Open Public Record Act:

The Iowa Public Records Act affords every person the right to examine and obtain a copy of any public record created, received, filed, or maintained by a government body. These records include all records, documents, tape, or other information belonging to government agencies within the state. There are exceptions which include personal information, medical records, trade secrets, criminal files, military confidential records, library records, and examinations.

Birth Records:

The Iowa Department of Public Health is responsible for keeping the official registration of births that have occurred in the state. The records go as far back as July 1, 1880. Only the following individuals are eligible to receive copies of birth records. These are the person named on the record or that person’s spouse, children, legal parents, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, or legal representative or guardian. Legal guardians, legal representatives, and siblings must also provide additional proof of entitlement.

To obtain copies of birth certificates, you will need to submit your request to the state office of vital records by mail, in person, or over the phone. All requests must be accompanied by a valid, current government-issued photo ID. The cost of a certified copy of a birth certificate is $20. Fees must be paid by check or money order made payable to the Iowa Department of Public Health. In-person requests can be paid in cash.

Marriage Records:

Records of marriages are available from the Department Public of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics with the exception of marriages that occurred between the years 1921 to 1941. You can request certified copies of marriage certificates from the state office of vital records in person, by phone, or through mail. Only eligible persons are allowed to receive these copies including the person named on the record or that person’s spouse, children, legal parents, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, or legal representative or guardian. Legal guardians, legal representatives, and siblings must provide proof of entitlement. All requests must include a valid, current government-issued photo ID as well as payment for the search and certified copy. The cost is $20 which is non-refundable.

Death Records:

Deaths that have occurred in the state of Iowa starting from July 1, 1880 are officially registered and filed with the Iowa Department of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. All applications for certified copies can only be made by eligible persons such as the person named on the record or that person’s spouse, children, legal parents, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, or legal representative or guardian. Legal guardians, legal representatives, and siblings are required to provide additional proof of entitlement.

To obtain a copy of a death certificate, you must submit your request to the state office of vital records by phone, by mail, or in person. The application must be accompanied by a valid, current government-issued photo ID and the fee of $20. The fee is non-refundable.

Missing People:

The Iowa Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Investigation maintains the Missing Person Information Clearinghouse. This is a database of all missing person cases in the state. You can sort through the cases by last name, birthdate, gender, and most recent case. Each case file includes a photo, name, physical description, and information regarding their disappearance.

Elected Officials:

You can find information about the elected officials in Iowa through the Iowa Legislature website. You can see the current list of Senators and Representatives as well as use the website’s app to discover the legislators serving your area. In addition, you can even get information pertaining to currently serving legislators such as their email address and their personal financial disclosures.

Court Records

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Recorder