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The Iowa Division of Labor protects Iowa’s children from certain hazards and from being overworked. The extent of these protections are dependent upon the age of the child.

Children 16 and 17 years old are prohibited from doing certain dangerous tasks and from certain dangerous occupations.

Children 14 and 15 years old have additional restrictions, there are limits on the time and hours they can work, and must have a permit.

Child Labor Permit

The Iowa Child Labor Permit Instructions has details on filling out a work permit for minors.

A child labor work permit is not a driving permit. If a driving permit or license is needed, contact the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Online Child Labor Permit Application Instructions

  1. The new Employee (Minor) must complete the form and provide a digital signature.

    The Minor must submit an email address for the Parent or Guardian. The Parent/Guardian will receive an email to complete their required information on the form. NOTE: The email will have a link that the parent or guardian must use to complete their part properly.

  2. The Parent or guardian must complete the second section of the form and provide a digital signature.

    Once their part of the form is completed, the Parent/Guardian must submit an email address for the Employer. NOTE: The email will have the link that the Employer must use to complete the form.

  3. The Employer must complete the third section of the form and provide a digital signature.

    When the Employer completes and submits the form, all parties will receive a completed form via email, including the Iowa Division of Labor. The Employer shall retain a copy of the completed form on premise. This process is designed to save time, paper, and prevent the return of illegible permits.

Child Labor Exemptions

In 2019 the Iowa legislature amended the child labor chapter to include additional “exceptions” from its requirements. Beginning July 1, the following are generally not required to comply with Iowa child labor law:

  • Volunteer work for a charitable or public purpose.
  • Referees twelve years of age or older working for a charitable organization, a unit of government, or an organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee.
  • The Iowa Summer Youth Corps Program.
  • Any recognized program of the Iowa National Service Corps for children over fourteen.

These do not require a permit and do not have hours restrictions. However, the kinds of permissible tasks are still limited by the hazardous/prohibited occupation restrictions in section 92.8.

Federal Labor Law

For information on federal child labor law, contact the U.S. Department of Labor, in Des Moines at 515-284-4625. Employers are subject to both state and federal child labor laws and, when there are differences, must follow the law that gives the most protection.

Hours of Operation

8:00am to 4:30pm • Monday - Friday

Contact Information

Division of Labor
Child Labor
150 Des Moines Street
Des Moines, IA 50309-1836