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How to Verify a Professional's License in Des Moines?

Professionals in Des Moines are regulated by over 160 boards and commissions. This includes the Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau (IPLB), which is responsible for the licensing and administrative coordination of about 32,000 licensees under 6 different professions, including landscape architects, engineers, land surveyors, and interior designers. To ensure that your project is successful, you should make sure that the professional you choose to hire is duly licensed. You may confirm the validity of the license of a professional you intend to hire by accessing the online verification platform or contacting the bard that licenses that profession. For example, you may verify the license of engineers, architects, and other professionals under the Professional Licensing Bureau using the Bureau's license search portal or by calling (515) 725-9022.

In addition to state-mandated license requirements, the City of Des Moines also has specific local permit requirements which certain professionals must follow. Generally, professionals engaged in home improvement works, building or construction may have to obtain permits from the City of Des Moines Permit and Development Center. To make permit inquiries and applications, you may call the Center at (515) 283-4200. Alternatively, applications may be made online using the Customer Self Service Portal.

Do Des Moines Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

No, Des Moines neighborhood organizations and community groups do not have the authority to issue building or home improvement permits. More appropriately, the neighborhood groups are volunteer organizations whose members come together to work towards making the city and their neighborhoods a better place. The City of Des Moines has four wards and each neighborhood belongs to one. The city is governed by a city council that is made up of seven persons. The mayor and two other council members are elected at large while each ward elects one representative. The city council is responsible for passing laws and ordinances within the city as well as approving the city budget. To find out what ward you belong to and obtain information on your council representative, you may access the city map. You may also locate your neighborhood by using the neighborhood map maintained by the Neighborhood Development Division of the City of Des Moines Community Development Department. It was announced on the 26th of August 2021 that the city had decided to hire its first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director, with the selection process for the director involving community members and human rights commissioners alongside city staff and representatives of elected officials. Iowa is also witnessing a construction boom in the post-pandemic era and Des Moines is not left out. It was reported in April 2021 that construction would begin on the Municipal Services Center ll Building that would house radio services, fleet services, and public works.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Des Moines?

Residents of the City of Des Moines may file an unfair business complaint on the basis of fraud, unfair practices, or deception either with the Office of the Iowa Attorney General or through the Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau.

Complaints made to the Professional Licensing Bureau may be in relation to professionals licensed by the Bureau or against persons who are not licensed, or certified by a board under the Bureau. To file a complaint, you may utilize the online complaint form maintained by this agency.

On the other hand, complaints may be made to the Office of the Attorney General using an online consumer complaint form, and you may include supporting documents such as emails, contracts, advertisements, and other correspondence. You may also download and complete a printable complaint form, which can be emailed along with all supporting documents to the Attorney General's Office. These documents can also be sent by mail to

  • Office of the Attorney General of Iowa
  • Consumer Protection Division
  • Hoover State Office Building
  • 1305 E. Walnut Street
  • Des Moines, IA 50319-0106

It is important to note that the Attorney General's Office only serves as a mediator and cannot compel businesses to respond to complaints or to take a line of action you desire. Also, the office cannot institute legal action on behalf of private individuals. If you are unsatisfied with a resolution reached after the complaints process, your best option may be to institute private legal action against the business at a Polk County Courthouse.

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