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Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Tanning Facilities

This program regulates the operation of tanning facilities in Iowa. It requires an annual facility permit, testing of operators, and inspections of the facility. Facilities covered under these requirements include but are not limited to, public and private businesses, hotels, motels, apartments, condominiums, and health and country clubs. Approximately 1000 facilities have a permit to operate as a tanning facility in Iowa.

Annual inspections are conducted to ensure that the facilities are in compliance with the Iowa requirements and that the health and safety of Iowans is protected.

These rules do not regulate spray tanning or red light therapy units.


Information Notices for Facilities


Tanning News for Facilities

No age restrictions for tanners

The Iowa Legislature did not pass any laws restricting tanning for persons under the age of 18.  Therefore, at this time, tanning is still permitted for all persons regardless of age.

Red Light Therapy Lamps

Red light therapy lamps may only be used in therapy units specific for red light therapy.  Red light therapy lamps may not be used in tanning beds or mixed with tanning lamps.  Tanning lamps may not be used in red light therapy lamps or mixed with red light therapy lamps.

Owner/Manager and Employee/Operator Testing

Owners/managers of tanning facilities will need to pass the exam to meet their testing requirements.

You can take this exam online at the link provided below. IDPH will monitor test completions and will issue a “Score released: IDPH Tanning Facility Test – Owner/Manager” email when an owner or manager passes the exam. Scores will be released 24 to 72 hours after you complete the exam. This email will be used as proof of passing for the owner/manager exam.

Once the exam is passed, your email will be attached to your facilities' registration and your exam expiration date will be updated in your facilities registration. Please keep this email on file so you can use it for proof of testing when you renew your license in the future.

Please note, a few counties may offer this owner/manager exam and/or require the test be taken through the county directly rather than online. In these cases, the county exams are administered on paper in a traditional proctored environment through the county personnel. Please contact your county health provider for details on this. Call the county health department responsible for your county to confirm whether you are able to use the online test or if you are required to take the exam at the local testing site at the county.

The owner/manager test can be accessed at:

Facilities may also use the online employee/operator test for their employees.  Once the employee completes the test, facilities will need to retain a screenshot of the passed test page as proof of testing completion for each employee/operator. IDPH will not send confirmation emails when operators pass the operator test. Facility owner/managers will be responsible for keeping proof of testing for each employee/operator passing of the test. Proof of testing for each employee/operator will be reviewed by the inspector during the annual inspection.

The Employee/Operator Test can be accessed at

Training Program for Operators


For More Information

For more information about tanning permit requirements and testing please see our regulatory programs page or contact program staff at (515) 802-6866