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Marriage Records & Applications

How to request and receive a certified marriage record or application from Wapello County.

Marriage Records

Beginning July 1, 1997, certified copies of marriage certificates became available through the Recorder's Office. Each certified copy is $15.00. Those requesting certified copies must prove entitlement (immediate family) before acquiring a copy.

Marriages from 1954 to the current date are available electronically in all counties in Iowa, regardless of where the event occurred. 

When requesting a certified marriage record by mail, all completed applications must be notarized and a photocopy of the applicant's valid driver's license or other government-issued picture ID is required. We also request a check, postal money order (or bank certified check) made payable to the Wapello County Recorder. All certified copies are $15 each.

Vital Record Application

If the event occurred in Wapello County, and you would like us to process it, please mail your completed application to:

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

Non-certified copies of marriage records are available for a fee of $3.00 per record. For more information on genealogical requests, please contact our office at (641) 683-0047.

Wapello County has limited records from 1921 to 1941. The application may be brought into the Wapello County Recorder's office for ordering or mailed to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (IDHHS) address in Des Moines, Iowa:

Iowa Department of Health & Human Services
Bureau of Health Statistics
Lucas State Office Building, 1st Floor
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075

To order a marriage record via phone through the IDHHS, please call VitalChek toll-free at (866) 809-0290 frin 6 a.m. CST through 7:00 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday, except holidays.  VitalChek is the only third party vendor authorized by the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services to accept orders for Iowa vital records.  An additional fee to order over the phone start at $9.00 per order.

Marriage License Application

You may apply for a Marriage License at any County Recorder’s office in Iowa as long as the ceremony is performed in Iowa.

To apply for a Marriage License in the Recorder’s Office:

  • The couple and one witness (must be 18 years or older) must appear in person,
  • All three must present valid photo identification (driver’s license or government issued ID),
  • $35.00 fee includes a certified copy of the Marriage Certificate. Payment methods accepted are: cash, check or credit card.

There is a 3-day waiting period before the License is issued and before the actual marriage may occur. The waiting period is 3 full calendar days after the date of acceptance to the Recorders office. Please see the chart below.

  Date of Application   Valid Date of Certificate
  Monday   Friday
  Tuesday   Saturday
  Wednesday   Sunday
  Thursday   Monday
  Friday   Tuesday

Once the marriage has been performed and the Certificate of Marriage has been returned to the Recorder’s office and placed on record, a certified copy will be mailed to the couple. The couple will use this certified copy for any name change after marriage (social security information and driver’s license, etc.).