Update on Iowa Vital Records
On April 17,2018 Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed an act relating to inspection and examination of certain public records under the custody of the State Archivist and County Registrar which goes into effect on July 1, 2018. New section 22.16 opens all records in the custody of the State Archivist at 100 years old. The bottom line is the State Archives of Iowa can now make more records available to researchers without having to first obtain permissions from State Agencies where the records originated before making them available. Revised IA Code section 144.43, subsection 3 relates to vital records.
The revised law clearly lays out the responsibilities of the County Registrars and State Archivist as custodians of vital records at the county and state level respectively. Reduces the term of state death record closure in the custody of the State Archivist from 75 to 50 years. As of 7/1, an additional 750,000 death records will be be open to researchers for the first time! For the first time the State Archives will be able to open State Fetal Death vital records in the custody of the State Archivist for public inspection, and we will be able to do so when they reach 50 years old.
Additionally, since Fetal Death records will now be open, the State Archives will work with its partners in the coming year to image State birth and death registers 1880- June 1904 and place on the web.