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Amusement Ride Inspections - Common Questions

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Q: Who Regulates the inspections of Water slides and swimming pools? 

A: Iowa Department of Public Health

Q: How do I know if an amusement owner has registered with the State of Iowa? 

A: You may call the Amusement office at 515-725-5671 or email You may also ask the owner of the rides for proof of inspection by showing you the inspection sticker. If they do not have proof of inspection, just call our office with the show name and where they are set up. 

Q: If I’m registered in another state, can I set up in Iowa without being inspected? 

A: There is no reciprocity with other states.  You must fill out the application and be inspected by the State of Iowa. 

Q: What is the process for becoming a registered amusement operator in Iowa? 

A: You will need to fill out the application available from our website, provide proof of insurance, and pay the application fee.  Once you submit these, we will contact you to set up the inspection to sticker the ride/device. 

Q: Can I self-inspect my inflatables? 

A: If you have been certified in the State of Iowa for at least one year, you may apply to self-inspect your inflatables. There is a complete list of criteria, including: You must provide proof of training from a third party provider to inspect inflatables. In the past 5 years, if a patron been injured while using one of your air-supported-structures in any jurisdiction, you cannot self-inspect. Other criteria items are listed on the Self-Inspection Application form. 

Q: How long is the inspection sticker valid?  

A: It is valid until the end of that year, December 31st.  You will need to reapply at the beginning of the calendar year. 

Q: What are the fees for an annual permit and inspections?  

A: Annual Permit Fee = $30 for 1-10 rides/inflatables  $40 for 11+ rides/inflatables (this total does not include the amount of generators or blowers).   

Inspection Fees:  $40 for each inflatable, generator and blower.  

$40 Concession/Game Booth (only with electrical) 

$75 Rides designed for passengers weighing 75 lbs or less (these are rides that can only accommodate children) 

$110 Rides designed for passengers weighing 75 lbs or more and less than 40 work hours for assembly 

$250 Rides requiring more than 40 work hours to assemble (roller coasters, etc). 

Q: Can I pay my fees after the inspection?   

A: The annual application/permit fee must be paid in advance when you submit your application. You can choose to pay for the inspection stickers at the time of the inspection or in advance.  The inspector will not sticker the ride until all fees have been paid. 

Q: Can I pay with cash?   

A: We do not accept cash in the field.  Checks or money orders only. 

Q: If I have an obstacle course inflatable, is it considered one unit? 

A: If the sections can be split and operated separately, they must be inspected and stickered separately. 

Q: How much time in advance do I need to send in my paperwork if I am a new applicant? 

A: We ask that you submit all paperwork (application, insurance and permit fee) at least two weeks before your first event.  This also allows time during the busy season to get your inspection scheduled.   

Q: What if I don’t know if I’m operating in Iowa or not? 
A: Statute reads that you must submit your application by May 1st of that year.   

Q: What if I don’t know my itinerary yet? 

A: Submit your application and note on the itinerary page that you do not have any events scheduled.  It will be your responsibility to inform us, at least two weeks in advance of your event, to schedule the inspection. 

Q: Do you mail out applications each year?   

A: No.  We request your email to be included on your application.  We then send the application in the latter part of the year via the email address you provided.   

Q: Sometimes I loan my equipment to another owner when I’m booked on with a show. Are there special rules with that? 

A: If you loan your device to another company for an event, and your staff are the operators, you must have your insurance list that device.  If you loan a device to another company for an event, but they plan on operating, that owner will need to get their insurance to list the device.  

Q: What do I need on my insurance certificate?   

A: We require that the “Description of Operations” portion lists the devices that you, as the insurance carrier, agree to cover.  If you have inflatables, you may just say “covering all inflatables, blowers and generators”.  But if you have other rides, you must list those individually. 

Also, in the “Certificate Holder” portion it needs to have: 

State of Iowa – Amusements • 150 Des Moines Street • Des Moines, IA  50309