Did you know that Ink Different Tattoo School has locations in five states? Yes, and in fact, we continue to grow! We thought it might be helpful to share insights. This way, you can become a Tattoo Artist or tattoo shop owner in any of the 50 states.
If you’re an aspiring Tattoo Artist looking for a tattoo apprenticeship with a guaranteed job offer, this is for you! Once you finish, feel free to start a chat on our website to connect with an Advisor who can set you up with an interview.
This is an update to our 2022 Definitive Guide.
Feel free to jump down to your state or what to be in, and happy tattooing!
Did you know Alabama has a lot of award-winning Tattoo Artists? In fact, Mobile and Birmingham are some of the most popular cities to get a tattoo in this state. It doesn’t matter if you want to get licensed or take a leap of faith toward the entrepreneurial journey. Following the tattoo laws and regulations is the first step to look into.
Alabama laws regulate the trade of tattooing, branding, and body piercing. The law prohibits any person or organization from performing a tattoo, brand, or body piercing on a minor without obtaining prior written consent from the minor’s informed parent or legal guardian.
A person who owns or operates a licensed tattoo facility shall do each of the following:
(1) Display the license in a conspicuous place within the customer service area of the tattoo facility.
(2) Ensure that an individual engaged in tattooing in the tattoo facility wears disposable gloves approved by the department when tattooing, branding, or body piercing, or when cleaning instruments used in tattooing, branding, or body piercing.
(3) Maintain a permanent record of each individual who has been tattooed, branded, or had body piercing performed at a tattoo facility, and make the records available for inspection by the department or local county health department. The record shall include, at a minimum, the individual’s name, address, age, signature, and date. The design and location of the tattooing, branding, or body piercing, and the name of the individual performing the tattooing, branding, or body piercing.
(4) Provide each customer with a written information sheet approved by the department that provides instructions on tattoo site, branding site, and body piercing site care, which shall include a recommendation that a person seek medical attention if the tattoo site, branding site, or body piercing site becomes infected or painful, or if the person develops a fever soon after being tattooed, being branded, or having body piercing performed.
(5) Within 24 hours of becoming aware that an individual tattooed, branded, or body pierced at the tattoo facility is infected with a communicable disease, notify the department or a local county health department.
(Act 2000-321, p. 512, §6.)
To learn more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Alabama, please visit the Alabama Department of Public Health website.
Arizona’s law on Tattooing and Body Piercing makes it unlawful to either tattoo or pierce anyone who is under the age of 18 without the physical presence of that person’s parent or legal guardian.
ARIZONA STATE SENATE
Forty-ninth Legislature, First Regular Session
FACT SHEET FOR S.B. 1232
body art establishments; licensure
Institutes licensure requirements, regulations, and standards for body art establishments. Requires body art establishments to obtain a license by January 1, 2011.
In 1996, the Legislature enacted legislation making it unlawful to tattoo a person under 18 years of age without the presence of that person’s parent or legal guardian. The legislation specified that a person who commits a violation is guilty of a class 6 felony (Laws 1996, Chapter 222).
The law expanded in 1999 to also prohibit the practice of branding, scarifying, implanting, mutilating, or piercing a person under the age of 18 without the physical presence of the person’s parent or legal guardian. However, the prohibition does not apply to ear-piercing if the person under 18 has written or verbal permission from a parent or legal guardian. The prohibition also does not apply to procedures prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider (Laws 1999, Chapter 323).
The current statute further regulates the practice of tattooing and other forms of body modification by prohibiting certain acts in the Arizona Criminal Code (Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 13). Specifically, it is unlawful for a person to do any of the following:
Ø Use a needle or any substance that leaves color under the skin more than once.
Ø Use a needle that is not properly sterilized.
Ø Engage in the business of tattooing, branding, scarifying, implanting, mutilating, or body piercing out of a home or an impermanent structure, such as a tent or trailer.
Ø If the person is not a licensed health professional, it is unlawful to administer anesthesia during the course of any procedure that involves branding, scarifying, tattooing, implanting, mutilating, or piercing the body of another person.
