TN 50 (02-20)

GN 00308.032 Iowa Vital Records

A. Process

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

Bureau of Health Statistics

Lucas State Office Bldg.

321 E. 12th Street

Des Moines, IA 50319-0075

FO Code 690

NOTE: Use the Iowa,gov website to find the most up-to-date information. In addition, you can find EIN information here.

2. Cost of Copy:

$15.00 (additional copies, $15.00 each)

3. Type of Payment:

Money order, check or credit card

4. Remarks:

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.

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 BHS. The fee for verification by fax using a credit card is $24.00 ($15.00 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.

Note: A member of IA’s verification staff will contact the requesting SSA employee for credit card information on all faxed requests.

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 $15.00, per certificate, $9.00 credit card processing fee for the first certificate and $3.00 for each additional certificate. The turnaround for a mailed certificate is usually a week. Use the PDF file

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


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
GN 00308.032 - Iowa Vital Records - 02/13/2020
Batch run: 02/13/2020