About Vital Records
The Recorder/Registrar issues marriage licenses, and makes certified copies of births, deaths, and marriages.
In Iowa, official registration of births, deaths, and marriages began July 1, 1880. All original records that have been registered are on file with the Iowa Dept. of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Records. Statewide record searches are available from the state registrar. Local registrars are located in the County Recorder's offices and maintain records of births, deaths, and marriages that occurred in that county. County Recorders also maintain records of births for any county 1990 to present, deaths for any county 1954 to present, and marriages for any county 1954 to present. Marriage records are maintained in the county from which the license to marry was obtained. However, county registrars do not have code authority to have on record: single-parent births prior to July 1, 1995; adoptions; any record ordered sealed by court of law; or any births, deaths or marriages that occurred between the years 1921 to 1941.These records may be obtained at the Iowa Dept. of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Records, Lucas State Office Bldg., 1st Floor, 321 E. 12th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-0075 Ph: (515)281-4944.
Vital records maintained at the state level are closed to inspection and are not open to public review. To secure a copy of a record from the state, applicants must have direct and tangible entitlement. In other words, they must be the registrant, (person named on the record) or have a lineal relationship to the registrant, such as a legal parent, grandparent, spouse, brother, sister, child, legal guardian, or legal representative. Requests for a state record may be in writing or by telephone if using a credit card. The Iowa Dept. of Public Health is located in the Lucas State Office Building, Vital Records, First Floor, Des Moines, IA 50319-0075. The State of Iowa Department of Public Health, Vital Records, may be reached at: 515-281-4944.
To secure a certified copy of a county record, applicants must have the same direct and tangible entitlement as for a state record. All requests, or applications, for each certificate must be in writing and include the purpose for the certificate.
Certified copies are available for a fee of $15.00 each and can be acquired in person or through the mail. Uncertified copies are available at $1.00 each.
Marriage license applications may be completed in person at the Office of County Recorder/Registrar with the bride, the groom and an uninterested third party as a witness to the application present. All three parties will need to have current photo i.d.'s with them, and must be at least 18 years of age. If all three parties are unable to appear together, the application can be completed elsewhere, signatures notarized and then returned to the Recorder/Registrar Office with the $35.00 fee for processing.
- There is a three day waiting period from the time the completed application is filed to the time the license is valid and available to be picked up.
- The marriage application fee is $35.00 and is to be made by cash, check, money order, or credit card. There is a fee associated with the credit card option. A processed certified copy is included in the fee, and will be mailed to the party after receipt and filing of the marriage certificate.
Marriage Records -- Birth Records -- Death Records
Marriage, Certified Copy Request Information
Certified copies of marriage records when the original marriage was applied for in Wright County, and any marriage in any county after 1954, are available at the Wright County Recorder/Registrar. The records of marriages occurring between the years 1921 through 1941 are available at the Iowa Dept. of Public Health, Vital Records only.
Birth Certificate, Certified Copy Request Information
Certified copies of birth records are available at the County Recorder/Registrar in the county of birth for the years 1880 through 1920 and 1942 to current. The records of births occurring between the years 1921 through 1941 are available at the Iowa Dept. of Public Health, Vital Records. Birth records for any county after 1990 to present are available at the Wright County Recorder/Registrar. Single parent births that occurred prior to 1990, are only available at the Iowa Dept. of Public Health, Vital Records.
Death, Certified Copy Request Information
Certified copies of death records are available at the County Recorder/Registrar in the county where the death occurred for the years 1880 through current with the exceptions of 1903-1909 and 1921-1941 which are available at the Iowa Dept. of Public Health, Vital Records. Records for 1954 through current are also available for any county.
All applications for certified copies of vital records must be in writing and completely identify the record, as well as satisfactorily establish entitlement to the record being requested. Entitled applicants are: registrant, (person named on record), or person having a lineal relationship to the registrant, such as a legal parent, grandparent, spouse, brother, sister, child, legal guardian, or legal representative. Application for a certified copy requires a fee of $15.00 for the record search and includes one certified copy. Fees are payable by check, credit card, money order, cash. Make checks payable to: Wright County Recorder.
Application for Copy of Military Record
Download and complete the following Application for Certified Copy or Photocopy of Military Record from linked below, and return it to the office of the Wright County Recorder at 115 N. Main St., PO Box 187, Clarion, IA 50525, per included directions.
There is no fee for either of these copies.
However, you will need to enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return of the copy back to you. Also include copies of your current photo ID
Application for Certified Copy or Photocopy of Military Record