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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a “lodging provider” and what is “lodging”?

Iowa Code section 80.45A incorporates definitions from the Iowa Department of Revenue statutes, found in Iowa Code chapter 423A regarding hotel and motel tax.

•    “Lodging provider” is defined in Iowa Code 423A.2 as any of the following:

  1. A person or any affiliate of a person that owns, operates, or manages lodging and makes the lodging available for rent through the person or any affiliate, or through a lodging platform or a lodging facilitator.
  2. A person or any affiliate of a person who possesses or acquires a right to or interest in any lodging with an intent to rent the lodging to another person through the person or any affiliate, or through a lodging platform or a lodging facilitator.

•    Lodging is also broadly defined.  “Lodging” means rooms, apartments, or sleeping quarters in a hotel, motel, inn, public lodging house, rooming house, cabin, apartment, residential property, or manufactured or mobile home which is tangible personal property, or in a tourist court, or in any place where sleeping accommodations are furnished to transient guests for rent, whether with or without meals. 

•    The Iowa Department of Revenue determines what is considered “lodging.”  The Iowa Department of Revenue can be reached at (515)-281-3114, or 800-367-3388 or 

What is the definition of "public funds"?

From Iowa Code 12C.1 Deposits in general — definitions

e. “Public funds” and “public deposits” mean any of the following:

  1. The moneys of the state or a political subdivision or instrumentality of the state including a county, school corporation, special district, drainage district, unincorporated town or township, municipality, or municipal corporation or any agency, board, or commission of the state or a political subdivision. Moneys of the state include moneys which are transmitted to a depositary for purposes of completing an electronic financial transaction pursuant to section 159.35.
  2. The moneys of any court or public body noted in subsection 1.
  3. The moneys of a legal or administrative entity created pursuant to chapter 28E.
  4. The moneys of an electric power agency as defined in section 28F.2 or 390.9.
  5. Federal and state grant moneys of a quasi-public state entity that are placed in a depository pursuant to this chapter.
  6. Moneys placed in a depository for the purpose of completing an electronic financial transaction pursuant to section 8B.32 or 331.427.

Do online accommodation marketplaces, such as Air BnB and VRBO have to be certified to accept public funds?

The platforms themselves are “lodging facilitators” pursuant to Iowa Code section 423A.2(1)(g), but the individual hosts would be considered “lodging providers” and thus, would need to be certified to accept public funds.

Do campgrounds have to be certified to accept public funds?

Campgrounds that provide Cabin & Yurt rentals are considered “lodging providers” and thus, would need to be certified to accept public funds.

Does Iowa Code 80.45A apply to out-of-state travel?

No, Iowa Code 80.45A does not apply to out-of-state travel.  The law only applies to lodging providers that pay Iowa hotel/motel taxes. 

Who is required to take the training?

All employees who are working at/or have offices at the property being certified, to include part-time and/or seasonal employees.

How do we submit our Human Trafficking training for approval?

To submit your Human Trafficking training for approval, use our Training Certification Form

How do I request a Hotel Administrator User Account?

If you need to manage multiple hotel locations, please use the following form for your request Hotel Administrator User Account Request Form

All employees have taken DPS approved Human Trafficking Training, How do I request final certification?

If you want to request certification after your staff have been trained use the following form Hotel Training Final Certification

What happens if a public employee stays at a non-certified place?

Public funds cannot be used. 


Steps in the Certification Process

>> Step 1 – Sign up for a Hotel Administrator Account to manage your location, using the following form:

>> Step 2 – Train your staff 
You have different options: Individual Online Training, Group Training or a Combination of Both

Individual Online Training – Each employee goes to the website & views one of the training videos.  After watching the video, each employee creates an account and takes the online test.  After the employee passes the test, they will receive a certificate to print out.   The employee prints out the certificate and provides it to management.

Group Training -  Hold a group training using one of the training videos on our site,
After your staff have viewed a training video, they will need to take & pass a written test.  Management uploads the records of the training to the website using their Hotel Administrator account.  Management is also required to keep copies of group training records at the facility.  

To request a copy of the written test:  email

To upload training records use the following template:  *
 * The website requires each employee to have a unique email address to register their training information.   If employees do not have an email address/refuse to provide one, we recommend creating a fictitious email using the following format:

>>Step 3 – Request Final Certification
After your staff have been trained, fill out the Final Certification form linked below: 

>>Step 4 – Receive Certification
The Iowa Office to Combat Human Trafficking (OCHT) approves your lodging facility, and you receive a Facility Certificate for your records.  The facility is now certified for 3 years.  You still need to train new staff within 30 days of hire, but no further information needs to be submitted to OCHT until re-certification.

Visit our frequently asked questions page to learn more about human trafficking prevention training and how to receive your certification

National Human Trafficking Hotline 888.373.7888