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 Bureau of Health Statistics (BHS)
that we do not have with the county offices in Iowa. SSN applicants should also request
a certified copy from the state BHS if they need one. For example, when SSA has to
verify the birth record when required by RM 10210.250 through the state BHS.
A clear photocopy of the applicant's current government-issued photo ID must accompany
requests. If an FO employee requests a certified birth/marriage/death document from
the Iowa BHS, a photocopy of the employee's government ID on SSA letterhead is required.
Iowa BHS created a form we can use in lieu of the letterhead, click
Employees will write "Need Certificate" in the upper right hand corner for certified
copies. See GN 00308.001B.3. for acceptable forms of identification.
Note: No records of events prior to July 1, 1880 are on file.
Make all requests directly to the BHS. In hardship cases send an SSA-L706, third party
draft and return envelope. The State office 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 through the Iowa
Association of Counties website.
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 administative
fee charged for the service (in addition to the $15.00 fee for the certificate).If
multiple certificates are requested, a $3.00 administrative fee is charged for each
additional certificate. For example, if you place an order for three certificates,
you will pay $45.00 ($15.00 each) for the three certificates and $15.00 ($9.00 for
the first and $3.00 each for the two additional) in administrative fees for a total
amount due of $60.00. The record is normally mailed in three workdays.
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.