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How to Get a Tattoo Business License

Do you want to start a tattoo shop business in USA? If YES, here are state requirements to get a tattoo studio license in USA and how to go about the process.

With the public acceptance of tattoos, the art of applying ink patterns on the skin turned into a very profitable venture. Presently, lot of entrepreneurs are making very decent income running tattoo parlors in the various states in the country.

Because of the proliferation of the business, and the health dangers associated with it, states have decided to wade in and regulate the industry.

Now, most states in the United State will require you to get a license before you can administer tattoo on someone, and others would require that you have a formal business location; but it should be noted that there is no federal law regulating the practice of tattooing, and as such, the regulation of the business in each state is subject to their whims.

It should also be noted that while some states are stringent with their licensing requirements, so much so that children cannot be given tattoos or piercings, with or without their parent’s consent; other states are quite lax with their laws so much so that tattoo artists do not require a license to operate.

If you want to get tattoo licensing in the united states, we have outlined the various requirements to get it, while also pointing out states that have no need for licensing.

States Requirements to Get a Tattoo Business License in USA

1. Alabama

Alabama Department of Public Health issues the Body Art Operator’s Permit which is required to start a tattoo business in Alabama. To get this permit, you need to present a current Bloodborne Pathogen Training Certificate and the course must be approved by ADPH.

You should also provide a proof of your Hepatitis B Vaccination. That means that you need to take one. A copy of your Photo I.D is also required. Note that this permit is valid for only one year. You can make your application online at the Alabama Department of Public Health.

2. Alaska

The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development issues tattooing license in the state, and the license is called the Tattooing and Permanent Cosmetic Coloring License. One of the primary requirements to get this license is to sit for an exam scheduled by the department.

To sit for the exam, you must ensure that you have Completed Apprenticeship Training of 380 Hours or More (380+), you must provide a Notarized Application, a Verified Proof of Training Record, and a Certified Copy of Current CPR and Blood Borne Pathogens Card.

If trained outside of Alaska, you must provide a Completed Affidavit Confirming Study of the Statute and Regulation Booklet. Your license is assured when you pass this exam. This license expires on August 31st of Every Odd-Numbered Year.

3. Arizona

In Arizona, you do not need a license to open your tattoo business, so go ahead and start your business.

4. Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Public Health issues tattoo licence in the state, and it called the Tattoo Artist, Permanent Cosmetic Artist, Body Piercer or Brander License. The state of Arkansas requires a formal exam for licensure. The requirements listed are those to sit for the exam.

  • Completed Apprenticeship (minimum of 6 months, maximum of 24 months)
  • 375 Completed Clock Hours of Supervised Body Art Work (Log Submitted by Trainer)
  • Certified Copy of Current CPR and Blood Borne Pathogens Card
  • If applying for licensure as a permanent cosmetic artist, must provide a copy of high school diploma or GED

Arkansas requires a request in writing for an application and testing information to be made to the Arkansas Department of Public Health. Each license is valid to the 31st December of every year.

5. California

Tattoo licensing in this state is managed By the County Health Department. While licensing is managed by each individual county, the state has its basic licensing requirements and they include; an LEA-Approved Bloodborne Pathogen Course Completion Certificate, and a Hepatitis B Vaccination. The duration of your license in this state is dependent on the county you apply to.

6. Colorado

Licensing in this state is also managed By County Health Departments. While licensing is managed by each individual county, the state has basic requirements, and they include:

An LEA-Approved Bloodborne Pathogen Course Completion Certificate, your Hepatitis B Vaccination evidence, and a Red Cross CPR and First Aid Certification. In the same vein, the duration of the license in this state is county dependent.

7. Connecticut

The state of Connecticut presently does not require a license, though it is still being expected in the near future.

8. Delaware

Delaware requires the registration of shops and shop owners must have a permit from the Health Department, but no individual license is required to operate an actual tattoo shop.

9. Florida

Florida Department of Health is responsible for issuing the Tattoo Artist License in the state of Florida. To register for the license, you must have completed a Bloodborne Pathogens and Communicable Diseases Course, and provide evidence of that. Also, you must score 70% or Greater for your certificate to be considered. This license is renewed yearly.

