How to Get A Tattoo License | Eligibility, Process, and Criteria

How To Get A Tattoo License

Are you a talented tattoo artist who wants to make tattooing a career?

If yes, then this is the article for you. To successfully make this business your career, you need to get a license.

In this article, you will read about all you need to get certified as a tattoo artist.

In today’s world, tattooing is recognized to be a very successful business. However, at the same time, it requires a great deal of patience at every step of the journey. There are a variety of restrictions and standards that tattoo artists are required to follow in the United States. Therefore, if you now work as a tattoo artist or have aspirations to do so in the future, you ought to be aware of what it takes for you to successfully operate the business.

Having a commercial location is, however, one of the prerequisites that you must take care of. In order to successfully manage your business, you will need a tattoo license. The Health Academy of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) offers a course on infection control that lasts for three hours, and in order to receive a tattoo license, you will need to have successfully completed this course.

Process of Getting a Tattoo License

When it comes to issuing tattoo licenses, individual states each have their unique procedures and prerequisites. In order to submit an application for a tattoo license, you will need to register for an infection control course. The application form for the license must also be submitted at the same time.

Process of Getting a Tattoo License

As you continue reading, you will learn that the processing of a tattoo license in different states necessitates a variety of distinct procedures that must be followed.

Let’s go over the various steps that you’ll need to take in order to receive your tattoo license. When it comes to the processing of your tattoo license, there is one thing that takes precedence over all others: you must have sufficient knowledge on how to regulate and prevent the transmission of contagious diseases.

Before your business license application can even be evaluated or approved, you are required to complete this course first.

Not receiving training on the preventative measures that should be taken in their role as tattoo artists can be dangerous. This is the reason why training on preventative measures is required.

Keep in mind that if you don’t have the license, you won’t be able to work as a tattoo artist. And this will remain the case in almost all states or countries.

In order to obtain a license to have tattoos, you will need to do the following:

  • First things first, submit an application for a tattoo artist license.
  • Register for the infectious control course.
  • Make payment. There are certain states, like New York City, that charge $100 for a two-year license, but if you only want a temporary tattoo , you can get one for $50.
  • A training fee of $26 must be paid in order to enroll in the infection control course. However, there is a surcharge of roughly 2.49 percent if you pay via the website. You have the option of submitting an electronic or paper application.
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In the event that you submit a paper application, you will be required to hand in all of the application documents. You will need to provide any further documents, your payment, your application, and your supplementary form. Keep in mind that the NYC Licensing center will get all of the necessary paperwork. For the documentation of your tattoo permit, you will need the following items for your application to be processed:

  • Permit fee
  • Permit application
  • Proof of home address
  • Photo ID
  • Proof of sales tax collecting authority
  • Proof of incorporation
  • Payment of outstanding fines, if any, for violating the laws of DOHMH.

Eligibility for a Tattoo License

As you pursue a tattoo licensing process, keep in mind that each state has its unique set of regulations. To qualify, your workplace must meet the state’s minimum standards for cleanliness and safety.

Also, you can’t acquire your license unless you commit to using only clean, well-maintained equipment. While some tattoo licenses are valid in other states, others won’t allow you to work there until you obtain the license from that state.

Tattoo Certification Criteria for Different States

It is not overly difficult to obtain a tattoo license certificate from any of the different states. The criteria for some states are different than those for others, while others are consistent. For example, the charge for a tattoo license in Oklahoma is $250.

After the payment has been processed, you will be required to take a test examination in body piercing competency. This process, which will take around two years, will need to be completed before you can access the test letter.

The examination fee is $200, and in order to pass, you need to score at least 70% in the test. The application fee in the state of Florida is $60.00.

Tattooing and body piercing each require a separate license in the state of Texas. Individuals need to apply for the both separately. To obtain a tattoo license certificate in the state of Texas, you must visit the state health services website for a comprehensive rundown of the requirements you must fulfill.

The license is valid for a period of two years, after which you will need to renew your license. For that, you will need to apply again for the license renewal.

