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Birth Records


Certified copies for birth records beginning in 1986 are now available from any County Recorder's office.


Certified copies are available for $15.00 to persons of entitlement. Payment methods accepted are: cash, check or credit card.

Non-certified copies of birth records are available, for a fee of $3.00. Payment methods accepted are: cash, check or credit card.

Available Records

Iowa birth records from 1986 to the current date are available in all counties in Iowa regardless of the county the event occurred. 

Birth events that took place in Wapello County between 1880 to present are available at the Wapello County Recorder’s office. (There are some instances where the record may not be available at the county level.)

Wapello County has limited birth records between 1921 and 1941. We can work with the Iowa Department of Health & Human if needed to obtain these records.

Wapello County does NOT have access to single-parent birth records prior to January 1986, nor do we have access to adoption birth records. The Iowa Department of Health & Human Services, State Vital Records is able to assist you with obtaining these records.


You will need a valid photo ID or driver's license, be at least 18 years old and have entitlement.

Ways to Apply:

  • Apply in person.
  • Applying by mail. If applying by mail, you must fill out the application with your signature notarized, and we need a copy of your valid ID or driver's license and a check or money order (payable to the Wapello County Recorder).
  • If you would like Wapello County to process your request, please mail your notarized completed application and payment to the:

Wapello County Recorder
101 W 4th Street
Ottumwa, IA 52501 

  • Order by phone call State Vital Records-Vital Check at 1-866-809-0290

If you have any questions, please call (641) 683-0046.

Vital Records Application


If you do not have a valid driver's license or ID, please provide alternative identification. View Identity Documents for acceptable forms of alternative IDs.


View Direct and Tangible Interest for entitlement for applicants other than direct blood line relatives.