10. Georgia

The State Environmental Health Office does not regulate or certify the Tattoo Industry. However, most County Boards of Health in Georgia have adopted their own local Tattoo Rules. In order to be eligible for consideration for a Body Artist License, you must provide proof of employment at a currently permitted Body Art Studio.

To apply, you need to Contact the local County Health Department’s Environmental Health office in order to obtain an application for a Body Artist License. Complete written application and submit along with required documentation and all applicable fees. In order to be issued a tattoo license in the state, you need to provide the following requirements;

  • Proof of age
  • Photo Identification
  • Proof of employment at a Body Art Studio
  • Proof of completion of Departmental exam
  • Proof of completion of Basic First Aid/CPR training
  • Proof of completion of OSHA approved Bloodborne Pathogens/Universal Precautions training
  • Proof of current vaccination status for Hepatitis B or documentation of refusal to receive vaccination

11. Hawaii

The sanitation branch of the Department of Health of Hawaii regulates permanent makeup as tattoo and issues licenses. In order to obtain a tattoo license in the state of Hawaii, you must:

  • Pass a blood-borne pathogen course and mail a copy of the certificate
  • Fill out New Tattoo Artist License and pay $75 fee. Make checks payable to State of Hawaii.
  • Fill out a tuberculosis and syphilis report form. The Health Department strongly encourages you get a Hepatitis B vaccine.
  • Mail all of this to: Sanitation Branch, 591 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96813.

This license is valid till the end of January 31 of each year.

12. Idaho

As of present, tattoo businesses do not require licenses to run in the state. Though no license is required in the state, but tattoo parlors in Idaho are subject to inspection by the department of health and welfare in order to prevent the spread of infectious and contagious diseases.

Again, in Idaho, the tattooing, branding or body piercing of minors under the age of 14 is prohibited. Those between ages 14 and 18 must have written consent from their parents or legal guardian before receiving a tattoo. Fines are issued for businesses that violate this law.

13. Illinois

Until recently, tattoo artists in the state of Illinois were not required to have any kind of permit or license to operate, they were only subjected to routine inspections, but all that has changed as you need to get a license to run your tattoo business in the state.

To proceed, you need to take the tattoo artist license test. This test usually checks your knowledge of state regulations regarding sanitation, safety, hygiene and Illinois tattoo laws.

The test is only administered in January and July of each year, and you can retake it if you fail. You will need to pay a license fee of $200 to receive your license. This license expires on December 31 of each year and it is subject to renewal by paying $20 before the expiration of the first license.

14. Indiana

Indiana’s state laws do not require certification, registration or licensing of people who want to become tattoo artists. But the laws in the state provide prohibitions and requirements for operating a tattooing business, criminal penalties for violations of the law, investigation of complaints and rules for health and safety. It does, however, require tattoo artists to complete a OSHA-approved Bloodborne Pathogens course.

You equally need to fill a form and pay a $100 application fee so your facility can be inspected. Indiana passed Senate Bill 13 in 1997 to regulate tattooing businesses. The legislation prohibits tattoo artists from providing tattoos to people less than 18 years of age without the presence and written consent of a parent or legal guardian.

15. Iowa

The Iowa Department of Public Health issues tattoo and body piercing licenses. To obtain a tattoo permit in the State of Iowa, the artist must complete an application and provide documentation of the following:

  • Proof that you are at least 18 years of age
  • Proof that you have a high school diploma or G.E.D. (on-line diplomas will not be accepted)
  • Proof that you have complete Blood-borne Pathogen Training and Standard First-Aid Training

Along with the application, all artists are required to pay an annual, non-refundable fee of $75.00. All permits expire on December 31 for the year issued. If you allow your permit to lapse, there will be an additional $25 reinstatement fee. To apply or renew online go to

16. Kansas

The Kansas Board of Cosmetology issues the Body Art Practitioner License for Tattoo Artists, Body Piercers and Permanent Cosmetic Technicians. The state of Kansas requires a formal exam for licensure. The requirements listed are those to sit the exam.