In Texas, the application fee is approximately $900. In Santa Clara County, the cost of applying for a tattoo license is $175, while the application fee in Los Angeles is only $47.

Here is a compiled list of different state criteria for a tattoo certification;

The necessary requirements for a tattoo license in different states are as follows;

➣ Alabama

  • Personal documentation of completion of a Health Department-approved blood-borne pathogen course or training program within the previous 36 months.
  • Documentation of Hepatitis B vaccine, declination, or immunity.

➣ Arizona

  • Individuals are not required to obtain licenses.

➣ Alaska

  • Must have completed 1,000 hours of training in a training program approved by the board
  • Must have completed CPR training
  • Must have completed blood-borne pathogens training

➣ Arizona

  • Individuals are not required to obtain licenses.

➣ California

  • You need to be over the age of 18.
  • You must have successfully completed a Blood-Borne Pathogen Training course that complies with Cal/OSHA standards (PDF).
  • A certificate of Hepatitis B vaccination
  • Submit an application to Environmental Health

➣ Connecticut

  • Must be 18 or above
  • Must have completed an approved blood-borne pathogens course.
  • Must hold a Basic First Aid certification either by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.
  • Must have completed Two thousand hours of apprenticeship with an experienced tattoo artist.
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➣ Maine

  • Must be 18
  • Take a course on blood-borne pathogens.
  • Proven competence in the art of tattooing, including an understanding of how to avoid potential dangers.

➣ Kentucky

  • Based upon the local health department guidelines.

➣ Indiana

  • No license is required for an individual; however, yearly OSHA training is required.

➣ Illinois

  • Individual tattoo artists working for an employer do not require a license.

➣ Idaho

  • Individuals are not required to obtain licenses.

➣ Florida

  • Must be 18 years of age or above.
  • Must have a copy of a government-issued photo ID.
  • Must have relevant certification as a tattoo artist.

➣ Delaware

  • Individuals are not required to obtain licenses.

➣ Hawaii

  • Take a blood-borne pathogen course (additional fee of $25).
  • Must have completed a Tuberculosis and Syphilis test.

➣ Georgia

  • New rules are in the process of being written.

➣ Kansas

  • Must have completed an approved blood-borne pathogens course
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Must have completed 50 procedures under a trained tattoo artist.
  • Must provide all the other documentation.

➣ Iowa

  • Must be 18 of age.
  • Must have completed Blood-borne Pathogen
  • Must have completed Standard First Aid Training
  • Must provide a high school diploma or GED.

➣ Michigan

  • Individuals are not licensed by the state. Only the facilities.

➣ Minnesota

  • Must be 18 of age or above.
  • Must have completed 200 hours of tattooing under the supervision of a professional tattoo artist.
  • Must have successfully completed a blood-borne pathogens training program that’s been authorized $420 (for 2 years).

➣ Mississippi

  • Documentation demonstrating successful completion of the “Preventing Disease Transmission” course offered by the American Red Cross or a course of an equal nature.
  • A supervisory agreement form has been filled out and signed.

➣ Missouri

  • Must have completed 300 hours and 50 sessions of tattooing under an approved tattoo artist.
  • Must have completed a first aid and CPR course from a reputable institute.
  • Must have completed an approved blood-borne pathogens course.

➣ Montana

  • Must have successfully completed training on sanitation, First Aid and Blood-borne Pathogens

➣ Nebraska

  • Must be 18 or above
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Must have completed Blood-borne Pathogen training and First Aid training from an approved institute.
  • Must disclose whether or not they have been convicted of any crimes.

➣ New Hampshire

  • Must provide proof of at least 3 years of practicing tattooing.
  • Must have completed a course in sterilization.

➣ New York

  • Must have completed an approved course of Blood-borne Pathogen training.
  • Must have obtained CPR and first aid certification.
  • Must have completed a tattoo apprenticeship.

