Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. Maintained by civil authorities, they are prime sources of genealogical information; but, unfortunately, official vital records are available only for relatively recent periods. These records, despite their recent creation in the United States, are critically important in genealogical research, often supplying details on family members well back into the nineteenth century. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.

Iowa Department of Public Health
Bureau of Vital Records
Lucas State Office Building, 1st Floor
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075
515 281-5787515 281-5787

How to request a certified record by phone
How to request a certified record by mail Application

To verify current fees the phone number is:
Make money order or check payable to Bureau of Vital Records and mail to:
Bureau of Vital Records
Lucas State Office Building, 1st Floor
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075

The Iowa State Board of Health was established on July 1, 1880.

To secure a certified copy of a record from the county-of-event, applicants must have direct or tangible interest in the record. In other words, you must be the
registrant (person named on the record) or have a lineal relationship to the registrant, such as a legal parent, grandparent, spouse, brother, sister, child, legal guardian, or legal representative. All requests or applications for each certificate must be in writing and include the purpose for the certificate. Iowa State Database
A large collection of databases of births, deaths, marriages, census, obituaries, directories, estate records, and service records. Get 14 Days Free Access!!!


$15.00 1880 -Present
At both the county and state level, a fee of $10.00 is required for each record search conducted, with a copy issued if one is found. If the record is not found, a record search letter, also called a no-record letter, will be provided. The fee, however, is not refundable.


$15.001896 – Present


$15. 00 1916 – Present
A few events, primarily marriages, were recorded in some counties prior to the1880 date; however, little information is included on those records. Iowa Marriages, 1851-1900
Obtained by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase, Iowa became a territory in 1838 and a state in 1846. This database of Iowa marriage records has just been updated to include Polk and Plymouth counties marriage records, in addition to the previously posted records of Appanoose, Boone, Guthrie, Hamilton, Johnson, Lucas, Marion, Monroe, Muscatine, Lee, Scott, Adair, Greene, Louisa, Woodbury, Warren, Dallas, Webster, and Worth counties, between 1851 and 1900. Taken from microfilm copies of original county documents, each record provides spouses’ names, marriage date, and county of residence. (Requires Membership) Get 14 Days Free Access!!!