Some birth certificates missing information

If you’re between 8 and 24 years old and born between 1993 and 2009, you might need to replace your Iowa birth certificate. Many birth certificates from this time period are missing vital information, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The department’s website noted from May 1993-October 2009, there were 634,655 individuals born in Iowa. The birth certificates issued at that time were smaller wallet-size cards that measure 2-5/8×4 inches, which were printed as a perforated attachment to a larger document measuring 3-1/2×8 inches. However, it’s unknown how many wallet-size certificates are out there that need to be replaced.

“What’s missing on some of them is the parents’ names,” explained Anita Van Bruggen, Sioux County Recorder. At the time the certificates were issued, they met current regulations. However, that is no longer the case. Information on the certificates is not incorrect, but it is incomplete. This makes them less valuable and sometimes useless for their intended purpose.

The problem came about when the incomplete certificates were used to apply for passports, and/or driver’s licenses. “I know for sure at this point it’s affecting passport applications,” Van Bruggen said.

Steps are now being taken to exchange the birth certificates issued from May 1993-October 2009. For a quick exchange, Van Bruggen said, “They can come locally and get it replaced through my office.”

The old certificate is surrendered at that time. “They just bring it in, fill out a request form with the individual’s information and then we print it up and they take it with them and it’s an even exchange; they don’t have to pay anything for it,” Van Bruggen explained.

Birth certificates may also be exchanged by mail or in person with the Bureau of Health Statistics, 321 E. 12th St., Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines Iowa, 50319. When mailing them, you can expect a four- to six-week wait for its return.

To make a mail-in exchange, download an application for certified copy of Iowa vital records fromhttp://www.idph.iowa.gov/health-statistics/request-record.

Van Bruggen urges citizens to get the exchange done while it’s being done free of charge. “I want to make the public aware that the Sioux County Recorder’s Office in Orange City will be exchanging birth certificates,” she said.

For more information, visit the Iowa Department of Public Health website listed above or call the Sioux County Recorder’s office, 712-737- 2229.

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