➣ Oklahoma

  • Must be 18 or above.
  • Must have completed Blood-borne Pathogen training.
  • Must have completed First Aid training.
  • Must have completed CPR training.
  • Must have completed 2 years of apprenticeship under a professional tattoo artist.

➣ Pennslyvania

  • No state regulations exist.

➣ Tennessee

  • Must be 18 years old or above.
  • Must have attended the required training.
  • Must have passed the exam.
  • Must have spent at least one year learning your trade as an apprentice.

➣ Virginia

  • 750 hours in a licensed Virginia school or 1,500 hours in a Virginia apprenticeship program.

➣ West Virginia

  • Licenses are regulated at a county level.

➣ Texas

  • Must have completed Blood-borne Pathogen training.
  • Must have completed a professional tattoo training course.

➣ South Carolina

  • Must be 21 years old or above.
  • Must have completed Blood-borne Pathogen training.
  • Must have completed CPR and first aid training.

➣ South Dakota

  • Licenses are regulated at a county level.

➣ Washington

  • Must be 18 or above.
  • Must have completed Blood-borne Pathogen training.
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➣ Utah

  • Licenses are regulated at a county level.

➣ Wisconsin

  • Must have completed an application

The Bottom Line…

So, this is all about getting a tattoo license. The process of obtaining a tattoo licence can be arduous, and it takes a significant amount of time. You will additionally incur a significant financial burden. However, every penny you’ll spend on getting a tattoo license will be worth it.

Also, know that getting a tattoo license is not just enough. You will also need to acquire apprenticeship to establish yourself as a tattoo artist in the market.

Your apprenticeship in becoming a tattoo artist should be something you take very seriously. Also, make sure to go for a reputable tattoo institute in order to get formal tattoo training.

After completing the necessary coursework, you will be able to submit an application for a tattoo licence certificate.

The moment you have proper tattoo license, you become eligible to start as a tattoo artist. At a minimum, you need to have put in five years of training before you can call yourself a professional tattoo artist. During this period you’ll need to work under a professional tattoo artist to gain enough experience. After getting enough experience in the field you will be eligible to start your own tattoo studio.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Does The Tattoo Training Look Like?

During tattoo training, you will be instructed on how to properly handle equipment, maintain hygiene and sanitation, avoid contracting infectious diseases, and do many other related tasks.

  1. Can Tattoo Licenses Be Transferred?

No, not at all! The tattoo licence is not allowed to be passed on to another person.

  1. Is There a Tattoo Code I Should Follow?

It varies from one state to another. However, regardless of where it is located on the body, a tattoo is not allowed to be pornographic or otherwise offensive. Tattoo artists must avoid tattoos that are sexist, racist, or otherwise objectionable to someone based on their gender or sexual orientation. Aside from that tattoos that degrade or demean a person based on race, ethnicity or region, and religion are also unacceptable.

  1. Is there any Consequence of Practicing Tattooing Without a Valid License?

Well it matters in which state you’re practicing tattooing. Every state has different prerequisites for tattoo licensing. Some state may not have any problem, while others may restrict tattooing without a valid license. Some states follow stringent policies when it comes to body artwork. Piercing or tattooing human skin without a valid license is illegal in some states. Those who do so risk a fine of up to four times the amount of the minimum wage if found guilty.

  1. What Is the Cost Price of Getting a Tattoo License?

The price of obtaining a tattoo license is not consistent. The cost differs significantly from state to state. Nevertheless, in order to ensure that you are not left in the dark, the cost of your license fee might range anywhere from $25 to $900. The cost of obtaining a tattoo license in Texas is the most expensive in the country.

  1. Is There any Kind of Age Restriction In Getting a Tattoo License?

In most jurisdictions, the minimum age required to submit an application for a tattoo license is 18. If you are under the age of 18, you are not permitted to receive a tattoo license or to engage in the practice of tattooing. While in South Carolina, the minimum age to get tattoo license is 21 years. You can apply for tattoo licensing only after you reach 21. It is always advised to check the tattoo license requirements in your state by visiting their website.

Happy Tattooing… ☺ ☺