As of 2005, Arizona is also regulating the local tattoo industry through the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). It is a requirement for tattoo studios to handle their waste, like biohazardous medical waste.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Arizona, please visit the website of Arizona Department of Health Services.
According to Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Body Art Establishments included in Arkansas State law Ark. Stat. Ann. §§ 20-27-1501 et seq. on Body Piercing, Branding, and Tattooing, all Tattoo Artists and permanent cosmetic professionals are required to be certified.
Furthermore, the law establishes body piercing as a form of body art and requires body piercing and Tattoo Artists, as well as permanent cosmetic shops, to pay an annual license fee.
Moreover, Ark. Stat. Ann. § 5-27-228 on Tattooing and Body Piercing makes it illegal for anyone to perform body art, such as a tattoo, piercing, or branding, on a minor unless written consent is given by the minor’s parent, guardian, or a custodian. That person is present during the procedure.
Act 596 of 2013 requires a $150 annual shop fee and a $100 annual artist fee which expires on December 31st of each year, along with a current yearly bloodborne pathogen certificate and a renewal application. It also requires a $50 convention or guest artist fee, which expires 14 days after issuance. Act 266 of 2003
Arkansas’s tattoo industry has developed a lot. It now has a solid position in the tattoo industry nationwide due to the variety of skilled artists who are part of it. This has also led to an influx of schools and institutions educating the next generation of Tattoo Artists.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Arkansas, please visit the website of Environmental Health Arkansas Department of Health.
Part of Alaska legislation – Alaska Stat. §08.13, specifically 12 AAC 09 regulates the practice of barbering, hairdressing, esthetics, tattoo, and permanent cosmetic coloring, as well as body piercing. Alaska Stat. §08.01 – 08.03 and regulations 12 AAC 02 apply to all professions the division regulates.
Alaska Stat. §08.13.217 on tattooing prohibits the performance of tattooing and permanent cosmetic coloring on a minor.
The laws on body piercing make it illegal for anyone to perform body piercing on a minor without prior written consent from the minor’s parent or a legal guardian, as well as that person’s presence during the body piercing procedure.
Reopen Alaska Responsibly Guidance
State of Alaska provided information on best practices and access to additional resources.
Best Practices for Body Art Shops (NEHA)
Body Art Education Alliance (BAEA) developed resources to support safe operations around Covid-19 / coronavirus.
Even though their indigenous culture highly influences the tattoo industry in Alaska, not everyone is allowed to get traditional indigenous tattoos. In the case of facial tattoos, there is a lot of respect toward who can get a “kakiniq.” These are facial tattoos carried out by Inuit women solely on women for various purposes. Men can get tattoos, but they are less elaborate than a woman would get.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Alaska, please visit the website of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
California Health & Safety Code § 119300 to 119328 as well as Cal. Penal Code establishes that:
Body Art: Standards for sterilization, sanitation, and safety for tattooing, body piercing, and permanent cosmetics professionals are established by the California Conference of Local Health Officers.
Tattooing: Tattooing or even offering to tattoo a minor under the age of 18 is a misdemeanor.
Body Piercing: Piercing or even an offer to perform piercing on a minor under the age of 18 (with the exclusion of emancipated minors) is illegal unless performed in the presence of a parent or guardian or notarized written permission is given. By the minor’s parent or guardian. Does not apply to ear piercing.
The Safe Body Art Act (California Health and Safety Code Section 119300-119328) requires that all body art facilities be permitted, and all body artists be registered with the local health department. Permitted body art facilities are inspected one time per year.
Tattoos and other forms of permanent body art are increasingly popular with teenagers and young adults. While tattoos may be widespread and openly accepted, it is still a crime to perform a tattoo on a person under the age of 18. This action is prohibited under California Penal Code Section 653 PC.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in California, please visit the website of the California Department of Public Health.
According to Colorado Revised Statutes. § 25-4-2101 to 2103 on Tattooing and Body Piercing, it is illegal to perform any form of body art procedure on a minor. An exception exists which requires the body artist to receive express consent from the minor’s parent or guardian.
