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How to Get a Copy of Your Iowa Birth Certificate

Updated on May 29, 2013

Are All Births Registered?

No, in fact, the county was not required to maintain records in some circumstances, including:

  • births to single parents before 7/1/95
  • adoptions
  • legal name changes
  • births between 1921-1941

Iowa Birth Certificates

Anyone who was born in the state of Iowa after 1880 may have an original birth certificate filed in the county registrar's office if they were registered. This means that if you are looking for a certified Iowa birth certificate to replace one that has been lost, there's a very good chance that you can get it easily.

The process to order a replacement is very simple. Just follow these instructions and you'll have your replacement in no time.

Iowa Birth Certificate Search Options

If you need to try and figure out if a birth certificate even exists in Iowa because you don't exactly know, there is a way to get help.

A written application can be submitted to search and get a copy. The applicant must be at least 18 years of age and prove his or her identity for the request to be fulfilled. That identity is proven by sending a copy of a driver's license or other government-issued photo ID as well as having the application signed by a notary public. You can likely find a willing notary at your local bank.

Note that this is only for a search request. If you know the place of birth, this is not necessary and there is an easier way. Still, for those that require a search, the application form is here. Each copy that you get will set you back $15 using this method, assuming such a record exists.

Looking for the document that went with this foot? Read on.
Looking for the document that went with this foot? Read on. | Source

Who Can Search for and Request a Certified Copy?

To be successful in this request, you must be an "entitled person". That is simply defined as any of the following:

  • the person on the birth certificate
  • a spouse
  • a child
  • a parent
  • a grandparent
  • a grandchild
  • a sibling
  • a legal guardian

If the birth certificate is for you or you have any of these relationships with the person for whom you are requesting a copy, you may submit the request.

Requesting a Certified Copy the Easy Way

If you don't need the formal search and just want a copy, simply use one of the faster options.

Phone the Iowa Department of Public Health at 866-809-0290 and make the request. Each copy received this way costs $28. That includes $15 for the record itself and an additional $13 for your identity and credit card to be screened and validated. If you want additional copies, the cost is another $15 per copy. Expect to receive your copies within 14 days.

For a replacement Iowa birth certificate, Des Moines residents can simply get a copy in person at the Lucas Building downtown just south of Grand Avenue and east of the state capital. You'll need a photo ID to be successful with this approach and your identity will be confirmed in person. Walk-up applicants can get a copy in as little as 2 days by returning to pick them up.

U.S. Mail is another option. Simply fill out the application and mail it to the Iowa Department of Public Health, Bureau of Health Statistics, Lucas State Office Building 1st Floor, 321 E. 12th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-0075. Be sure to sign your application in front of a notary public and include a good copy of your driver's license or photo ID. Written requests like this can take 45 days to fulfill.

Make Your Request

Now that you know your options, go ahead and make your state of Iowa birth certificate replacement request. The phone option, while the most expensive, is truly the fastest way to go, but if that doesn't work, one of the other methods should get the job done.


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