Iowa Contractor License Guide


Determine the Type of Contractor License You Need

  • Construction Contractor: ‘Construction’ for this license broadly defines electrical, plumbing, roofing, painting, landscaping, window installment, cable laying and more. Individuals or businesses earning less than $2,000 annually for construction work are not required to register with the State of Iowa.
  • Contractor (Plumbing and Mechanical): covers plumbing, mechanical, HVAC, refrigeration, sheet metal or hydronic systems services on a contractual basis and paid a predetermined amount under that contract for rendering those services according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Access Iowa Contractor License Application Forms

Contractor license applications are available online via the Iowa Division of Labor website.

Both construction contractor and contractor license applications include a detailed list of requirements.


Fulfill Requirements and Obtain Required Documents

Both construction contractors and contractors must:

  • Hold federal identification/a social security number.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Obtain an unemployment insurance number (UI). Even if you are the sole employee, you must obtain a UI# visit, or contact customer service at 888-848-7442, or [email protected].
  • Obtain workers’ compensation

Contractors with one or more employees must submit proof of workers’ compensation insurance. Submit a certificate of insurance with an effective date and listing the Division of Labor as certificate holder. If self-insured, the contractor should submit a Certificate of Relief from the Iowa Insurance Division.

  • Fee exemption forms (if applicable)

If you are self-employed and meet specific criteria, please send a completed fee exemption form rather than payment. To qualified, self-employed contractors must not work with or for other contractors in the same construction phases, and must not pay employees more than $2,000 per year. This must be signed and notarized.

Additionally, contractors must provide:

  • Documentation of criminal convictions related to professional practice, along with full explanation from the applicant themselves.
  • Evidence of a permanent place of business.
  • Public liability insurance

The applicant must provide evidence of a minimum coverage policy of $500,000. The certificate must also clearly show that the policy shall not be cancelled without the applicant first giving 10 days’ written notice to the Board. The certificate holder needs to be listed as the following address:

Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board
321 E. 12th St
Des Moines, IA 50319

  • Master of Record

The applicant must hold an active master license under Iowa Code Chapter 105 and provide evidence that either they hold an active master license or employes at least one person for each discipline in which the applicant performs Chapter 105 work. A master may only be a master of record for one discipline per contractor.

  • Maintain contractor registration with the Iowa Division of Labor

Note: This is separate from the requirements for contractor licensure with the Plumbing & Mechanical Systems Board (PMSB). Applicants may submit single applications for both a PMSB-issued license and contractor registration via the Iowa Division of Labor.

Contractor Insurance

There are several types of insurance coverages that are recommended for contractors, but the recommended coverage will vary based on your operation.

If you’d like to learn more about all of the insurance coverages available to you, please read our contractor insurance guide.


Submit Your Iowa Contractor License Application

How to fill out your application:

Construction contractor: Print and complete the New Application/Renewal Form using blue or black ink.

Contractor: Either fill application form online or print paper application and fill in form using blue or black ink.

Licensing Fees:

Construction contractor registration fees can be paid online. You will be required to create an Authentication & Authorization account to do so here. Otherwise, a check or money order can be made payable to “Iowa Division of Labor”:

  • Construction Contractor License: $50

Note: There will be a 3% service fee added to your total purchase amount or a 30 cent service fee added to your ACH (checking account) payment.

Contractor applications must include registration fees for contractor licenses as well as the contractor registration. All fees are prorated based on the length of the license validity. For exact amounts, please click here.

  • Contractor License: varies based on pro-rate
  • Registration fee: varies based on pro-rate
  • Paper application processing fee: $25
  • Individual trade examination: $35.00 per exam

Note: If you are renewing more than one active master, contractor, or journeyman license in one or more disciplines for the same person, a discount of 30% may be deducted from application fees only.

Mailing Address:

Submit your Construction Contractor application along with all supporting documentation to:

Iowa Division of Labor
Contractor Registration
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319-0209
Phone: 515-242-5871
Fax: 515-725-2427
Email: [email protected]

Note: Processing a completed application may take up to 30 working days.

Submit your Contractor application along with all supporting documentation to:

Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board office
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075
Phone: 1-866-280-1521
FAX: 515-281-6114

If you have further questions regarding your application, please contact the Iowa Department of Public Health here.


Pass Your Examination

No examination is needed to receive your Iowa Construction Contractor license.

The Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board accepts examination applications for:

  • Master & Journeyperson Plumbing
  • Master & Journeyperson Hydronics
  • Master & Journeyperson HVAC/Refrigeration
  • Master & Journeyperson Mechanical
  • Journeyperson Sheet Metal

For examination requirements, please click here.


Obtain Your Contractor License Bond

Out-of-state construction contractors must file a $25,000.00 Iowa contractor license bond at the time of registration and renewing. The bond must be issued by a surety company licensed to do business in Iowa on the out-of-state bond form provided. For questions, contact the Division of Labor at [email protected] or 515-242-5871.

Contractor applicants must provide evidence of a performance bond issued by an entity licensed to do business in Iowa in a minimum amount of $5,000 though each city requires surety bonds in varying amounts. Please verify surety bond requirements with your local municipality to determine the requirement.

Note: The obligees for contractor bonds must be listed as the customers of the principal, not the State of Iowa or the Board. The surety bond must also clearly state that it cannot be cancelled without the applicant first giving 10 days’ written notice to the Board.

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