Applications can be submitted online or by mail for a tattoo artist permit in Iowa.
The application fee is $75. All application fees are nonrefundable.


The most efficient way to get your permit is online.

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


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.


Along with the application, all artists are required to pay an annual, non-refundable fee of $75.

Pay Online

Fees may be paid online with a credit card if you are applying using the online licensing portal. If you are mailing a renewal form, pay fees with a check or money order made payable to the Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing.  The department cannot accept cash.

Pay by Check

Checks received without a renewal form will be returned.

If you are sending a check to pay for a renewal completed online, please include a printed bill from the online licensing site. This identifies the artist or establishment name and the permit number so the payment can be properly applied.

If you are sending a check to pay for a renewal that has not been completed online, it must be accompanied by a renewal form. 

Late Fees

Late fees start Dec. 1 and will not be waived.  A late fee of $25 per month applies to renewal applications received after December 1.

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.