  • Completion of Board-Approved Body Art Training Program
  • Proof of High School Diploma or GED
  • Certificate of Completed Bloodborne Pathogens Course
  • Copy of Consent Forms for 50 Performed Procedures During Apprenticeship
  • Completed Application With Proof of Age & Identification

17. Kentucky

The Department of Public Health & Wellness regulates, certifies and inspects all body art studios, including tattoo, permanent make-up, body and ear piercing. Kentucky requires all tattoo artists be registered with the county health department in which they will be working and requires registration of tattoo shops and an annual inspection of the premises.

Kentucky does not require tattoo artists to have licenses per say, but they have to register their businesses to be certified and inspected. Tattoo and body piercing studio certification is $100. Tattoo and Body Piercers must, at least, be 18 years of age.

All Construction Plans should be submitted to the Plans Processor of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness:

Louisville Metro Public Health & Wellness

400 E. Gray Street

Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 574-6769

18. Louisiana

The state of Louisiana does not require tattoo artists to be Licensed. It only requires the registration of shops, and shop owners must have a permit from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, but no individual license is required.

19. Maine

A Department of Health and Human Services license is required for any person who practices the art of tattooing in Maine. To start, you need to apply for the license and you can download the application from the Department of Health website.

The application requires you to provide information about the applicant’s name, home and mailing address, proof of having attended within the last 3 years, a bloodborne pathogen training program approved by the Department, and demonstration of knowledge of safe practices in regard to the art of tattooing.

You must provide a copy of a water test if you use a well as a water supply, and a copy of your septic system’s design if you are not on a public sewer. In addition, you must also be 18 or above in age and must have at least a high school diploma. Your license can be issued within 30 days of receipt of a complete application and payment of the applicable fees.

20. Maryland

Maryland Department of Health does not license tattoo and body piercing businesses. But you need to obey specific regulations regarding the art which states that all tattooing must be done in conformance with the State regulations governing skin-penetrating body adornment procedures.

Again, no person may tattoo any minor regardless of parental or guardian permission. However, mobile tattoo facilities and the practice of conducting “tattoo parties” are prohibited in the City of Baltimore.

21. Massachusetts

Tattoo artists in Massachusetts must be educated and licensed to practice their craft. To be licensed as a tattoo artist, you must be employed by a licensed tattoo or body art establishment and complete a supervised apprenticeship.  Many jurisdictions require that you get an apprentice license before beginning your apprenticeship.

You must apply to your local public health authority and include documentation proving that you have completed your required education, such as your blood-borne pathogens and CPR courses. You must complete an apprenticeship of at least two years or 2,400 working hours under the supervision of a licensed tattoo artist to qualify for professional licensure.

Once you have completed your mandatory apprenticeship period, you can apply for a professional license. You must apply to your local public health authority and include proof of completion of your required education, as well as documentation proving that you have completed your work experience requirement.

22. Michigan

Public Act 375 passed December 22, 2010 requires a yearly Body Art Facility Licensure issued by the Michigan Department of Community Health. Prior to obtaining a body art facility license in Michigan, all locations must undergo an inspection. The local department of health in which the facility is located conducts the inspection.

Some necessary items included in the inspection are having a hand washing facility for tattoo artists and using only single-use, prepackaged needles. All technicians in your facility must be at least 18 years of age, and all tattoo facilities must offer to pay for hepatitis B vaccines for all employees and show proof of having complied with this regulation

23. Minnesota

In order to become licensed as a temporary body art technician in Minnesota, you must seek out a currently licensed Minnesota Body Artist who is willing to supervise you for your temporary licensure period. Technician interested in supervising a temporary technician must have at least two (2) years of experience as a licensed body art technician (not including temporary license).

The fee for a temporary license is $240. To obtain a temporary technician license, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Identify a currently licensed MN Body Artist who in good standing, who will agree to supervise you for your temporary license period;
  • Work at a currently licensed MN Body Art Establishment that is in good standing;
  • Supply a copy of a current, legal ID showing proof of age;
  • Complete the Temporary Technician Body Art License Application (PDF); and
  • Pay the fee of $240 payable to “Treasurer, State of Minnesota.”

It can take up to 20 business days to get your license.

24. Mississippi

You have to register with the State Department of Health for your business to carry out tattoo acts. The facility or premises in which tattooing is to be performed shall be specified in the registration, and the registered person shall be authorized to perform tattooing only in the specified facility or premises. This goes to show that the tattoo artist does not require a license to work in this state.

