Requesting Certified Copies


In Iowa, official registration of births, deaths, and marriages began July 1, 1880. All original records that have been registered are on file with the State Department of Health. Statewide record searches are available from the state registrar. 

Single parent births prior to 1986, all adoption records, and all legal name changes must be obtained from the State Department of Health. You may call Vital Chek at 1-866-809-0290. You may also send a written application. 

Local Registrars

Local registrars are located in county recorder offices. Those offices are responsible for maintaining records of birth, death, and marriages that have occurred in that county.

Vital records are available at the Recorder's Office for the years 1880 to 1920 and 1942 to the present. This office does have some records starting in 1854. The State Department of Health has the records for 1921 to 1941.

Local registrars, however, do not have code authority to have on record the following information:

  • Adoptions
  • Any record ordered sealed by a court of law
  • Birth, death, and marriages between the years 1921 to 1941
  • Single-parent births prior to 1986

This office can issue a certified copy of a death or marriage certificate back to 1954 regardless of where the death or marriage occurred in the State of Iowa.  We can issue certificates for Floyd County deaths and marriages from 1880 to the present time. This office can issue a certified copy of a birth certificate back to 1986 regardless of where the birth occurred in the State of Iowa.  We can issue certificates for Floyd County births from 1880 to the present time.

We do not accept out-of-state checks at the county level for certified copies of vital records. A plain paper copy marked "Not for Legal Purposes" may be obtained at the county level for $1 each.

We do not perform genealogical searches.  You may search our open records during normal working hours.


All applications for certified copies of vital record events must be in writing and completely identify the record as well as satisfactorily establish entitlement to the record being requested. Entitled persons include the person named on the record or the person's:

  • Children
  • Legal parents
  • Legal representative or guardian
  • Grandchildren
  • Grandparents
  • Sibling
  • Spouse

Application Fees

Application for a certified copy requires a fee of $15 for the record search and includes 1 certified copy. Each additional copy of the same record is also $15. Fees are payable by check or money order made out to the issuing registrar's office.

Legal Guardians & Representatives

Legal guardians and representatives must also provide additional proof of guardianship or representation. You must enclose a copy of your photo identification such as a driver's license. Your signature on the application must be notarized.

State-Certified Copies

Certified copies of birth, death, or marriage certificates may be obtained from the state office of vital records by telephone, in-person, or through a postal service. The Floyd County Recorder's Office can assist you in preparing an application and forward it to the Iowa Department of Public Health.  Fees are payable by check or money order made out to the Iowa Department of Public Health, unless the Recorder's Office assists in preparing the application. In-person requests may also be paid in cash. Requests for the purpose of family history take at least 60 days, regardless of the method of request.


Customers can call a toll-free number 866-809-0290 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, Monday - Friday, except holidays. A fee of $15 is required for the record search and includes a copy if a record is on file. A VitalChek operator will take the information, screen the credit card, authenticate your identity and complete the order. The fee to screen the credit card and authenticate the caller is an additional $13. An additional $3 fee is charged for group orders of more than on Vital Even (i.e. Birth, Death or Marriage) within 1 order. Turnaround time is usually 10-14 days, depending on seasonal demands and mail service. Genealogy requests are not available through the credit card line.


Walk-in service is available for in-persons at the state vital records office between the hours of 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday, except for state-observed holidays. The office is located at the address just inside the main north entrance and to the left of the main lobby at:
Iowa Department of Public Health
Bureau of Vital Records
Lucas State Office Building
1st Floor
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075

The Lucas Building is the 1st state office building east of the state Capitol building, on the south side of Grand Avenue. Written applications must be satisfactorily completed and signed. Applicants must also provide photo identification. Copies may either be picked up after 2 days or mailed to an entitled person.

Postal Service

Written request and fees may be mailed to the address above. Requests must state the relationship to the person named on the record and the purpose for the copy. Filled requests may take up to 30-45 days, depending on mail service. The request must be signed in front of a notary public and include a clear photocopy of the applicant’s current government-issued photo identification.