Iowa is a mid-western American state that was first settled in the early 1700 by the French. The territory eventually became part of the new United States in 1846, as the 29th state in the union.
Even though Iowa has a long history of registering births, and has a record collection that dates back to the 1880s, you can only request a copy of such a record if you are an immediate relative. That means the person on the record must be yourself or your child, parent, grandchild, grandparent, spouse or sibling. You will have to prove this relationship with your application, detailed below.
Unfortunately, there is currently no date limit for these privacy restrictions so even very old Iowa birth records will require an immediate relationship.
You can either make your request at the registrar's office in the county where the birth took place, or at the main state office. They do offer counter service if you want to drop off the application rather than mail it in. There is at least a 2-day waiting period even if you drop it off in person. If you are making your request of an Iowa birth record for genealogical purposes, you can wait up to 2 months as your application has a low priority over those with legal issues pending. Mailed applications will take about a month, again with a longer wait for genealogy requests.
Whether you choose to drop off or mail, the address is the same: Iowa Department of Public Health, Bureau of Health Statistics, Lucas State Office Building Floor #1, 321 E 12th Street, Des Moines Iowa, 50319-0075 USA. If you are dropping it off, you should sign the forms in front of the officer there. For mail-in requests, your application must be signed in front of a notary public and clearly notarized.
The applications forms for an Iowa birth record can be downloaded from the IDPH website (http://www.idph.state.ia.us/apl/common/pdf/vital_records/birth_application.pdf). All of the current information is on the forms, including what fee are required. Be sure to read the forms to make sure you are conforming to up-to-date application requirements.
Right now, the fee is $15 USD, which can be paid with either a check or money order that has been made out to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Also with your application forms, you will need to provide a clear photocopy of your own identification and any other documentation required to prove your relationship to the person of record.
As mentioned, you can also make your request at each county office which would possibly give you additional access to any records older than July 1880. County records are unlikely to go beyond the 1870s though. The relationship restrictions would still apply though. Some of these offices may require you pay the search fees in cash.
The specific information included on an Iowa birth record will vary by county and the time the record was created. Earlier records will have less information than more modern ones.
To request Iowa birth certificates by mail do the following:
Download the Iowa Birth Certificate form and complete it.
You will need to have your signature on the form notarized, and you will also need to include a copy of your current photo ID.
Return all of the appropriate paperwork to the Bureau of Health Statistics. You will also need to include a check or money order for $15 to cover the search fee.
If you have more questions regarding accessing Iowa birth records, you can contact the Department of Public Health below:
Iowa Department of Public Health
Bureau of Health Statistics
Lucas State Office Building, 1st Floor
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075
Requesting Iowa Birth Records
Iowa birth records are an important form of identification. If you need a copy of your record, then you will need to contact the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Different Ordering Methods
There are multiple ways that you can process a request for Iowa birth records. Calling the Department of Public Health will allow you to hear a recording with information on each method. Requests can be processed by phone, online, by mail, and in person.
Who Cannot Access Records
Iowa birth records are considered confidential, which means that they are not available to the general public. In order to request a record, you must be the person listed, a parent, grandparent, child, sibling, or legal representative. Proof of your identity will be required.