CO Code § 25-4-2102 (2022) states that: “Upon a finding by the Department of public health and Environment or a local board of Health that a body art facility is in violation of any rule adopted pursuant to section 25-4-2101, the department or local board of health may assess a penalty not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars for each day of a violation. Each day of a violation shall be considered a separate offense. The department or local board of health shall consider the degree of danger to the public caused by the violation, the duration of the violation, and whether such facility has committed any similar violations.”
There are specific requirements to perform Tattoo Artist services as a guideline, but with body art services local laws determine the licensing regulations. The State and the county both regulate Tattoo Artists, microblading, and other permanent cosmetic services as they become public health and safety concerns. For example, some states may have a Safe Body Art Act to maintain standards, but then each county has different fees and qualifications to prove training and experience.
General requirements for a Tattoo Artist license?
Colorado Department of Public Health And Environment
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Colorado, please visit the website of the Department of Public Health and Environment.
The tattoo industry in Connecticut is governed by Connecticut General Statutes §19a-92g on Tattooing, which prohibits a Tattoo Artist from working on an unemancipated minor under age 18 unless prior permission of the minor’s parent or guardian has been received.
The law prohibits the tattooing of an unemancipated minor under 18 years old without the permission of the minor’s parent or guardian (CGS § 19a-92a(c)).
The law provides that any person who violates these provisions faces a fine of up to $100, imprisonment of up to 90 days, or both (CGS § 19a-92a(e))
State law in reference to Tattooing requires that a Connecticut-licensed physician supervise those engaging in tattooing:
Under Connecticut law, tattooing can be performed by a (1) physician licensed in Connecticut; (2) a Connecticut-licensed advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) working under the direction of a Connecticut-licensed physician; (3) a Connecticut-licensed registered nurse (RN) or physician assistant working under the supervision, control, and responsibility of a Connecticut licensed physician; or (4) a technician providing service under the supervision of a Connecticut licensed physician (see CGS § 19a-92a; Public Health Code, § 19a-92a-1). The law defines “tattooing” as marking or coloring, in an indelible manner, the skin of any person by pricking in coloring matter or by producing scars (CGS § 19a-92a(a)(5)).
Sec. 19a-92g. Body piercing. (a) No person may perform body piercing on an unemancipated minor under eighteen years of age without the written permission of the minor’s parent. For purposes of this subsection, “body piercing” means piercing or creating a channel through any part of the body other than the ear lobe for the purpose of inserting a decorative object, and “ear lobe” means the lower portion of the auricle having no cartilage.
Public Act 16-66 Summary. Section 2 of Public Act 16-66 makes engaging in the practice of tattooing without a license or temporary permit a class D misdemeanor (Effective October 1, 2016).
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Connecticut, please visit the website of the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
Code of District of Columbia annotated – D.C. Code Ann. § 47-2853.76d – states that it is illegal for any person to perform any body art procedures without first getting licensed by and registered with the Mayor to perform such body art procedures.
Moreover, the D.C. law states that any and all body art procedures performed on minors under the age of 18 are illegal, with the exception of ear piercing but only if done with the use of a mechanized, pre-sterilized single-use stud and ear clasp gun.
The law also specifies: “Any person who violates this section shall be subject to disciplinary action including license suspension or revocation and a maximum fine of $2,500.”
To learn more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in the District of Columbia, please visit the website of DC Health.
Tattooing and Body Piercing in Delaware are governed by the Department of Health and Social Services and Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, §1114(a) – Delaware Code Annotated, which establishes the standards for sanitary operation of tattoo parlors as well as body piercing establishments. A tattoo parlor is understood to be either a person or a business that creates permanent marks on human skin by puncturing the skin and inserting an indelible color or by producing scarring.
Delaware law makes it illegal to tattoo or pierce a minor, both knowingly or not, unless express written consent of the adult parent or legal guardian is given prior to the procedure.
It is illegal to tattoo another person who is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, spirits, or a controlled substance.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Delaware, please visit the website of the Division of Public Health – Delaware Health and Social Services.
