Tattoo Artists

Permit Requirements

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.

More information, and the applications for each specific permit can be found in the sections below.

To apply on line go to https://idph.iowa.gov/regulatory-programs/tattoo

Permanent Establishment Requirements

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

The checklist below is what 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.

Also listed below is the guidance document that includes specific details for each type of establishment permit such as, mobile units and temporary events.

Mobile Establishment Forms

Effective 9/7/2017 no new mobile establishment applications will be accepted.  Current mobile tattoo units shall be inspected annually by a local inspection agency.

Temporary Establishment Forms

Applications must be submitted 30 days prior to the temporary event. 

  • Temporary Establishment ApplicationPDF  You must include promotional documentation and floor plan.  A list of participating artists must be submitted one week prior to the event.

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


For more information about the Tattoo Program, contact: Debbi Cooper at (515) 242-6337
Tattoo Program | Iowa Department of Public Health | 321 E. 12th Street | Des Moines, Iowa 50319