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Online Renewals for Retail OR Food Service Licenses

Online Renewals for Retail or Food Service Licenses

Creating an Account

To access Iowa’s Online Food Licensing System, please log onto the site by entering https://iowa.safefoodinspection.com​ into your internet browser. Although the application functions in the most common internet browsers, the preferred internet browser is Google Chrome. If you are using another internet browser, the appearance of some of the pages and messages may differ from those in this user guide.

Log In page

  • If you already have an account, please enter your User Name and Password then select “Log In.”
  • If you forget your password, please use the “Forgot Password” function. As passwords are required to be changed every 120 days, the Forgot Password function will allow you access if you are an infrequent user. 
  • If you are a new user of the system, please select “New Account.”
  • If you know what type of license you are renewing or applying for, select the correct option. If you are unsure about which license option to select, please call 515-281-7102. 
  • If you are operating business in multiple counties, select the “Multiple counties” option. If you need to go to the previous screen, click “Previous” or “Start Over.” 
  • If you are operating a single business in a single county, select the “Single county” option. If you need to go to the previous screen, click “Previous” or “Start Over.”  
  • If you selected “Multiple counties,” you will need to determine the county where the majority of your businesses reside. Once you select the county from the drop-down box, click “Next.” If you have a single business, click “Previous.” [Please note: the “City of Dubuque” is a different option from “Dubuque County.”]
  • If you selected a “Single county,” please select the county where your business is located. Once you select your county from the drop-down box, click “Next.” Otherwise, select “Previous” if you have multiple businesses. [Please note: the “City of Dubuque” is a different option from “Dubuque County.”]

The next screen will inform you of your regulatory jurisdiction. If you believe this information is incorrect, please read the instructions to review your response or choose to start over. You can also click “Food Regulatory Jurisdiction Map” to check the jurisdiction that has been selected. If you click the jurisdiction map, you will be taken to another page and be required to start over. Select “Confirm” to advance. 

Create a new user account

  • Create your own User Name and Password.
  • The “Home Jurisdiction” is pre-determined by your selection of your business location and license type.
  • Complete all “Account Information” fields. All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required fields. 
  • Review the information you have entered for accuracy and select “Save.”
  • Once you have saved your User Account, log in with your credentials.

Home Page: Facility Portal

If you are seeing this page, you have successfully logged in to the Iowa Online Food Licensing System.  
Congratulations! If you do not see this page after attempting to login using your user credentials, please try again. 
If you are still unsuccessful, please contact the regulatory authority.

Associating an Existing Food Business with a User Account

Once you have successfully logged into the Iowa Online Food Licensing System, the next step is to associate active food or lodging businesses with your user account. The Business Code that you need to associate an existing business with your user account is located on the food or hotel license renewal application that you receive from the regulatory agency.   

Here is an example of the top portion of the food license renewal application:

  • The “Business Code” on the renewal must be entered in the space provided on the “Iowa Online Food Licensing” home screen.
  • Enter the Business Code from the renewal form here and then select “Add.”
  • Once you add a Business Code, the food business will appear as a blue panel on the home screen.
  • If you are associated with more than one food business, you must enter the Business Code from other businesses and select “Add.”
  • Each valid Business Code added will add another business to the home screen.

Once a user has associated one or more food businesses with the user account, it is important that the business information is reviewed and updated as necessary to reflect the current operation. There are two areas where information is displayed: “Business Information” and “License Information.” Both of these areas contain operational information about each food business.

  • To access the “Business Information” screen, click the paper and pencil icon.
  • If you have multiple businesses, selecting “Show Available for Renewal” will filter out businesses that do not have licenses that are available for renewal at this time.
  • To view “License Information,” click the “>” icon.

Reviewing and Updating Business and License Information

Business Information: 

  • When the pencil and paper icon is selected, the “Edit Business Information” page will appear. Please review and update this information to reflect current operations. Note that some of the fields are locked (shaded in gray) and cannot be changed by the user. If there is inaccurate information in fields that are locked, please contact the regulatory authority.
  • Review and update all information to reflect current operations.
  • The user cannot edit fields that are shaded (locked). If information is inaccurate in these fields, contact the regulatory authority.
  • Select “Add New Contact” to enter emergency contact information.  Emergency contacts may receive alerts when emergencies arise such as power outages, boil orders, flooding and other conditions that may affect the operation of the business. Note: At least one Emergency Contact is required before this screen will save or close.  
  • Select “Add New Attachment” to provide the regulatory agency with information such as a copy of the current menu, water test results, HACCP plan, policies and procedures, training documents, Certified Food Protection Manager documentation, or other necessary information about the food business.
  • Ensure you select “Save Changes” if changes have been made to the Business Information.

License Information:

  • When the “>” icon is selected, the blue panel will expand to show a License Information summary. Note: only active licenses will display.
  • To access detailed license information or “Business Program Reference Data,” click the “+” icon. Each “+” icon contains unique detailed license information. 

Detailed License Information (Business Program Reference Data):

The information displayed for each license will differ based on the license type. Please note that each license has separate program reference data that requires updating.

  • All areas of the “Business Program Reference Data” that are marked with an asterisk (*) require a response. These areas must be completed by the user before a license can be renewed using the online renewal system.
  • Select “Save Reference Data” after making changes to the Business Program Reference Data.
  • Select “Add New Attachment” to upload the proof of gross sales for this license. Once this is selected, a window will pop up on the screen that will allow you to select a document from your computer to upload. Acceptable forms of documentation for proof of gross sales include: quarterly sales tax returns, a statement from a CPA, or a page from an income tax statement showing gross food and beverage sales. Proof of gross sales will be reviewed before a license is issued. NOTE: If proof of sales is not attached and if the gross sales amount is not entered into the field provided, the maximum fee level for the license will be due upon checkout.
  • Enter the applicable gross food and beverage sales amount for this license in the space provided. This amount must match the proof-of-sales documentation that is attached in the “Attachment” section. 

Paying for a Retail or Food Service License

Once business and license information is updated, gross sales data is entered, and documentation is attached, the licenses may be added to the shopping cart.

  • Select the “Add To Cart” box to place this license in the shopping cart.
  • Upon selecting “Add To Cart,” this reminder will appear. Selecting “Cancel” will allow you to attach and enter this information. Selecting “OK” will add the selected license to the shopping cart.
  • Once the user has successfully placed a license in the shopping cart, the shopping cart contents should be reviewed for accuracy before checking out. To view the shopping cart contents, select the shopping cart icon.
  • Each license that has been successfully added to the shopping cart is identified by the license number (e.g. 170937). Payment details are also provided in the cart. Late payments will have penalty fees included. 
  • A license can be removed from the shopping cart by clicking the “X” or by unchecking the “Add to Cart” box.

Once the shopping cart contents have been reviewed for accuracy, the user may proceed by selecting “Checkout.” Selecting Checkout will redirect the user to the Iowa e-payment screen. NOTE: Both Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) AND credit/debit card payments are accepted. There is a $1 transaction fee for bank transfers and a 2.5% transaction fee for credit and debit cards.

Once the payment process is complete, the user will receive a payment confirmation number which may be printed and maintained as proof of payment. After receiving the payment confirmation number, please log back into the Iowa Online Food Licensing System to ensure the selected license or licenses are in a “Submitted” status. If the license you selected is not in a Submitted status, please contact the regulatory authority.

Licenses that are in a “Submitted” status have NOT been approved. The approval process occurs after submission. The documentation that has been provided will be reviewed before approval. Once the license has been approved, the status will change back to “Active.” Please log into the Iowa Online Food Licensing system periodically to view the status.