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Fireworks & explosives
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Contractor License Requirements

  • Companies blasting in Iowa need a commercial explosive contractor license.  
  • A national criminal history background check is required for all responsible persons and employee possessors who are not licensed as commercial explosive blasters.
  • Companies must license at least one commercial explosive blaster.
  • Blasters working in Iowa need a commercial explosive blaster license under a licensed contractor.  
  • One of the listed qualifications must be submitted with a new or renewal application.

New Blaster Qualification Options

New blaster qualification options for licensing.

Renewal Blaster Qualification Options

Renewal blaster qualification options for licensing.

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Background Check Requirements

All responsible persons, employee possessors, and blasters are required to submit a fingerprint card by mail, or through the Fieldprint Iowa Livescan Network, at the time of application for a new or renewal license.

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Fieldprint Livescan Network

Use Fieldprint's largest Livescan network in Iowa to schedule secure, electronic submission of your fingerprints for criminal history background checks required by Commercial Explosives licensing.

Refer to the Fieldprint Program Scheduling Aid for step-by-step instructions to schedule your Livescan appointment at a Fieldprint location nearest you.  

  • Be sure to use the Fieldprint Code for Explosives Licensing - FPIASFMExplosives.

For information on fingerprint locations outside the Livescan network, please visit National Background Information-Fingerprinting Locations.

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Criminal Conviction Eligibility

Criminal Conviction Eligibility

Applicants with criminal histories are not immediately denied a license in Iowa.  

Applicable Licensing Programs:

  • Alarm System Licensing Programs
  • Commercial Explosives Licensing Programs
  • Fire Protection System Licensing Programs

A prior offense may be disqualifying if one of the following conditions apply:

  • the actions of the offense are within the specialty of the license program.
  • circumstances of the offense are specific to the licensing program.  

You may submit proof to the Department of Inspections, Appeals and Licensing (DIAL) to show your current fitness to get a license.

Applicants must share their conviction information on their application for licensure, and include all of the following:

  • the criminal complaint and judgment of conviction for each separate offense.
  • a personal statement about the conditions that led to the convictions.
  • all evidence of rehabilitation they wish the DIAL to consider.

The DIAL reserves the right to request additional information and make a disqualification determination on other criminal offenses not listed herein.  

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License Fees

  • License fee is prorated based on the month an application is submitted.
  • A $35.00 background check fee for each listed responsible person, employee possessor, and blaster.
Explosive License - Prorated Fee By Month

Payments can be made online by debit/credit card or eCheck/ACH or by mailing a check or money order payable to the "Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing" or "State of Iowa" and mailed to the Dept. of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing, Attention: Explosives Licensing Administration, 6200 Park Ave, Ste 100, Des Moines, IA 50321.

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Laws & Rules

The Iowa Legislature - Iowa Laws & Rules

Iowa Code encompasses all permanent laws passed by the Iowa legislature and signed by the governor.  Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) contains all administrative rules adopted by State agencies. When a new law is passed, administrative rules often need to be updated to implement or administer that law.  


The state of Iowa requires licensing for all commercial explosive contractors and blasters as defined in Iowa Code chapter 101A and IAC chapters 661-235. A company engaged in the manufacture, importation, distribution, sale or commercial use of explosives and their employees must be licensed as commercial explosive contractors and blasters.

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