How to Get a Work Permit in Iowa

Getting a work permit in Iowa is much easier than most teens think, but the entire process can be pretty confusing if you've never done it before. Because of this, we've created this page which outlines everything you need to know about getting a work permit in Iowa.  If you're under the age of 16, a work permit is required to work part-time at any company, so follow what we've outlined here and you can get a job in no time.

Minimum Working Age in Iowa

The state of Iowa is responsible for the production of one tenth of the nation’s food supply, however the products manufactured in Iowa are valued at two times greater than its agriculture. Iowa has a lot going on. Youth in Iowa are able to start gaining work experience at the age of 14 with a work permit (required for those under 16). While minors residing in Iowa do not have to obtain a work permit at the ages of 16 and 17, employers can choose to require a work permit for minors that are under 18. Click here for more information on teen labor laws in Iowa.

Applying For a Work Permit in Iowa

Minors aged 14 and 15 who are seeking employment in Iowa must obtain a work permit prior to beginning employment. The process for obtaining a work permit is simple; the required form to complete for the work permit is accessible online and a link is provided below.  Youth aged 14 and 15 who are interested in working should take the following steps:

  1. The minor should first seek employment. Once they find an available position and a job is offered, they should start the process for an “Iowa Child Labor Application and Work Permit”.
  2. The “Application and Work Permit” can be accessed by clicking here. The minor can print this out and begin the application by completing the sections for the “minor” and the “parent or guardian”.
  3. The minor will then take the work permit application to the employer, along with their proof of age. Proof of age can include: a birth certificate, current passport, a certified baptismal record that shows the date and place of birth of the minor as well as the places of the baptism, a visa, a green card, or a physician’s certification of the minor’s age.
  4. The employer will complete their section of the work permit application, as well as verify the minor’s proof of age.
  5. The employer will submit a copy of the work permit application to the Iowa Division of Labor within three days of the minor beginning work, through email, fax or mail. The employer will keep a copy of the work permit and proof of age on file.

Transferring Work Permits in Iowa

The work permit in Iowa is completed for a specific employer and job. Should a youth aged 14 or 15 choose to seek new employment, they will have to obtain a new work permit for that particular employer and opportunity.

Employer Responsibility With Work Permits in Iowa

In Iowa once an employer has decided they would like to hire a minor aged 14 or 15, the minor and their parent/guardian will complete the appropriate sections, and bring the work permit application to the future employer. The employer should then do the following:

  1. Complete the Business/Employer’s section of the work permit.
  2. The employer will review the potential employee’s proof of age and keep a copy for their files. They will indicate on the application which proof age document was reviewed.
  3. The employer will look at the Iowa Child Labor Law sheet in order to confirm that the duties and hours they are planning for the employee are acceptable.
  4. The employer will print their name and title on the application as well as sign the work permit. They will also note the date that the permit was completed. This must be done before the minor begins to work.
  5. The employer will make a copy of the work permit and send a copy to the Iowa Division of Labor, Child Labor within three days of the minor starting to work. This can be sent by email, fax (the employer should keep the fax transmission printout as proof that the form was submitted.
  6. The employer will keep on file a copy of the work permit application as well as what was used for the employee’s proof of age.
  7. The employer will comply with the duties and hour requirements that are listed on the Iowa Child Labor Law sheet.

The responsibility of employers when hiring minors aged 14 and 15 in Iowa is simple and should not deter minors from seeking and obtaining employment. Iowa’s Division of Labor website offers clear instructions for all who participate in the process of hiring a minor, making it easy for minors and employers.