Registrations shall be valid for one (1) year, and each person registered under this section shall pay an annual registration fee to the department in an amount set by the department, but not to exceed One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00)

25. Missouri

All practitioners, including tattoo artists, must obtain a license to operate in this state. The Missouri Division of Professional Registration, Office of Tattooing, Body Piercing and Branding issue these licenses. Missouri requires all candidates for a tattoo artist license to complete a training course in First Aid and CPR.

The course must come from a recognized group like the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association or the National Safety Council. Candidates must also complete a course in infection control that covers topics like hand washing, waste disposal and sterilization techniques. Both the Red Cross and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration offer such courses.

Alternatively, candidates may complete a formal training course in tattoo art that lasts for at least 300 hours and it includes the completion of a minimum of 25 tattoos.

Candidates may also show proof that they worked for three out of the previous seven years as a tattoo artist; this requirement is used for Missouri tattoo artists who allowed their licenses to expire or tattoo artists who practiced in states that do not license the field.

26. Montana

Body art establishments and body artists both require licensing in Montana. Licenses are issued annually and are valid for the calendar year. Artists must have current certificates in Bloodborne Pathogen Training and Basic First Aid Training and successfully pass a Sanitation Quiz. Renewal notices will be mailed to licensees before the end of the calendar year.

Licenses are reviewed and issued annually (January 1- December 31) by the Environmental Health Services. Current license holders will receive a renewal application in November. Renewal payments are due by December 31 to avoid a late fee.

27. Nebraska

Commercial tattoo artists are frequently required to obtain a license from the local government. Select the appropriate license application from the website of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Select “tattoo artist” as the type of body art work you will be doing from the provided list. You can check other categories, including body brander, permanent color technician or body piercer, if appropriate.

Take bloodborne pathogen training that covers sanitation, infection control, safety and sterilization procedures for a minimum of two hours if you have not done so within the past three years. You must receive this training from an approved facility such as a hospital, Red Cross or other accredited facility. Attach a copy of your certificate of completion to your application.

Undergo first aid training from a certified facility for at least two hours if you have not done so within the past three years. Attach a copy of your certificate of completion to your application.

Documentation is necessary for proof of age and citizenship status; you can include a copy of your driver’s license, passport, naturalization papers or others government-issued documents. Send the completed application and the required fee to the State of Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Licensure Unit.

28. Nevada

The Southern Nevada Health District Environmental Health Division regulates, permits and inspects all body art establishments. To get these permits, you must;

  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age.
  • Have a minimum of six months experience or training.
  • Obtained a score of at least 80 percent on a written examination.
  • Possess current certification in infectious disease training.

Any person wishing to open a permitted facility should complete the application 30 days before operations begin.

29. New Hampshire

Applicants that want to get a tattoo license must apply to the Office of Professional licensure and Certification, Body Art. Such applicants are required to have practiced tattooing, body piercing, branding or permanent cosmetics in an establishment under the supervision of a person practicing tattooing, body piercing, or branding for no less than 3 years.

Applicants must also complete an approved course in methods and techniques for the proper sterilization of instruments and materials used in body piercing, branding, or tattooing.

Initial License Requirements

  • Submit an application and pay the required application fee.
  • Provide proof of at least 3 years of practicing body piercing, branding or tattooing.

Renewal License Requirements

  • Submit a renewal application and pay the required renewal fee
  • Submit documentation of 3 hours of continuing education coursework related to the practice of body piercing, branding, or tattooing during the previous year.

30. New Jersey

It is unlawful for any operator to engage in the business of operating an establishment where tattooing or body piercing is performed without first obtaining a license from the City of Paterson Health Division. Application for an initial license shall be made to the Health Division of the City of Paterson accompanied by a fee in the amount of $350. Application for licenses shall contain the following information:

  • the full name, age, sex, residence address at the time of application
  • If a corporation, the full corporate name, the date and the state of incorporation, address of the place or places of business, the name and address of the registered agent, and the name, address and age of any principal owning more than 10% of the stock.
  • The apprenticeship, training and/or business experience of the applicant in the business or occupation for which the license is sought.
  • The length of time that the applicant has engaged in such business or occupation.
  • Name, address and age of every tattoo artist and/or body piercer to be initially employed to conduct the service.