Tattooing and body piercings in Florida are governed by the following Florida Statutes:
Fla. Stat. §381.075 regulates operations of body-piercing salons.
Fla. Stat. §381.0775 et seq. All Tattoo Establishments require licensure. A person may not operate a Tattoo Establishment in this state without a license.
Effective January 1, 2013, any person operating an unlicensed tattoo establishment will be subject to administrative penalties.
The Florida Statutes do not have provisions for a mobile tattoo license. All tattooing must occur in a licensed fixed or temporary tattoo establishment.
Fla. Stat. § 381.00787, which states the following: “Tattooing prohibited; penalty. (1) A person may not tattoo the body of a minor child younger than 16 years of age unless the tattooing is performed for medical or dental purposes by a person licensed to practice medicine or dentistry under Chapter 458, chapter 459, or Chapter 466.“
Tattooing of a minor requires written, notarized consent of a parent or legal guardian.
According to Indeed, if you want to become a Tattoo Artist, you might want to consider Florida. Cities like Miami, Tampa, and Orlando are mentioned as some of the top highest-paying places in the USA. The average salaries in these cities go from $56,509 to $73,388, respectively.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Florida, please visit the website of Florida Department of Health.
The tattoo industry in Georgia is governed by the Georgia Code:
GA Code § 31-40-2 (2022) regulates the operation of Tattoo Studios: “It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a body art studio or perform body art without having first obtained a valid permit. Body art studio permits shall be issued by the county board of health or its duly authorized representative, subject to supervision and direction by the department. Body artist permits shall be issued by the Department of Public Health. Permits shall be valid until suspended or revoked and shall not be transferable.“
Ga. Code § 16-12-5 makes it unlawful to tattoo within an inch of the eye socket.
Ga. Code § 16-5-71.1 on Tattooing makes illegal the practice of tattooing anyone under age 18 by anyone other than a licensed osteopath or technician acting under the direct supervision of a licensed physician or osteopath.
It shall be unlawful for any person to perform body art procedures without having first obtained a valid body artist license from the health authority pursuant to the Georgia Rules and Regulations of Body Art Studios and Tattoo/Body Piercing Artists.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Georgia, please visit the website of Georgia Department of Public Health.
The tattoo industry in Hawaii is rooted in their indigenous culture. Hawaiian tattoos, known as “kakau,” have a long history of powerful meaning. Hawaii’s tattoo industry still needs a lot of regulation. Unfortunately, their laws haven’t changed much over the last few decades.
Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 321-13 defines and regulates Tattoo Artists. This statute establishes public health requirements for tattoo licenses and operations of tattoo parlors.
Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 321-379 on Tattooing of Minors states that tattooing a minor under 18 years of age without first obtaining written consent of the minor’s parent or a legal guardian is illegal. It also requires maintaining the proper consent forms in a confidential manner at the tattoo shop for not less than two years.
(b) The permit shall be non-transferable. A valid permit shall be posted in a conspicuous place in every tattoo shop.
(c) Each application under this section shall be accompanied by a fee of $75 for a permit. For renewal of a permit, each applicant shall pay a fee of $7.50.
(d) In the event of withdrawal of an application or failure to qualify for a permit, the fee shall not be refunded to the applicant.
(e) All permits shall expire on January 31 of each year. Application for the renewal of a permit shall be submitted to the department in writing before January 31 of each year. [Eff. SEP 18 1981] (Auth: HRS §§321-10, 321-11, 321-13) (Imp: HRS §321-11, 321-13)
To learn more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Hawaii, please visit the Hawaii State Department of Health website.
The tattoo industry in Idaho is doing well. In fact, from Boise to Coeur d’Alene, you can find a lot of tattoo studios that offer different styles and techniques. This state’s beauty is a source of constant inspiration for their local artists. When it comes to regulations, it isn’t a strongly regulated industry. However, there is some reference to tattooing in its legislation:
“Tattoo” means one (1) or more of the following but does not include any mark or design done for a medical purpose:
(i) An indelible mark made on the body of another person by the insertion of a pigment under the skin; or
(ii) An indelible design made on the body of another person by the production of scars other than by branding.
