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I receive the Iowa Genealogical Society notices on Facebook and this piece
of wonderful news came through last week. Be sure to read all the way
through. You will see that courthouses cannot restrict you from searching
nor photographing records.
Conni McDaniel Hall
Henry County IAGenWeb
Iowa Genealogical Society
Effective May 17, 2017, the Iowa Department of Public Health repealed its
restrictions on access to vital records held in county courthouses. The
open records law now governs local vital records, without improper
restrictions. From May 17:
1. Searches for records need not be made in person. (Courthouse staff may
impose search fees if they do the work, and they need not take on “fishing
2. Requests for uncertified copies of local vital records need not be made
3. Requests for uncertified copies may be delivered by telephone, by mail,
or by email. Copy charges may apply. Some counties -- $1; the maximum
allowed is $5.
4. People who search in person may use their own cameras to snap photos of
local vital records, free of charge.
5. Publication of local vital records is no longer prohibited and
6. Indexing, web-posting, and distribution of information taken from local
vital records is no longer prohibited and punishable.