All licenses shall expire on the last day of each calendar year. The first license expiration date for renewal shall be December 31, 2001. All applications for renewal must be presented to the Health Division in writing.

31. New Mexico

The Board of Body Art Practitioners is responsible for issuing tattoo and body art licenses. No person, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, business trust, corporation or any organized group of persons may operate a body art establishment without a body art establishment permit. The permit shall be obtained annually.

Beginning and ending permit time frames will be established by the Department. The applicant shall pay a reasonable non-refundable fee as set by the Department for each body art establishment permit. The holder of a body art establishment permit must only hire operators who have complied with the operator permit requirements of this article.

32. New York

New York State Department of Health oversees tattooing licenses and tattoo artists. To start applying for the license, navigate to NYC Business Express website and create a NYC Business Express account if you don’t already have one. Click “Apply Online.” Scroll down to the DOHMH Applications heading and click the check mark next to Tattoo License.

Fill your personal information, including your name, Social Security number and birthday. Input your address, phone number and email address. Continue to the next page.

Select the date and time of the Infection Control Course you want to attend. Pay the $26 fee for the Infection Control Course and the $100 Tattoo License fee, plus a 2.9 percent convenience fee, with a credit card. Submit the application and print your confirmation.

Bring your government-issued identification and the confirmation page to the exam. You will be told after the exam whether you’ve passed or failed. If you passed, your license picture will be taken immediately. If not, you can register for the next available course at no additional charge.

33. North Carolina

The state’s public health department regulates tattooing for safety reasons. The department requires tattoo artists to be licensed. Artists must renew their certification annually. The fee varies in each county, but it generally ranges between $200 and $300 for the first certification, with some counties charging less for renewals.

You must first find where you can work before you can be given a license. Tattoo licenses are issued to specific artists working at a specific shop; If you are new to the field, apply to be an apprentice at a shop. You will need to be licensed whether you are an artist or an apprentice.

Complete an application for licensing through the North Carolina Department of Environmental Health. Look on the website of the county where you live for a downloadable form on the health department’s page. Submit the form at least 30 days before you plan to begin work and include payment.

34. North Dakota

It is a Class B misdemeanor to operate a body-art facility in North Dakota without a license. The maximum penalty for a Class B misdemeanor is 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. There currently is a $100 fee for a body-art practitioner license. All body art operators must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Be certified in bloodborne pathogen training
  • Be vaccinated for Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
  • Work in a licensed body art facility

35. Ohio

The state of Ohio does not only license tattoo artists to ensure safety and quality, but keeps a close watch on tattoo parlors themselves.

In Ohio, licensing is operated by local health departments, not by a state agency. If you want to get a tattoo license in Ohio, simply walk into the health department and explain your ambition. The representatives working there will give you a specific list of training that must be completed.

Once you have all the training done, fill out the application and show that you’ve completed the requirements. Pay the fee when you hand in your application, and the license will be mailed to you. You must complete a training course in tattooing before you can become a licensed artist in Ohio.

You must also complete a course in sterilization, first aid and blood diseases before you can earn a license to tattoo others.

36. Oklahoma

Applicants must be at least eighteen (18) years of age. Applicants must submit proof of at least two (2) complete years of licensure experience as an artist from another state or proof of completion of an approved apprenticeship. If the licensure experience requirements cannot be met, the applicant will need to enroll in an Apprentice Program. Applicants must submit the following:

  • Completed Tattoo/Body Piercing Artist License Application (for each type of license pursuing)
  • Notarized copy of photo ID
  • Notarized copy of birth certificate
  • Completed Affidavit of Lawful Presence
  • Proof of licensure experience OR proof of completion of an approved apprenticeship
  • Current Bloodborne Pathogen training certificate
  • Current First Aid training certificate
  • Current CPR training certificate
  • $250 license fee (for each type of license pursuing)
  • Low-Income Individual License Fee Waiver – House Bill 2933

Send all paperwork and documentation to:

Oklahoma State Department of Health

Consumer Protection Division

PO Box 268815

OKC, OK 73126-8815

37. Oregon

The Department of Health oversees tattoo license application in Oregon. To get a license to operate a tattoo parlor in Oregon, you have to;

