On July 8, 2009, the State Board of Health adopted the revised 641 Iowa Administrative Code, Chapter 22, "Practice of Tattooing". The rules will go into effect on January 1, 2010, and will include new requirements for tattoo artists/permanent color technologists, establishments, and inspectors.
Artists or establishment owners who fail to meet the requirements of Iowa Code section 135.37 or 641 Iowa Administrative Code, Chapter 22 shall be guilty of a serious misdemeanor.
Iowa Tattoo Regulations:
Artist Permit Requirements:
- Must provide documentation of Bloodborne Pathogens and Standard First Aid training.
- Must have a high school diploma or G.E.D. (Artists permitted prior to Jan 1, 2010 will be grandfathered)
- Must be 18 years of age to receive a permit. (Must submit a copy of birth certificate or other equivalent document)
- Annual, nonrefundable application fee of $75
- Application for a Tattoo Artist Permit
Establishment Permit Requirements:
- Must be inspected annually by the Designated Inspection Agency. Click here to locate an Inspector by County.
- New Tattoo Establishments must be conducted in a building that is zoned commercial. Establishments are not allowed in a residential dwelling.
- Must have an area of not less than 300 square feet and shall be adequately lighted and ventilated.
- Must have a written standard operating procedure (SOP), which shall include the process for setup and teardown of tattoo procedures (should focus on hygiene and cross-contamination control. Click here to see a sample SOP.
- Material safety data sheets (MSDS) for the chemicals used at the tattoo establishment shall be maintained and readily accessible at the establishment.
- Annual, nonrefundable application fee of $100.
- Application for Permit to Operate a Tattoo Establishment
- Note: Please review the Tattoo Inspection form   for more additional inspection requirements.
Change of Establishment Location:
- Application for Mobile Unit Permit
- Mobile units are permitted for use only at special events lasting 14 calendar days or less. Operators must obtain a permit for each special event. A Tattoo Mobile Unit Event Form must be submitted 14 days prior to attending a special event.
- Application for Temporary Establishment Permit
- A temporary establishment permit allows tattoo activities to operate at a temporary event where a tattoo artist performs tattooing procedures for no more than seven days consecutively in conjunction with a single event or celebration. (Please refer to 641 Iowa Administrative Code, Chapter 22 for additional requirements)
- A nonrefundable fee of $50 must be submitted with the application, along with a floor plan of the facility at least 30 days prior to the event or celebration.
- Prior to operation, temporary events must be inspected by the Designated Inspection Agency. It is highly recommended that event organizers contact the inspector at least 30 days prior to the event. Click here to locate an Inspector by County.
- Participating tattoo artists must have an Iowa permit on display at the event. (Please plan accordingly)
- Tattoo Mobile Unit Event Form
Current lists of permitted tattoo artists and establishments:
- Looking for a First Aid and Bloodborne Pathogen training provider? Click on the link below.
- If you would like to file a complaint against a Tattoo Artist or Establishment please complete the Complaint Form and mail it to:
Iowa Department of Public Health
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Contact Talisa Miller at (515) 281-7726 for questions or concerns.
Interested in receiving periodic updates and reminders? Join the Tattoo mailing list by sending a blank email to: email@example.com.
Documents denoted by are available in Portable Document Format (.pdf).