Renew online or by mail for a tattoo artist permit in Iowa.
Application fee is $75. All application fees are nonrefundable.


The most efficient way to renew your permit is online.

  • Online. Create an account and use our online system to renew and pay fees.
  • By mail. Download the paper form, fill it out, and mail it in.

Using an incorrect form will create delays. Your application will be returned to you for the correct form.


To practice tattooing, cosmetic tattooing, or microblading, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Complete bloodborne pathogens training from the American Red Cross or equivalent, nationally-recognized certification
  • Complete first aid training from the American Red Cross or equivalent, nationally-recognized certification (CPR/AED only certificates are not acceptable)
  • Complete the tattoo artist application

You must also practice in a facility that has a tattoo establishment permit or have your own tattoo establishment permit.

Unless ink is being injected into the skin, microneedling does not require tattoo permitting by the department.


Submit proof of blood-borne pathogens and first aid training.

  • The department will accept a scan, screenshot, or photo of the blood-borne pathogen and first aid training certificates.  Acceptable certificates must show your name, type of training (bloodborne pathogens or first aid), and the expiration date.  A screenshot of the training payment confirmation or saying the course has been completed is not acceptable.  The department needs the actual certificate. Expired certificates will not be accepted.
  • The curriculum for a CPR/AED training course is different from first aid training and not acceptable as a first aid course. If a training lists CPR/AED and first aid, then it is acceptable.

The applicant is responsible for submitting their training documentation each year upon renewal.  The department does not pull up documentation from previous years' submissions for review.

Permit Schedule and Processing

All tattoo permits expire on December 31 for the year issued.

Processing time for new applications will take approximately 1-2 weeks. Processing times during the renewal cycle (October-December) may take 3-4 weeks.

If the department needs further documentation/information to process your application, staff will email you to advise what is needed.

If you have not received your permit after 3-4 weeks of submitting your renewal/application, please verify you have not received an email from the department requesting additional information/documentation.  Be sure to check your spam folder. If you have not received an email, please contact the department at .

After an application is approved, tattoo permits are sent to the email address on file.  The department no longer mails paper copies.  Please be sure your email is updated in the licensing system. Email addresses can be updated in the online licensing portal by logging into your account, updating your email address on the My Profile page, and then clicking Continue.

Late Notices

You may receive a late notice in these cases:

  • Your renewal was submitted, but not processed yet.
  • You have not successfully completed your renewal. If the process is incomplete, it will not notify us of your renewal or application that is pending. Please log back in to our online system and verify:
    • All questions were answered.
    • All attachments were uploaded.
    • All fees were paid.