  • Submit proof of being 18+ years of age and complete and submit an application form and pay appropriate fees.
  • Submit proof of having a high school diploma or General Education Degree (GED).
  • Submit documentation of having completed blood borne pathogens training from an HLO-approved provider (Blood borne pathogen courses must be compliant with U.S. Federal guidelines.)
  • Submit documentation of having completed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic first aid training from an HLO-approved provider.
  • Provide documentation of completing a qualifying pathway

Again, Applicant must graduate from an Oregon licensed tattooing career school after completing the following required training:

  • Completion of approved training program including 360 hours of training (210 theory/150 practical), chairside supervision under a licensed tattoo artist.
  • Must have documentation showing a minimum of 50 completed procedures
  • Training must be conducted by an Oregon licensed tattoo artist registered as a teacher by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s Private Career Schools division.
  • A registered teacher must provide direct supervision of practical training on a one-to-one student/teacher ratio for students performing practical training
  • Licensed tattoo schools must submit official transcripts directly to the Health Licensing Office.
  • Take and pass a written examination

38. Pennsylvania

There are currently no state health regulations on tattooing in Pennsylvania, and it is not required that tattoo artists become certified. However, all practicing tattoo artists must adhere to the 2001 Micropigmentation Law. Under this law, tattooing of persons under 18 years of age is prohibited.

39. Rhode Island

Tattoo licenses are obtained from the Rhode Island Department of Health. You need to go their website and click on Tattoo Artists / Body Piercers to fill out a form for your license.

40. South Carolina

To get a tattoo operator’s license in South Carolina, the applicant must be at least twenty-one years old and must possess a certificate of successful completion, on an annual basis, of a course in Bloodborne pathogens and tattoo infection control as approved by the Department, a current American Red Cross First Aid Certification and a current Adult Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification obtained either from the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association or the National Safety Council.

Permits are effective for a 12-month period following the date of issue. Mail completed, notarized application form and other required documentation , along with your permit fees, to:


Division of Health Licensing

2600 Bull Street

Columbia, South Carolina 29201

41. South Dakota

In South Dakota, the practices of tattooing and permanent makeup are not regulated by the state. The regulations are left up to the individual counties, which can create their own permit and training requirements. But generally, the requirements include;

  • Acquire a location at a fixed permanent location for your business.
  • Apply for the City Tattoo and Body Piercing License .
  • Pay associated fees online.
  • Completely set up your establishment
  • Schedule your health and sanitation inspection using the Citizenserve Web Portal.
  • Successfully pass your health & sanitation inspection. Print and post your health certificate.
  • Obtain a South Dakota sales tax license prior to opening.
  • Open your establishment to customers.
  • Ensure on-going sales tax compliance.

42. Tennessee

The state of Tennessee licenses tattoo artists to ensure the health of the public. To get your license, you just need to walk into the Department of Health and fill out an application. Take a course in tattoo methods and sterilization. Take the exam.

After you get a passing score, ask for the Tattoo Apprentice application. Complete the application and pay the $140 fee. Intern at a licensed Tattoo parlor operated by someone with three years of Tattooing experience — for one year. Return to the Department of Health and request a Tattoo Operator license. List information about your coursework, internship and experience. Pay the $140 fee to become a licensed Tattoo artist.

43. Texas

Texas tattoo artists must obtain proper licensing, comply with safety and health codes and further comply with any local ordinances. You must maintain a separate tattoo parlor and cannot conduct business in your home. You may use a mobile trailer to perform tattoos and body piercings, but you must have a separate license for each studio.

You must apply for a Tattoo Studio License to perform tattoos for each of your studios. You must also obtain a separate Body Piercing Studio License to conduct body piercings. The Drugs and Medical Devices Group is responsible for conducting on-site inspections of tattoo and body piercing studios.

44. Utah

County health departments in Utah manage the registration and permit process for tattoo and body art businesses. Contact the county’s department of health and ask for a registration package for a tattoo technician permit. Review all materials in the registration package.

Get a Hepatitis B vaccination or file a declination form. Complete a blood-borne pathogen course. Complete the registration form and return it to the appropriate county office. Display the registration certificate as required by the county for customers to see.

