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Iowa Vital Records

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The following is for informational purposes only

What are Iowa Vital Records?

Vital records in Iowa are the official records of all births, deaths, adoptions, and marriages in the state of Iowa. Iowa began officially recording all births, deaths, and marriages that occurred in the state on July 1, 1880. The Iowa Department of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics maintains all these original vital records that have been registered in Iowa since that time.

Local Iowa county registrars' offices maintain copies of some birth, death, and marriage records for such events that occurred in their county. However, these local registrars do not have records of adoptions, single-parent births before July 1995, vital records between 1921 and 1941, and certain other records.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Birth Record in Iowa?

Iowa birth records

Birth records in Iowa are confidential for the first 75 years, after which anyone can get a copy. During the first 75 years, only the following persons with entitlement to obtain a copy of Iowa birth certificates:

  • The person named as the registrant, if at least 18 years of age.
  • The parent, legal guardian, grandparent, spouse, adult child, or adult grandchild of the registrant.
  • A legal representative of an eligible person with proper documentation.
  • Anyone with a judicial order from a court of law.

To obtain an Iowa birth certificate, you will need to complete an Application for An Iowa Vital Record form.

To request copies of certified birth certificates for someone other than yourself or your child, you must have proof verifying your relationship with the registrant, such as a copy of your own birth certificate proving the relationship.

You can request a certified copy of an Iowa birth certificate online, by phone, by mail, or in person. Each certified copy costs $15.

To order online, the Iowa Department of Public Health uses the third party VitalChek. When ordering online, you can opt to either have the copies of birth certificates mailed to you or to pick up the certificate in person in Des Moines, Iowa. Additional fees for online orders begin at $13. For online requests, fees may be payable by major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

To order by phone, the Iowa Department of Public Health also uses VitalChek to fill orders. You should call (866) 809-0290, Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. central time. Additional fees for phone orders begin at $9.

For certified copies by mail, you should submit your completed and notarized application, along with a copy of your current government-issued photo identification, (such as a valid driver's license) and a check or money order in the amount of $15 payable to the Iowa Department of Public Health to:

Iowa Department of Public Health
Bureau of Health Statistics
Lucas State Office Building, 1st Floor
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075

You may also obtain a certified vital record in person at the Iowa Department of Public Health address listed above. The office is open Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you arrive and make your request before 2:00 p.m., your request should be processed within 2 hours, and your copy available the same day.

For in-person requests, you should complete and sign the application in front of a vital records staff member and present your valid government-issued photo ID.

You may also contact the local county recorder's office where the event occurred to inquire about obtaining a copy; however, accessibility may be limited because the recorders' offices at the county level do maintain a complete list of vital records.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Death Certificate in Iowa?

Iowa death records

Death records in Iowa are confidential for the first 75 years, after which anyone can get a copy. During the first 75 years, only those with a direct and tangible interest in the record, usually family members, may obtain a copy. The following persons are eligible to obtain a copy of Iowa birth certificates:

  • The surviving spouse of the decedent, as listed on the death certificate.
  • An adult child or grandchild of the decedent, with proof of relationship.
  • A legal parent, grandparent, or sibling of the decedent, with proof of relationship.
  • A legal representative of an eligible person with proper documentation.
  • Anyone with a court order.

To obtain an Iowa death certificate, you will need to complete an Application for An Iowa Vital Record form.

You can request a certified copy of an Iowa death certificate online, by phone, by mail, or in person. Each certified copy costs $15.

To order online, the Iowa Department of Public Health uses the third party VitalChek. When ordering online, you can opt to either have the death certificate mailed to you or to pick up the certificate in person in Des Moines, Iowa. Additional fees for online orders begin at $13. For online requests, fees may be payable by major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

To order by phone, the Iowa Department of Public Health also uses VitalChek to fill orders. You should call (866) 809-0290, Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. central time. Additional fees for phone orders begin at $9.

For certified copies by mail, you should submit your completed and notarized application, along with a copy of your government-issued photo identification, and a check or money order in the amount of $15 payable to the Iowa Department of Public Health to:

Iowa Department of Public Health
Bureau of Health and Statistics
Lucas State Office Building, 1st Floor
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075

You may also obtain certified copies of vital records in person at the Iowa Department of Public Health address listed above. The office is open Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you arrive and make your request before 2:00 p.m., your request should be processed within 2 hours, and your copy available the same day.

For in-person requests, you should complete and sign the application in front of a vital records staff member and present your valid government-issued photo ID.

You may also contact the local county recorder's office where the marriage license was filed to inquire about obtaining a copy; however, accessibility may be limited as the local recorders' offices do maintain a complete list of vital records.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of an Iowa Marriage Certificate?

Iowa marriage records

Marriage records maintained by the Iowa Department of Health are confidential for the first 75 years. After 75 years, the Department of Health deems them public records that may be accessed by anyone through record searches. During the first 75 years, those eligible to obtain a certified copy of an Iowa marriage certificate include:

  • The married parties listed on the certificate.
  • An adult child or grandchild of the married parties listed on the certificate with a copy of proof of relationship.
  • A legal representative of the married parties with proper documentation.
  • Anyone with a court order.

To obtain an Iowa marriage certificate, you will need to complete an Application for an Iowa Vital Record form.

You can request a certified copy of an Iowa marriage certificate online, by phone, by mail, or in person. Each certified copy costs $15.

To order online, the Iowa Department of Public Health uses the third party VitalChek. When ordering online, you can opt to either have the certificate mailed to you or to pick up the certificate in person in Des Moines, Iowa. Additional fees for online orders begin at $13. For online requests, fees may be payable by major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

To order by phone, the Iowa Department of Public Health also uses VitalChek to fill orders. You should call (866) 809-0290, Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. central time. Additional fees for phone orders begin at $9.

For certified copies by mail, you should submit your completed and notarized application, along with a copy of your government-issued photo identification, and a check or money order in the amount of $15 payable to the Iowa Department of Public Health to:

Iowa Department of Public Health
Bureau of Health and Statistics
Lucas State Office Building, 1st Floor
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075

You may also obtain a certified vital record in person at the Iowa Department of Public Health address listed above. The office is open Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you arrive and make your request before 2:00 p.m., your request should be processed within 2 hours, and your copy available the same day.

For in-person requests, you should complete and sign the application in front of a vital records staff member and present your valid government-issued photo ID.

You may also contact the local county state registrar's office where the marriage application was filed to inquire about obtaining a copy; however, accessibility may be limited as the local recorders' offices do maintain a complete list of vital records.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Divorce Record in Iowa?

Iowa divorce records

Divorce records in Iowa are not considered vital records. They are public records; however, obtaining a certified copy of divorce records is generally restricted to the parties to the divorce, their attorneys, their legal representatives, those with legal authorization from one of the parties, and those with a court order.

Iowa divorce records may be obtained by eligible persons through the Iowa county clerk of court where the divorce was granted.

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