Birth Records

Learn how to request and receive a birth record.


Certified copies are available for $15.00 to persons of entitlement.  We accept cash, checks, money orders, cashiers checks, and credit cards.  There is a 3% card fee.

Non-certified, plain paper copies of birth records from Cerro Gordo County only are available and will be stamped "Not For Legal Purposes."

Available Records

Iowa birth records from 1985 to the current date are available in ALL counties in Iowa regardless of the county where the event occurred, including out-of-wedlock and adoptions available through the State IVES system. However, we can only print a Certified Copy of an out-of-wedlock or adoption from IVES, no plain copies. Any birth before 1984 will still have to be issued in the county of birth or at the State Vital Records Office.

Here at the County level, our birth records start in 1880, however, these will exclude any out-of-wedlock births prior to July 1, 1995, fetal deaths, and adoptions.

Vital Records Availability


To obtain a Certified Copy of a Vital Record:

  • You must be entitled to it, such as yourself, a legal parent, grandparent, spouse, brother, sister, child, legal guardian or legal representative. Representatives and legal guardians must provide additional proof of representation or guardianship.
  • Applicants must be 18 or older
  • You will need a valid photo ID
  • Application must be in writing and completely identify the record

Vital Record Application

Ways to Apply

  • Apply in person.
    • Make sure to bring your valid ID or driver’s license and a money order (payable to Cerro Gordo County Recorder) or credit/debit card for payment. There is a 3% card fee.
  • Applying by mail.
    • If applying by mail, you must fill out the application with your signature notarized, and we need a copy of your valid ID or driver's license and a money order (payable to the Cerro Gordo County Recorder).
      • If you would like Cerro Gordo County to process your request, please mail your notarized completed application and payment to:

        Cerro Gordo County Recorder
        220 N. Washington Ave.
        Mason City, IA 50401
  • Apply by phone or online through the IDHHS and VitalChek.


If you do not have a valid driver's license or ID, please provide alternative identification. View Identity Documents for acceptable forms of alternative IDs.


Direct and Tangible Interest

County Courthouse

220 N. Washington Ave.
Mason City, IA 50401
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Courthouse Hours

M-F 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed Holidays
Department Hours May Vary