No person shall knowingly tattoo, brand, or perform body piercing on a minor under the age of 14. Also makes it illegal to tattoo, brand, or body pierce anyone between the ages of 14 and 18 without the written informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian. Ear piercing and any piercing done for medical reasons are not subject to this legislation.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, it shall not be a violation of this section for a physician to use radiation devices approved by the federal food and drug administration for in-office treatment of a minor’s medical condition or to facilitate a minor’s use of a tanning device where such use is authorized by a physician’s prescription.
(5) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500). If there is a subsequent violation of this section within one (1) year of the initial violation, such person shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars ($500) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
[18-1523, added 2004, ch. 127, sec. 1, p. 436; am. 2015, ch. 91, sec. 1, p. 225.]
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Idaho, please visit the website of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
Illinois’ tattoo industry is regulated by the Illinois Dept of Public Health.
About Body Art Permits:
The location holds the Body Art permit with IDPH, not the individual. The artist is required to provide proof of education, including blood-borne pathogen training that meets OSHA standards. The training is not required to be completed in Illinois. The establishment owner (or registration holder) is responsible for determining whether the artist is proficient to do the job they will have at the shop and whether to allow them to work under the owner’s registration certificate for the location.
There is a MINIMUM of 2 sinks required for everybody’s art shop – 1 in the restroom and 1 in the work area that is used for nothing else but the artist for handwashing. See sections 797.100 and 797.1100 g and h for further details. Portable sinks are NOT ACCEPTABLE.
If body art is done in a Physician’s office by the Physician, they are exempt. If it is done in a Physician’s office by anyone else, it must be a registered location.
Ill. Rev. Stat. 410 §54/1 to 54/999 – The Tattoo and Body Piercing Establishment Registration Act. This law regulates the public health, safety, and welfare requirements for body piercing shops and tattoo parlors.
Ill. Rev. Stat. 720 §5/12C-35 – this law makes it a Class A misdemeanor for any person who is not licensed to practice medicine to perform a tattoo or offer to perform one to a minor under age 18. Allowing a person under 18 to remain on the premises where tattoos are being performed is also a Class A misdemeanor if the minor’s parent or legal guardian is not present. As used in this Section, to “tattoo” means to insert pigment under the surface of the skin of a human being by pricking with a needle or otherwise so as to produce an indelible mark or figure visible through the skin.
(d) Subsection (a) of this Section does not apply to a person under 18 years of age who tattoos or offers to tattoo another person under 18 years of age away from the premises of any business at which tattooing is performed.
(Source: P.A. 77-2638.)
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Illinois, please visit the website of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The state of Indiana used to regulate the Body Art establishments. However, these regulations are now overviewed by the counties. For health regulations, it is best to visit each county’s website independently.
Laws of the state of Indiana – SECTION 1. IC 25-1-19 – prohibit performing or even offering to perform tattoos of the sclera. The act allows for an exception where a licensed healthcare professional performs the tattoo during a course of a medical treatment that is in the scope of the professional’s practice.
Ind. Code Ann. §16-19-3-4.1 dealing with tattoos and body piercing establishes guidelines for the sanitary operations of tattoo shops and body piercing businesses in the state of Indiana.
Ind. Code Ann. §35-42-2-7 deals with tattooing and performing body piercing of a minor. This law makes a minor’s parent or legal guardian presence a requirement in order to either tattoo or perform a body piercing of a person under 18. This law also stipulates that the parent or guardian also needs to provide written permission for tattooing or piercing of a minor.
Local ordinances regarding tattooing and body piercing that are at least as restrictive or more restrictive than the present laws may be adopted.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Indiana, please visit the website of Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH).
Iowa Code §135.37 entitled “Tattooing Establishments and Tattoo Artists,” establishes permit and operational requirements for Tattoo Artists and tattoo shops. It also prohibits anyone from tattooing an unmarried person under the age of 18.
