In claims situations, the public may request a vital record either from the state
or the county where the event occurred. For enumeration purposes, FOs should request
birth verifications and certified copies only from the state. The reason for the difference
is that SSA has a streamlined process with the state BVS that we do not have with
the county offices in Iowa. SSN applicants should also request a certified copy from
the state BVS if they need one because SSA will verify the birth record when required
by RM 10210.250 through the state BVS.
A clear photocopy of the applicant's current government-issued photo ID must accompany
requests. If an FO employee requests a birth/marriage/death document from the Iowa
BVS, a photocopy of the employee's government ID on SSA letterhead is required. See
GN 00308.001B.3. for acceptable forms of identification. No records of events prior to July 1,
1880 are on file.
Make all requests directly to the Vital Records Bureau. In hardship cases send an
SSA-L706, third party draft and return envelope. The State office now has no divorce
records. There is only a microfiche listing which indicates the county in which the
divorce record may be found. The decree must be obtained from county records. A complete
list of counties in Iowa is available here.
Birth, death and marriage certificates may be requested by phone at (515) 281-4944,
using VISA, Discover, MasterCard, or American Express. There is a $9.00 surcharge
for the service (in addition to the $15.00 fee for the certificate). The record is
normally mailed in three work days.
Can FO verify, certify or obtain free copy of birth/death record? No
For instructions about requesting birth record verifications and birth certificates
in certain situations (e.g., the payment criteria in GN 00301.210A.3. are met or a replacement certificate is needed because the original was damaged
in the FO), see GN 00308.032B.5.