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Iowa Public Records

Several government departments keep public records in Iowa. Many of the most commonly-sought public records are available for search and viewing online. Generally, it’s simple to access Iowa’s public records, if you know where to look. Some records are kept by state-funded organizations, for example, while some are administered by county departments.

Vital Records

The Iowa Bureau of Health Statistics maintains vital records in Iowa. It is possible to order birth or death certificates or marriage records from the Bureau. Records can be ordered online by visiting this website. The link leads to VitalChek, a third party processor that provides Iowa vital records. Certificates ordered through VtialChek will arrive in the mail.

To order vital records by mail, first print or download the appropriate form. The order forms can be found in the middle of this page. The form must be notarized. Include payment ($15.00 for each copy) and send it to the address on the form.

Walk-in service is available at this same address. The building is next to the Capitol, on the south side of Grand Avenue. Note that the walk-in service is not same day service. Rather, copies will be ready for pick up two days after ordering, or the Bureau can mail them to you.

Criminal Records

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation maintains a searchable database of criminal history information online. The fee is $15.00, payable with credit or debit card. The system is easy to use, and you only need a name and date of birth to begin a search. It can be helpful to have a middle name and social security number as well.

For more information, including information about ordering criminal records by mail or in person, visit the criminal history information page.

Court Records

Court records in Iowa are searchable online. Records are searchable by name or case number and results typically include basic, general information such as party data and case disposition. The search page can be found on the Iowa courts website. Additionally, records are available from local courts. For a list of Iowa court contact information, click here.

Business Records

Corporate and limited liability company records are maintained by the Iowa Secretary of State, which operates a searchable database online. Search results will include the name and file number of the business and registered agent contact information. The search is free.

For more information, call the Iowa Secretary of State at (515) 281-5204.

Property Records

In Iowa, property records are kept at the county level, by the Assessor’s Office of each Iowa county. Thus, in order to obtain property valuation information, tax records, GIS maps, or other property records, contact your local Assessor’s Office. A list of Iowa assessors and their contact information can be found here.

Driver Records

The Iowa Motor Vehicle Division, handles driver records in Iowa. There are two ways to order:

To order by mail, print or download the request form, fill it out and send it, along with a check for the fee, to:

Office of Driver Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, IA 50306-9204

To order online, visit the driver’s license and record services order page. For more information, call the Iowa Motor Vehicle Division at (515) 244-1052.