Permits are required for all tattoo establishments including permanent establishments, temporary establishments, and mobile units. An application and fee must be submitted for each permit. Permits for permanent and mobile establishments are valid for one year and expire on December 31.

Application processing time is approximately three to four weeks.

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Permanent Establishments

Guidelines:

  • Must complete Permanent Establishment Application
  • Must submit $100 fee along with the application and floor plan
  • Must be located in a commercially-zoned building
  • Must have an area of at least 300 square feet
  • Must have restroom facilities available
  • Must be adequately lighted and ventilated
  • Must have a tattoo hand-washing sink in the tattoo room
  • Must have a written Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
  • Must have updated and accessible Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) listing all chemicals used at the tattoo establishment
  • Must pass inspection conducted by the Designated Inspection Agency
  • Must meet all requirements outlined in 641 Iowa Administrative Code, Chapter 22

Tattoo facilities are required to be inspected prior to operation and annually by a local inspection agency.

Any changes to the floor plan after initial approval/inspection need to be reviewed before implemented. If making changes to an already approved floor plan please email an updated floor plan to caleb.foster@idph.iowa.gov

A checklist will be used by the inspector to conduct the tattoo inspection. You may use this checklist as a reference to ensure that your establishment meets all the requirements.

Fees

Permanent establishments must pay an annual, nonrefundable application fee of $100.

Forms

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Temporary Establishments

Allows for tattoo activities to operate at a temporary site for a maximum of 14 consecutive days in combination with a single event or celebration, for example, celebrations.

  • Must complete a Temporary Establishment Application
  • Must submit application, floor plan, and fee at least 30 days prior to the event.
  • Include promotional documentation.
  • Submit a copy of the floor plan.
  • Submit fee based on the number of participating artists. A list of participating artists must be submitted one week prior to the event.
  • Must have temporary establishment inspected by Designated Inspection Agency. A $50 inspection for each booth must be paid to the inspection agency.
  • Participating artists must have an Iowa permit on display at the event.

Fees

  • $50 inspection for each booth.

Fees for temporary events are based on the number of participating artists.

  • 0 to 10 artists: $100
  • 11 to 100 artists: $200
  • 101 or more artists: $300

Forms

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Mobile Units & Events

Effective Sept. 7, 2016, no new mobile tattoo units will be permitted. Mobile Units granted a permit prior to Sept. 7, 2016, may continue to operate with a current permit provided they remain compliant with the rules of this chapter (641-22.12(135)).

  • Current mobile tattoo units shall be inspected annually by a local inspection agency.
  • Mobile Units only permitted for use at special events lasting for a maximum of 14 calendar days.

Mobile unit event guidelines allow for mobile units to special events such as county fairs and rallies.

  • Separate permits must be obtained for each special event attended. $25 fee per event must be submitted with form.
  • A Mobile Unit Event Form must be submitted for the special event at least 14 days prior to the event. 
  • Events are not required to be inspected unless a complaint is filed.

Forms

  • Renewing Mobile Unit Application PDF
  • Mobile Unit Event Application PDF

 

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