is a privately owned website that is not owned or operated by any state government agency.
Notice is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and does not assemble or evaluate information for the purpose of supplying consumer reports.

You understand that by clicking “I Agree” you consent to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy agree not to use information provided by for any purpose under the FCRA, including to make determinations regarding an individual’s eligibility for personal credit, insurance, employment, or for tenant screening.

This website contains information collected from public and private resources. cannot confirm that information provided below is accurate or complete. Please use information provided by responsibly.

You understand that by clicking “I Agree”, will conduct only a preliminary people search of the information you provide and that a search of any records will only be conducted and made available after you register for an account or purchase a report.

Iowa Court Records is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the FCRA and does not provide consumer reports. All searches conducted on are subject to the Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.


Iowa Marriage Records

Iowa marriage records contain official information on marriages established within the state's borders. The Iowa Department of Public Health maintains such records and provides public access except where restricted by law. Some of the data that's collected and preserved as part of a record generally includes the following:

  • Full name of the bride and groom  at the time of marriage
  • Date and place of marriage 
  • Full names of parents
  • Names of witnesses
  • Name and signature of the person who officiated the wedding

Depending on the age of the record, marriage records may also contain the number of times either party has been married, their occupation, residence, and social security number.

Note: The Iowa Department of Public Health maintains records created since 1880. 

What Types of Marriage Records are available in Iowa

Iowa is home to different types of marriage records, the most common of which include marriage certificates and marriage licenses. 

Iowa Marriage Certificate

An Iowa marriage certificate contains official details of marriage unions created in the state. Such records are maintained at the state and county level. Marriage certificates are only issued after the confirmation of a wedding ceremony. They prove that the two parties obtained a license and were married by an official before-named witnesses on a specific day. Marriage certificates are necessary for a variety of tasks. For instance, you'll need them when changing your name on your driver's license. They're also required for activities that call for "proof of marriage," such as joint tenancy arrangements. 

Iowa Marriage License

An Iowa marriage license is an official document issued by the County Registrar's office giving the named parties the right to marry. Licenses are typically obtained in the county where the marriage will occur. Unlike marriage certificates, which are created after a wedding ceremony, a marriage license is issued before the ceremony. Most licenses have a three-day waiting period unless they're waived. To obtain a marriage license, intending couples must confirm that they meet all the eligibility requirements for marriage in the state.

Are Iowa Marriage Records Public?

Iowa marriage records generally fall under the umbrella of public records. In compliance with Iowa law, records older than 75 years are considered public and can be accessed by almost anyone. This means the public can view most marriage records created since 1880. However, marriage records that are 75 years or younger remain restricted and can only be accessed by eligible parties, such as the persons listed on the record, close family members (siblings, children, parents), and any authorized legal representative. 

How to Find Marriage Records in Iowa

To find marriage records in  Iowa, you'll need to contact either the Iowa County Registrar's Office where the marriage occurred or the count of residence where the application was made. However, certified copies of marriage records are only provided to eligible parties, namely the registrants and close relatives. You'll also need to provide some information that can assist with the search, such as the married couple's names (as listed on the record) and the date and place of marriage.

Obtain Marriage Records in Person and via Mail

Residents requesting marriage records can do so in person, but only at the Iowa Bureau of Vital Statistics Des Moines office located at:

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

The office opens from Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Completed applications must be signed before a Vital Records work and submitted with a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, state photo ID, military ID, passport, permanent resident card, or work photo ID.

Alternatively, you can request a record by mailing a completed application along with valid copies of your photo ID to the health department. However, mail requests must be accompanied by a clear photocopy of a valid ID and a check or money order made payable to the Iowa Department of Public Health. The department charges $15 for each copy of a certified record. 

How to Get a Marriage License in Iowa

Per Iowa Codes, you need a marriage license issued by the local County Recorder's office to get married in Iowa. Almost anyone can obtain a license by following several general steps.

Step 1. Confirm Your Eligibility to Marry

Iowa only permits marriage licenses for applicants who meet all the eligibility criteria for marriage. Under state laws, a marriage license cannot be issued if:

  • One or both parties are younger than 18 years old
  • Both parties are not closely related
  • One or both parties are legally disqualified from making a civil contract (e.g., one party is not already married)

Step 2. Collect Information

As part of the process, individuals who wish to marry must complete an application form, providing details about their identity and residency. Some of the information that may be required for a license application include:

  • Full name of both parties before the marriage (first, middle, current, and last)
  • Current place of residence
  • State of birth
  • Full name of parents for both parties
  • Date of application 
  • Social security number
  • Anticipated ceremony date

Step 3. Submit Application and Pay

Both parties must submit the completed application form. While some offices allow walk-ins, others may require prior appointments.  You'll also need to pay the expected fee along with your applications. Most offices charge a minimum of $35.

Marriage licenses do not immediately become active once issued. Iowa imposes a three-day waiting period on all licenses, which only begins after the application has been processed. This means couples must wait three days before marriage. For instance, applications processed on Monday are valid on Friday, and applications processed on Wednesday are valid on Sunday. However, this rule may be waived in special circumstances. In addition, the license remains valid for six months, during which couples may marry anywhere within the state.

Note: Although Iowa has no residency requirement for obtaining a marriage license, marriages must be performed within the state. Residents who cannot visit the local office person may obtain licenses by mailing a completed, signed, and notarized application. 

Who can obtain Marriage Records in Iowa?

Anyone can obtain public marriage records. Iowa's public record laws do not place any citizenship or residency restrictions on who may inspect or obtain copies of a record. However, marriage records only become public after a set period, typically 75 years. 

Until this expiration, certified copies of Iowa marriage records can only be obtained by the following eligible parties:

  • Persons named on the record
  • Legal parents listed on the record
  • Children and Grandchildren
  • Siblings
  • Guardians
  • Legal representatives
  • Legally authorized persons.

Can You Lookup Online Marriage Records For Free in Iowa

Anyone can look up archived county marriage records for free by visiting the research center at the State Historical Society of Iowa. The agency maintains marriage records from 1880 to 1940. However, residents wishing to obtain certified copies of more recent records must apply to the Iowa Bureau of Vital Statistics. The office processes mail-in and walk-in applications.

Record seekers may also be able to look up some marriage records for free using third-party platforms. Such sites provide access to records compiled from multiple jurisdictions while operating as private entities independent of any state government agency. Access to some records may require essential information, such as the subject's name or marriage location.  

Is Iowa a Common Law State for Marriage?

Iowa recognizes common-law marriages created in the state (Iowa 701—73.25(425)). Common law marriages refer to unions where two parties are considered married even though they did not obtain a license or follow the formal requirements for a marriage.

For a common law marriage to be accepted in Iowa, the relationship must meet three main elements:

  • Both parties must make a public declaration to the public that they are husband and wife
  • Both must have lived together for an extended period (no specific timeline)
  • Both must have an express or implied agreement of marriage

In addition to these rules, the general state marriage requirements apply to common-law marriages. For instance, both parties must be older than eighteen, and neither must be in a legal union with a third party. In addition, common-law marriages between close relatives are not generally permitted.

Unlike formal marriages, Iowa does not issue certificates for common-law marriages. Instead, such marriages are typically defined by a court decision. Couples legally confirmed to be in a common marriage have all the rights of parties who marry through the formal process.

Note: Iowa is one of several states in the US that permit common law marriages, the others being Colorado, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and the District of Columbia.

  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!