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.