The State of Iowa calls marriage, birth, and death records Vital Records.

You may request certified copies of records by telephone, in-person, online, or through the postal service.

Certified copies of vital records are only provided to entitled individuals: The person named on the record; or that person’s spouse, children, legal parents listed on the record, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, or legal representative or guardian. Entitled individuals may need to provide proof of entitlement.

Due to the increase of vital record requests for the purpose of obtaining a REAL ID, customers should plan ahead and order in advance. Do not wait until the last minute to order as processing times are approximate and not guaranteed service times.

The following certified copies are available at county registrar offices:  

  • Births from 1987 to present.
  • Deaths from 1954 to present.
  • Marriages from 1954 to present.

For events that occur before these dates:

  • Certified copies of birth records may be ordered from the county in which the event occurred.
  • Certified copies of marriage records may be ordered from the county where the application occurred.
  • Certified copies of death records may be ordered from the county of residence or the county where the death occurred.

Cost for a Vital Record

  • Each copy of a certified record costs $15.00.
  • If you order online, there is an additional fee from VitalChek; fees start at $13.00 per order.
  • If you order by phone, there is an additional fee from VitalChek; fees start at $9.00 per order.
  • There is a fee for shipping. Prices will vary. Please see the VitalChek website for details.

VitalChek is the only third-party vendor authorized by the Iowa Department of Health and Human Service to accept phone and online orders for Iowa Vital Records.

If the record is not located, the applicant will receive a notification of the unsuccessful record search. The $15.00 fee will be retained for the search. 

Request a Vital Record Online

How to Request a Vital Record by Mail

Submit a completed Application for a Certified copy of an Iowa vital record to:

Iowa Department of Public Health
Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics
Lucas State Office Building, 1st Floor
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075

  • All applications must be notarized.
  • Submit a clear photocopy of the applicant's current government-issued photo identification.
  • Each copy of a certified record costs $15.00.
    • If the record is not located, the applicant shall receive a notification of the record search. The $15.00 fee will be retained for the search.
    • Make check or money orders payable to the 'Iowa Department of Public Health'.
Download and Print Vital Record Request Form

Request a Vital Record Online

Certified copies of vital records can be requested online through VitalChek to either be picked up in-person or delivered through a variety of shipping methods.

Order Shipped to You

Order online at VitalChek to be shipped to you. Shipping options and average processing times include:

  • UPS Overnight—2 to 5 business days
  • UPS 2-Day—5 to 10 business days
  • Standard USPS Mail—2 to 3 weeks 

Pick Up In-Person

NOTE: Only use this option if you can physically pick up your order in Des Moines.

Upon notification, you will be directed to pick up your certified copy at the Department of Health and Human Services in Des Moines listed above.

 

Order Records Online

How to Request a Vital Record In Person

In-person requests are accepted at the Iowa Bureau of Vital Statistics in Des Moines between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for state-observed holidays.

Iowa Department of Health and Human Services
Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics
Lucas State Office Building, 1st Floor
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075

  • Requests received by 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday are available in 2 hours. 
  • If you do not want to wait to pick up the record you can request delivery by standard USPS mail services.
  • You will need to provide a shipping address. Ask for shipping cost information at the time of the request.
  • You must complete and sign your request in front of a vital records staff person.
  • Applicants must also provide valid, current government-issued photo identification.

Request a Vital Record by Phone

Call VitalChek toll-free at (866) 809-0290 from 6:00 a.m. CST through 7:00 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday, except holidays. 

 Order Shipped to You

Shipping options and average processing times include:

  • UPS Overnight—2 to 5 business days
  • UPS 2-Day—5 to 10 business days
  • Standard USPS Mail—2 to 3 weeks

Pick Up In-Person

NOTE: Only use this option if you can physically pick up your order in Des Moines.

 

Other Vital Record Information

For information about commemorative certificates suitable for framing, details about a certificate of nonviable birth or other questions please refer to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services Vital Records webpage.

 

More Information on Vital Records

Related Agency - Iowa Health and Human Services

Address:

Hoover Building, 1305 E. Walnut St., Des Moines, IA  50319

General - Toll Free Phone (800) 972-2017

Health and Human Services website