Iowa Tattoo Laws
BODY PIERCING – PERMIT
REQUIRED – PENALTY.
1. A person shall not own, control and lease, act as an
agent for, conduct, manage, or operate an establishment to
engage in the practice of body piercing without first applying
for and receiving a permit from the Iowa department of public
health. For the purposes of this section, "body piercing"
means the piercing of the human body, other than the ear lobe,
for purposes of ornamentation or pursuant to religious or
2. A minor shall not undergo body piercing, other than
piercing of the ear lobe, and a person shall not perform body
piercing upon a minor, without the consent of a parent or
guardian. For the purposes of this section, "minor" means an
unmarried person who is under the age of eighteen years.
3. A person who fails to meet the requirements of
minor is guilty of a serious misdemeanor.
4. The Iowa department of public health shall:
a. Adopt rules pursuant to chapter 17A and establish,
collect, and retain all fees necessary to administer this
section. The provisions of chapter 17A, including licensing
provisions, judicial review, and appeal, shall apply to this
b. Establish minimum safety and sanitation standards for
the operation of body piercing establishments.
c. Establish minimum standards for individuals performing
5. If the Iowa department of public health determines that
a provision of this section or a rule or standard adopted or
established pursuant to this section has been or is being
violated, the department shall have the authority to order
that a body piercing establishment not be operated until the
necessary corrective action has been taken. If the
establishment continues to be operated in violation of the
order of the department, the department may request that the
county attorney or the attorney general make an application in
the name of the state to the district court of the county in
which the violations have occurred for an order to enjoin the
violations. This remedy is in addition to any other legal
remedy available to the department.
6. The provisions of this section shall not apply to
persons who perform body piercing pursuant to a recognized
religious doctrine or cultural practice upon persons for whom
the undergoing of body piercing has religious or cultural
significance. The performance of body piercing pursuant to
this subsection shall, however, be subject to review by the
Iowa department of public health regarding the existence of an
asserted religious doctrine or cultural practice, and whether
minimum safety and sanitation standards are being observed.