Availability of Records

Availability of Records

County Records

Local registrars are located in county recorders offices, where records of births and deaths that have occurred in that county are maintained. Marriage records are maintained in the county where the license to marry was obtained. County registrars are not authorized by law to have records of:

  • Any record ordered sealed by a court of law
  • Births, deaths, and marriages between the years 1921 and 1941
  • Delayed registrations
  • Fetal deaths (stillborns)
  • Legal changes of name
  • Single-parent births prior to January 1, 1986

Vital records in the custody of the county registrar and not sealed are open to the public for inspection. County offices may charge a fee to inspect the records.

To order a certified copy of a record of an event occurring in Story County, please print out and complete the request form. Send the completed form, along with a check or money order (required for non-Story County residents) for $15 made payable to the Story County Recorder, a copy of the requesters photo identification, and a legal-sized self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Story County Recorder
900 6th St.
Box 55
Nevada, Iowa 50201-0055 

State Records

The original vital record is in the custody of the state registrar and is closed to inspection and public review. Certified copies are issued to only entitled applicants who have satisfactorily demonstrated direct and tangible entitlement to the copy.

Entitled applicants may submit requests by postal service or in person at the Vital Records office located just off the north lobby on the first floor of the Lucas State Office Building, located at 312 E. 12th St., Des Moines, Iowa, 50319-0075. Genealogical requests take at least 60 days to fulfill due to the intensive search process. Other timelines vary depending on seasonal demands and whether the request is by mail, the credit card line, or in person. For general information, call (515) 281-4944 from 7:00 AM to 4:45 PM Monday through Friday, except for state-observed holidays.

Entitled applicants may also make requests by telephone using a credit card if the card is in their own name and the request is not for family history. To order a certified copy by telephone using a credit card, call toll-free to 866-809-0290 from 6:00 am CST through 7:00 pm CST, Monday through Friday, except for holidays. A fee of $15 is charged for the record search and includes one copy if a record is on file in the state office. Each additional copy of the same record is $15. A VitalChek operator will take the caller's information, screen the credit card, authenticate the caller's identity and complete the order. The fee to screen the credit card and authenticate the caller is an additional $13.00. Group orders consisting of more than one event type (i.e. birth, death or marriage) within one transaction will be charged an additional $3.00 fee. Turnaround time is usually 10 to 14 days, depending on seasonal demands and mail service. Genealogy requests are not available through the credit card line.