In obtaining vital records in the State of Iowa, there are two agencies where you can go. You can request access of vital records either from the Department of Public Health specifically the Vital Records Division or from the District Clerk’s office where the vital event transpired. All state agencies and institutions are held responsible for the public according to the Public Records law This means that records made and maintained by such agencies are public and are accessible by any member of the public in need. Free Iowa public records include births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths that are recorded on registers, certificates, and documents.
In requesting a copy of any vital record, an application for must be filled out and acquiesced together with the corresponding fee required for a particular vital record. Such application form can be downloaded from the Department’s website or obtained directly from the said office. Additionally, a personal check or money order should be made payable to the state’s Department of Public Health. Written requests for certified copies of vital records will not be accepted unless they include a clear photocopy of the applicant’s current government-issued photo ID and the applicant’s notarized signature.
Vital records that are available in the said office and in the county clerk’s office only cover specific dates. For instance, records of birth that date back to July 1880 up to present are the only birth records available from such agencies. Each copy of a birth record costs $15. For marriage and divorce records, only those recorded from 1880 to present are available. A copy of a marriage certificate is $15 whilst a copy of a divorce decree costs around $6 depending on which county the divorce was granted. For divorce records, it is advised that you contact the Clerk of the District in the county where the divorce was filed and settled. Death records that are only obtainable are those documented from 1880 up to present and a copy of such is worth $15. However, records prior 1904 do not include parents’ names. State law restricts access to the registrant and family members, genealogists representing the family, or others with a tangible interest.
The processing time for records requests is 4 to 6 weeks depending on what method is utilized. There are several ways on how you can obtain vital records. You can get a copy of vital records in the State of Iowa in person, via phone, mail, or online. If you want to apply for a copy in person, you can go to their office directly along with the aforementioned requirements and the results will be mailed to you the following business day.
Should you wish to get a copy via phone, you can obtain their phone number from the state’s Department of Public Health website. The processing time is currently 7 to 21 days depending on the volume of requests in their office. In case your request is returned to you via regular mail, expect another 5 business days to reach you. For orders sent by mail, anticipate that mail orders may take an average of 5 business days to reach the Vital Records Office, and another 5 business days to be returned to you. The processing time for such request depends on the number of requests received and may take up to 20 business days during high volume times. Genealogy requests are accepted only by mail and will require a minimum of 30 business days processing.
If you want to obtain vital records with ease and deftness, then pull a quick online record review. The State’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, Department of Public Health has affiliated with an independent company called VitalCheck to provide online services. An additional fee is charged by VitalCheck though for such service. Moreover, if you want to obtain government records free of charge, then you can resort to other independent online records providers. Online record providers range from free to fee based. They only require you a minimal fee and with such fee, you can already have access to their database where all government records in the state can be obtained. What’s more, instead of the usual days to month turnaround time, they can give you comprehensive results in just minutes. Indeed, with such providers, you will be able to save money, time, and effort.
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