Marriage Records & Licenses

Marriage records are maintained in the Recorder's Office, issuing marriage licenses and certified copies of marriage records.

The Des Moines County Recorder has marriage records for those applicants who applied in our county, beginning in 1839. Each certified copy is $15.00. Those requesting certified copies must prove entitlement (immediate family) before acquiring a copy.

Marriages from 1954 to the current date are available electronically in all counties in Iowa, regardless of where the event occurred in the state.

When requesting a certified marriage record by mail, all completed applications must be notarized and a photocopy of the applicant's valid driver's license or other government-issued picture ID is required. We accept a check or money order made payable to the Des Moines County Recorder. All certified copies are $15 each.


If the event occurred in Des Moines County, and you would like us to process it, please mail your completed application to:

Des Moines County Recorder
513 N. Main St.
Burlington, IA 52601

Non-certified copies of marriage records are available for a fee of $5.00 per record. For more information on genealogical requests, please contact our office at 319-753-8221.

Des Moines County has limited records from 1921 to 1941. The application may be brought into the Des Moines County Recorder's office for ordering or mailed to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (IDHHS) address in Des Moines, Iowa:

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

To order a marriage record via phone through the IDHHS, please follow the instructions on the back of the Vital Record Application or on their website with the link below.

Request a Record -IDHSS

Marriage License Application

You may apply for a Marriage License at any County Recorder’s office in Iowa as long as the ceremony is performed in Iowa. 

To apply for a Marriage License in the Recorder’s Office:

  • The couple and one witness (must be 18 years or older) must appear in person,
  • All three must present valid photo identification (driver’s license or government issued ID),
  • $35.00 fee includes a certified copy of the Marriage Certificate. Cash, Check, Money Order or Credit Card (additional 3% fee) accepted for vital records. 

Marriage License Application

There is a 3-day waiting period before the License is issued and before the actual marriage may occur. The waiting period is 3 full calendar days after the date of acceptance to the Recorders office. Please see the chart below.

  Date of Application   Valid Date of Certificate
  Monday   Friday
  Tuesday   Saturday
  Wednesday   Sunday
  Thursday   Monday
  Friday   Tuesday

Once the marriage has been performed and the Certificate of Marriage has been returned to the Recorder’s office and placed on record, a certified copy will be mailed to the couple. The couple will use this certified copy for any name change after marriage (social security information and driver’s license, etc.).

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