Iowa state birth, marriage, divorce and death records are excellent sources of genealogical information and those more than 75 years old are made available by the State Historical Society of Iowa for public inspection and copying. The exception is fetal death vital statistics in birth and death records. Those currently in the custody of the State Archives pursuant to Iowa Code 144.43 are closed to the public.
Please contact the Iowa Department of Public Health directly to learn more about vital statistic recording or request access to state fetal death vital statistics, obtain a certified vital record and to obtain access to vital records less than 75 years old.
The State Historical Society of Iowa also has an extensive collection of county-level vital records on microfilm. While not all-inclusive, this collection is conveniently available at the Research Center in Des Moines. And as with state, county vital records that contain fetal deaths are not publically accessible.
There are three ways the public can request inspection then pay a fee to obtain an uncertified copy of a State vital record stored in Des Moines.
- Visit the Research Center in Des Moines. During open hours, you can meet with staff, research available reference materials and submit requests to inspect or copy state vital records.
- Contact a staff archivist to request an inspection or a copy of a state vital record. We ask the you provide the year and county of birth to facilitate the search.
- State Archives staff in the Des Moines office are available every Monday (during normal building hours except when closed for State Holidays) to field all in person inspection and copying requests for state records in the custody of the State Archives. Please visit the State Historical Building information desk to make your request in person and start the process.
Access to selected vital records in the custody of the State Archives that are more than 75 years old