Where to Get an Iowa Vital Record
Published Sept 27, 2021
The bureau records all vital events in the state, including birth, death, and marriage, and the agency maintains an interstate exchange agreement with all other states. Annually, the bureau records around 100,000 occurrences and issues approximately 85,000 certified copies.
Official birth, marriage, and death registration began in Iowa on July 1, 1880. The Iowa Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics maintains all original records that have been recorded.
The state registrar offers statewide record searches.
Local registrars are housed in county recorders’ offices and are responsible for maintaining records of births, deaths, and marriages within their respective counties. So if you are wondering where to get Iowa vital record, you are in the right place.
The following records are not physically in the hands of county registrars:
- Prior to July 1, 1995, single-parent births;
- Birth records following a legal name change under Iowa Code chapter 674.
- Records that are filed more than a year after the incident;
- Any document that a judge has ordered sealed;
- Between 1921 and 1941, birth, death, and marriage records
All requests for certified copies of important record events must be made in writing and adequately identify the record and show entitlement to the record.
The person identified on the record and that person’s spouse, children, legal parents, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and legal representative or guardian is entitled persons. Additional proof of entitlement must be provided by legal guardians, legal representatives, and siblings.
Certified copies of birth, death, or marriage certificates may be requested by phone or online, in person, or via mail service from the state office of vital records.
Payments must be made in the form of a check or money order made payable to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Cash may also be used to pay for in-person requests. Checks must be drawn on the applicant’s account, and money orders must be drawn in the applicant’s name. Application fees must be paid at the time of submission.
Fees must be remitted to the issuing registrar’s office in US dollars. In rare situations, the county registrar (County Recorder) may accept only cash or money orders in person or money orders via mail. All applications must come with a valid, recent government-issued picture identification card (or a legible copy if applying by mail), and all applicants must demonstrate their eligibility adequately.
As of July 1, 2019, the state’s administrative processing charge for Iowa vital records is $15. This includes amendments, late registrations, legal name changes, revocation of paternity affidavits, paternity registry searches conducted by adoption attorneys, disclosure of county of adoption, private paternity establishment judgments, and court orders, as well as any other action requiring administrative processing.
The Mutual Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry application fee stays unchanged at $25.
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