each year, and paying a $100 annual renewal fee.

Renewal Requirements Applicants must obtain at least three continuing education units (CEUs) within a three-year period by attending or participating in seminars, workshops or courses integrally relating to the field of shorthand reporting and which contribute directly to the professional competency of the shorthand reporter. One hour of continuing education credit equals .1 continuing education unit.

Exam The complete exam (skills and written) is usually given in April and December at the Iowa Judicial Branch Building in Des Moines. It consists of both a written and practical exam. An online written examination may be taken throughout the year. The Office of Professional Regulation of the Iowa Supreme Court should be contacted concerning registration for the online written examination and/or the in-person exams.

Additional Information All candidates for the shorthand examination must apply for certification.

Services Provided

Service Category

  • Service SubCategory
Contact Information
Tre Critelli
Judicial Branch Building
1111 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319