45. Vermont

As a prerequisite to licensure, a tattooist or body piercer applicant shall provide proof of an apprenticeship of at least 1,000 hours of experience obtained within two calendar years working under the direct supervision of a body piercer or tattooist licensed and in good standing To proceed, you need to complete the application and pay the application Fee of $75.00 (Non-Refundable Processing Fee).

Next, you should complete “Education, Training or Experience Registration”, then complete “Verification of Apprentice Experience”. You should also provide proof of completion of a three hour course in universal precautions and infectious diseases. Licenses and registrations shall be renewed every two years upon payment of the required fee.

46. Virginia

The Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology is responsible for licensing and regulating the profession of tattooing in the State of Virginia. A candidate who wishes to obtain a tattooing license must pass a theory examination. To qualify to take this examination, a candidate must qualify by one of the following methods:

  1. Completion of an approved tattooing training program in a Virginia licensed school of tattooing.

Required Documentation: A completed TattooerTraining and Experience Verification Form.

  1. Completion of an approved tattooing apprenticeship program in a Virginia licensed tattoo parlor.

Required Documentation: A completed Apprenticeship Completion Form.

  1. Completion of a tattooing training or apprenticeship program that is substantially equivalent to the Virginia program but is obtained outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia, but within the United States and its territories.

Required Documentation: Verification of completion of training or apprenticeship.

  1. Documentation of three years of work experience within the preceding five years as a tattooer conducted outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia, but within the United States and its territories.

Required Documentation: A completed Tattooer Training and Experience Verification Form.

47. Washington

In Washington State, each tattoo artist has to be licensed and the studio has to have a location license. Every shop or mobile unit that provides tattooing, body art, or body piercing must have a license. To get a shop, mobile unit license, your business must:

  • Have an outside entrance separate from any rooms used for sleeping or residential purposes.
  • Have adequate toilet facilities for the use of customers located in or adjacent to the shop or business.
  • Not use any room, except toilet facilities, for both residential and business purposes.
  • Meet the zoning requirements of the county, city, or town where the business is located.
  • Provide for safe storage and labeling of all equipment and substances.
  • Meet local and state fire codes.
  • Have at least $100,000 in public liability insurance for combined bodily injury and property damage.
  • Be registered with the Department of Revenue. You automatically register with the Department of Revenue when you file a Business License Application to get a business license.

48. West Virginia

Body Piercing Technicians in West Virginia are responsible for registering with the Public Health Sanitation Division prior to doing business in West Virginia. Technician Registrations must be renewed annually. To Complete an Online Application for New or Renewal Body Piercing Technician Certificate of Registration, you will need:

  • Social Security Number
  • List of Body Piercing Studio(s) name, address and phone number at which you are currently working or intend to work.
  • Credit Card: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover

In addition to the application and fee you must provide the following documents before your certificate of registration will be issued:

  • A copy of Hepatitis B vaccination status:
  • A certificate of a completed vaccination
  • Laboratory evidence of immunity or
  • A signed statement of vaccination declination
  • A copy of Exposure Control Training

These documents can be emailed to:

faxed to:    304-558-1071

or mailed to:  Office of Environmental Health Services

Public Health Sanitation Division

350 Capitol Street, Room 313

Charleston, WV  25301- 3713

49. Wisconsin

A License is required for a person who applies a tattoo to another person, and/or a person who performs body piercing. Each license is issued by the Department of Safety and professional Services, and it expires by June 30th of each year.

License Application Process

Review the Body Art Agent & Non Agent List.  If your establishment(s) will be located in one of the City/Counties listed, contact the agent in that county for the application instructions. Please, do not submit an application to the Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Submit completed application (Form #3174) and applicable fee(s) and schedule pre-licensing inspection. Once your application has been received and processed, a DSPS Inspector will contact you to schedule a Pre-Licensing inspection. During the inspection, the Inspector will share with you the applicable code requirements that your establishment must meet.

50. Wyoming

Wyoming is one of a handful of states that do not have formal licensing requirements for tattoo artists. But establishments are inspected annually under the County Board of Health Rules and Regulations for Body Art Establishments.