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Iowa Public Records: How to Perform an Iowa Public Records Search

Iowa Public Records: How to Perform an Iowa Public Records Search
November 13, 2022

Public records in Iowa contain information culled from various government and non-government sources. 


They are sometimes generated when the persons named on the Iowa public records have recently been the subject of a "Vital event" such as births, deaths, marriage, or divorce.


They are also created to account for their subject's interaction with law enforcement officials as can be seen in arrest records, criminal records, and inmate records. 


While these are just a few notable instances, we've devoted this article to showing you how to find a number of these notable public records in Iowa. 

Iowa Public Records: Criminal Records

People who have once been convicted of a crime have their personal and case-related information included in their criminal records. 


These records are a series of documents that takes note of the person's interaction with law enforcement agencies through the courts and lead to a subsequent conviction and incarceration. 


Therefore, you can find some of this data also featured in arrest records, court, and inmate records.

handcuffs on a piece of paper with fingerprints


These Iowa public records are essentially maintained by the Iowa Department of Public Safety through its Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). 


Interested persons can run background checks on themselves using resources available at the DCI and end up with a Criminal Background Report. 


This report will feature information such as the personal information of the subject, their arrest/booking data, mugshots, offense, warrants, bail/bind conditions, sentences, etc. 

Iowa Public Records: Court Records

People who have once had their day in court usually have their case files and court proceedings recorded and archived, regardless of whether their case has been settled or not. 


If you're one such person, you can make your way to the court in question and request access to the related court record, with the help of the clerk of the court. 


Your job would be much easier if the court is one of the many Iowa courts that have gone digital in their case management system approach.


To this effect, you can find self-help resources like the Iowa Court e-file and Iowa Court Online Search to be of help. 


You'd only have to provide certain identifying information about the record holder such as their name, notable physical identifiers, their case numbers, or offender number. 

shutterstock_1786986926 (1).jpg

Iowa Public Records: Marriage & Divorce Records

Marriages that have taken place from 1954 till the present day are documented in marriage records that are available at the County Recorders. 


Others preceding this date are available for pickup at the county responsible for issuing the license. 


Requesters can either submit a written record request form(notary-signed) or complete an application form and submit it by mail, or in person to the issuing authority.


To obtain the record, you must necessarily provide details such as the full names of the couple (including their names pre-marriage), the place, and the date of marriage. 


Others include stating your reason for requesting the record of interest along with the tendering of a valid photo ID and a cheque or cash order with the equivalent of the standard processing fee. 


All of the aforementioned will then be submitted along with the completed vital records application form to:


Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Health Statistics
Lucas State Office Building 1st Floor,
321 East 12th Street,
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075


As for Divorce records, you can check with the clerk of the court where the divorce was filed and settled. 


The documents can be sought in person or by mailing a request application to the record custodian or by searching their online record databases/repositories, if available.


Whichever one you side with, you should get a fee schedule and the identification requirement to guide you in your application. 


And if you successfully tick the eligibility box, you can end up with the requested divorce record in your hands or your mailbox. 

hands of a man and a woman with a form, keys and pen between them

Iowa Public Records: Birth & Death Records

Iowa birth records are official documents held at the Bureau of Health Statistics that are intended to document the births recorded in the state. 


They majorly account for the place and date of birth along with other details related to the registration and issuance of the birth certificate. 


Although the birth record names a list of persons eligible to obtain it, a person not named can obtain a court order allowing them access to the record. 


Such a person can then hand deliver or mail a completed Vital record application form to:


Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Health Statistics,
Lucas State Office Building 1st Floor,
321 East 12th Street, 
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075


Requesters must ensure to include a duplicate copy of a valid photo ID and attach the $15 processing fee to the application packet. 


For expedited action on the processing of your record request, you may need to pay an additional fee in exchange for a reduction in the waiting time.


Requests for the collection of Death Records typically follow the same set of procedures as are obtainable in birth records. 


The processing fee is the same ($15), as are the personal identification requirements and the agency in charge of disbursing the sought-after documents.

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