TN 24 (07-04)
GN 00308.032 Iowa Vital Records
Divorce records are available from the county clerk in the county where the divorce was granted. All county records are $15.00.
B. Procedure - State Sources
1. Address and FO Code Iowa Dept. of Public Health
Vital Records Bureau
Lucas State Office Bldg.
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075
FO Code 690
NOTE: Click here to find the most up-to-date information. In addition, you can find EIN information here.
2. Cost of Copy:
$20.00 (additional copies, $20.00 each)
3. Type of Payment:
Money order or check
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.
5. Birth Record Verifications
Verifications are to be done only through the State office and not the county offices. You may use the form below to fax requests for birth record verifications to Iowa’s Bureau of Vital Records. The fee for verification by fax using a credit card is $24.00 ($15 for the search/verification/certificate and $9.00 for credit card processing), and the verification is usually faxed back within four days. The same fee applies when calling.
If an office needs an actual certificate (e.g., the payment criteria in GN 00301.210 are met or a replacement certificate is needed because the original was damaged in the FO), write “Need Certificate” in the upper margin; the price is the same whether you request a certificate or a faxed verification. If you request more than one certificate at a time, the fee is $15 per certificate and one $9.00 credit card processing fee for the entire batch, up to three certificates at one time (e.g. a fourth document, faxed at the same time, would incur another $9.00 credit card fee and $15 for the certificate, a total of $24.00). The turnaround for a mailed certificate is usually a week. Click here for a confidential verification of birth.
6. Other Resources
Iowa census enumerations began in 1850. The final census was taken in 1925. These records are open to the public. For more information, visit or write: Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
Library Archives Bureau, State History Museum
600 E. Locust St.
Des Moines, IA 50319
Genealogical information and assistance may also be obtained by writing to: Iowa Genealogical Society
6000 Douglas Ave.
Urbandale, IA 50322