Search for Death Records in Iowa

Free Iowa Death Records Lookup

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Our extensive manual on Iowa's death records not only assists you in locating these vital documents but also furnishes valuable insights into the individuals they pertain to and the narratives of their lives.

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Death Records in Iowa -
The Ultimate Guide 2024

Iowa Death Databases

In the state of Iowa, the recording of death records commenced at a statewide level in 1899, but it wasn’t until 1917 that full compliance was achieved. Copies of death records can also be obtained at the county level.

Before 1880

Before 1880, there were no official death records maintained by the state or counties in Iowa. To find information about your ancestor’s death during this period, you must rely on alternative records. Some indexed obituaries and cemetery records exist, but their availability is limited. Other valuable sources include Bible records, church records, tax records, and census data.

1880 to 1936

Starting in 1880, Iowa implemented statewide registration of death records, requiring deaths to be recorded at both the state and county levels. Several databases are available for deaths occurring within this time frame. offers a free index to burial and death records from Iowa, while microfilm copies of the original records can be found at Family History Centers and the Family History Library.

After 1936

For deaths occurring after 1936, you can obtain a copy of the death certificate from the Iowa Department of Public Health for a fee. All genealogical requests for death certificates must be made through mail, with the submission of valid proof of entitlement. If you are uncertain about the exact date of death, the department can assist with a search for an additional fee. Alternatively, you can request a death certificate from the county where the death occurred at the Register of Deeds department.

Iowa Death Databases

Iowa Death Records Access

In Iowa, death records begin as private records and become publicly available 50 years after the record’s filing date. Certain restrictions apply to obtaining death certificates for individuals who passed away within the last 50 years. Eligible parties for requesting a death certificate include:

Death Certificates in Iowa

How to Find Iowa Death Records

To access Iowa death records, is a reliable method. After registering for an account, you gain complete access to Iowa’s death records. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Go to and sign in using your email address and password.

How to Find Death Records Step 1

Step 2: Use the navigation buttons at the top of the user page to find the “Search” button, which leads to Iowa state death records.

How to Find Death Records Step 2

Step 3: Check the “Vital Records” box and click the “Death” button to display only death records, which can be downloaded.

How to Find Death Records Step 3

Step 4: Enter as much information as possible about the deceased, including their name and the location (Iowa).

How to Find Death Records Step 4

Step 5: Scroll through the list of records to find the person you are interested in viewing.

Step 6: Click on the name to view the available death record, which may include full name, maiden name (if applicable), burial information, and biographical details.

Alternative Sources for Iowa Death Information

In addition to online databases, other sources for Iowa death information include:

What is an Official Death Certificate?

An official death certificate is issued by the Iowa state government or a similar organization and includes details such as the individual’s name, address, date of birth, and date of death.

What are death records?

Death records are official documents containing valuable information about a deceased individual, making them essential for genealogical research. They typically include full name, date of birth, date of death, and place of death.

Are Iowa Death Records Open to the Public?

According to the Iowa Revised Statutes, vital records, including death records, are accessible to eligible parties with a direct relationship to the individual named on the record.

What Information is Needed to Search for Iowa Death Records Online?

Requesters must provide basic information about the deceased, including their name, reason for the death record request, death date, county or city of death, and valid proof of identification.


Iowa maintains meticulous records, including death records, which are essential for various purposes, including genealogical research. This comprehensive guide to accessing Iowa death records ensures you can locate the information you need efficiently.

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