Iowa does not permit anyone under the age of 18 to get a tattoo. Even if parents grant their consent, a minor cannot get a tattoo in the state of Iowa. The Iowa law concentrates greatly on Tattoo Artists’ permissions and the facilities in which they operate.
(1) No person shall perform tattooing without a current permit to operate issued by the department. Each person shall apply for a permit prior to beginning operation.
(2) Each permit issued shall be in effect solely for the Tattoo Artist named thereon and shall remain with the Tattoo Artist upon change of employment. Tattoo Artist permits are nontransferable.
(3) An applicant for a Tattoo Artist permit shall be at least 18 years of age and must submit government-issued documentation to show proof of attaining the age of 18 years.
(4) An applicant must show proof of a high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Iowa, please visit the website of Iowa Department of Public Health.
The tattoo industry in Kansas is governed by the 2019-2020 Kansas State Legislature, namely Article 19. – Licensure of Entities by State Board of Cosmetology: Kan. Stat. Ann. §65-1940 to 65-1954 Tattoo, Body Piercing and Cosmetic Tattoo states that for any person, including a Tattoo Artist, cosmetic Tattoo Artist or body piercer, to legally perform a tattoo, cosmetic tattooing or body piercing on another person, display a sign or in any other way advertise or purport to be a Tattoo Artist, cosmetic Tattoo Artist or body piercer that person needs to hold a valid license issued by the State Board of Cosmetology. Violation of this requirement is a class A nonperson misdemeanor.
Kan. Stat. Ann. §65-1953 deals with tattooing and body piercing of a minor and makes it illegal for any person to perform body piercing, cosmetic tattooing, or tattooing on any minor under 18 years of age unless written and notarized consent is given. The minor’s parent or court-appointed guardian is present during the procedure. The Tattoo Artist must keep a copy of the written permission on file for at least five years – violation is a class A misdemeanor.
(a) Cosmetic Tattoo Artists, Tattoo Artists, and body piercers shall not practice at any location other than a licensed establishment.
(b) Each licensee shall keep an individual record of each client for at least five years. Each record shall include the name and address of the client, the date and duration of each service, the type of identification presented, and the type of services provided.
There is a lot more to KS Admin Regs 69-15-15 if you’d like to review it.
To learn more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Kansas, please visit the website of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
According to Kentucky Statute on Tattooing (Ky. Rev. Stat. §194A.050; 211.7,60.), the Department for Public Health, Division of Public Health Food Safety Branch is in charge of the development of statewide Tattoo, Body Piercing and Ear Piercing Program plans, objectives, policies, and procedures. They must help local health departments carry out state laws. The program registers Tattoo Artists and body and ear piercers and certifies body piercing establishments and tattoo parlors.
Ky. Rev. Stat. §211.760 entitled “Tattooing and Body Piercing of a Minor,” prohibits any person from tattooing or piercing a minor unless written and notarized consent is given by a parent or guardian.
It also states: ”No person shall engage in, offer to engage in or carry on any business of tattooing, body piercing, or both of humans by nonmedical personnel for remuneration within the Commonwealth of Kentucky without first registering with the local health department in the district or county in which the person is to perform tattooing, body piercing, or both. Registrations shall be valid for one (1) year. Applicants for registration shall pay a fee that shall not exceed administrative costs of the program to the cabinet, to the local or district health department.”
(1)A studio shall:
(a) Be kept clean and in good repair;
(b) Be free of insect and rodent infestation;
(c) Store only items necessary to its operation and maintenance;
(d) Provide artificial light of at least twenty (20) foot candles;
(e) Be well-ventilated;
(f) Not permit the presence of a pet or other animal in the studio, except for a service animal;
(g) Not use a room otherwise used as living or sleeping quarters;
(h) Use a solid, self-closing door to separate living or sleeping quarters from the business operation;
(I) Have convenient, clean, and sanitary toilet and hand-washing facilities for the use of clientele with liquid soap, single-use paper towels from a sanitary dispenser or air dryer, covered waste receptacle, and self-closing door;
(j) Be organized to keep clean areas separate from contaminated areas;
(k) Have a utility sink that shall only be used to wash contaminated instruments;
(l) Use, clean, and maintain equipment according to manufacturer’s recommendations;
(m) Use an approved disinfectant;
(n) Have plumbing sized, installed, and maintained in accordance with 815 KAR Chapter 20;
(o) Have sufficient potable water supply for the needs of the studio provided from a source constructed, maintained, and operated pursuant to the applicable requirements established in 401 KAR Chapter 8; and
(p) Dispose of sewage, including liquid waste, by connection to:
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Kentucky, please visit the website of the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH).
