Child Labor

The Iowa Division of Labor protects Iowa's children from dangers in the workplace and limits their hours of work so they can focus on education.

Under Iowa Child Labor Law, Iowa Code Chapter 92, minors under the age of 18 are prohibited from working in certain occupations, performing certain duties and from using certain equipment. Minors that are 14 or 15 years old cannot be employed or permitted to work, with or without compensation, unless they have a work permit.  Please review the Iowa Child Labor Permit Instructions for details on filling out a work permit.  Any form submitted incomplete, inaccurate or illegible is deemed invalid.

For information on the Federal Child Labor Law, contact the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, in Des Moines at 515-284-4625.  An employer subject to both state and federal child labor laws must follow the more restrictive law.

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

New Process for Child Labor Work Permits

  • Minors 14 and 15 years old are required to have a work permit
  • Minors 16 and 17 years old are not required to have a work permit
  • Effective June 1, 2015, local school officials and IowaWORKS offices will no longer issue work permits
  • Iowa Child Labor Permit
  • Iowa Child Labor Permit Instructions provides details on filling out the work permit

Quick Links

Iowa Child Labor Permit
Iowa Child Labor Permit Instructions
General Order Employment of Minors at the Iowa State Fair
Special Order Requirements
Physician's Certification of Minor's Age
Child Labor Iowa Code and Administrative Rules
Child Labor "Vice" Jobs: Liquor, Tobacco and Gambling 
Teen Summer Jobs: Safety Pays
PDF and Webpage Issues
Contact the Child Labor Staff