How to Obtain Birth Certificates in Iowa
Birth certificates are legal proof of your identity and age as well as your citizenship. There are many times when you need to provide your birth certificate to get a job, join the military, sign up for school or other reasons.
If you were born in Iowa, the process for obtaining a copy of your birth certificate is easy. Just follow the procedure below.
The Iowa Department of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics handles birth records, and they have been maintaining them since 1880.
First, you must follow Iowa’s eligibility laws about who may access your record. Only the following list of people can obtain a copy of your birth certificate:
- You, as long as you are 18 or older.
- Your spouse.
- Your children.
- Your parents.
- Your grandparents.
- Your siblings.
- Your lawyer, with your permission.
- A legal guardian.
Anyone requesting a copy must prove their relationship to you along with the reason for the request.
You may order a copy in-person, through the mail or by telephone. Some county registrar’s offices have access to the records but only after 1995.
To obtain your copy via telephone, call them at (515) 281-4944.
If you order your copy by mail, you can send your application and fees to:
DPH Bureau of Health Statistics, 321 E. 12th Street, Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319.
Regardless of how you order your copy, you will need to print and fill out an application.
When applying for a copy of your birth certificate, you must pay a $20, non-refundable fee. You can pay the fees by check or money order payable to Iowa Department of Public Health. In-person visits may be paid for in cash.
You also have the option of using an online service such VitalChek.com to locate and order a copy of your birth certificate. This service is government-approved for certified copies, and you can order expedited shipping to get them quicker. You may also pay online using a debit or credit card.