Louisiana Revised Statute “Commercial Body Art” (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 40:2831 et seq.) requires every facility that offers services including tattooing, body-piercing, or other Commercial Body Art services must obtain a permit in accordance with these regulations. Persons performing the services mentioned must register with the state.
There isn’t a license requirement for Tattoo artists in Louisiana, but you must register as Commercial Body Artist. This registration costs $100. Also, you must always have current year certificates for First Aid, CPR, and Bloodborne Pathogens/Disease Transmission. Bloodborne Pathogens can be online, but others can’t.
Tattooing and Body Piercing of a Minor (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §14:93.2 ) makes it illegal for any person to tattoo or to pierce a minor under the age of 18 years unless consent is given by the parent or legal custodian of the minor who must accompany to and supervise them during the procedure.
People guilty of violating the provisions of the applicable section shall be fined not less than $100 or more than $500 or go to prison for no less than 30 days or more than one year or both.
To learn more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Louisiana, please visit the Louisiana Department of Health website.
The following Maine Revised Statutes govern the tattoo industry in Maine:
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Title 32 §4201 to 4301 – Tattoo Artist: establishes public health requirements for licenses and operational standards of tattoo shops.
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Title 32 §4321 to 4329 – Body Piercing: makes a license from the Department of Health and Human Services a requirement for anybody who practices the art of body piercing.
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Title 32 §4203 – Tattooing of a Minor: prohibits tattooing anyone under the age of 18.
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Title 32 §4323 – Body Piercing of a Minor: makes prior written consent of a minor’s parent or legal guardian mandatory before a body piercing procedure can be performed on a minor under 18.
About illegally tattooing without a license:
“Any person who violates the law is subject to a fine of between $50 and $500 or imprisonment of up to six months. The offense is classified as a Class E offense as specified in Title 17-A Maine Criminal Code.”
To apply for a tattoo license, you must submit a physical application and show proof of attending a Bloodborne Pathogen Training within the last three years. You must also submit a description of the applicant’s experience performing tattooing.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Maine, please visit the website of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Code of Md. Regs. 10.06.01.0 – Cosmetic Tattooing: Department of Health and Mental Hygiene prohibits tattooing in salons. Skin-Penetrating Body Adornment Procedures, which include both body piercing and tattoos, must protect against infections.
The Maryland Department of Health does not license tattoo and body piercing establishments. However, there is a code of regulations for cosmetic procedures applicable to body art.
There is regulation on sharp waste objects disposal governed by the Department of Health and the Department of the Environment.
For further information on some local jurisdictions that regulate tattoo and body piercing under local ordinances (this list may not be complete or up to date, please check with the local health department to be sure):
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Maryland, please visit the website of the Maryland Department of Health.
Looking for a guaranteed job offer as a Tattoo Artist? Start your tattoo apprenticeship today!
Mass. Gen. Law ch. 111, §31 – Boards of health may make reasonable health regulations.
Mass. Gen. Law ch. 112, §2 – requires that a tattoo be performed by a qualified physician.
No person shall place a tattoo mark or figure upon a person under the age of 18 years.
Tattoo means to insert pigment under the skin of a human being by pricking with a needle or otherwise so as to produce an indelible mark or figure visible through the skin.
The Department of Human Services is authorized and empowered to make necessary rules and regulations governing the application of tattoos upon the bodies of human beings.
Regarding licensing, the State doesn’t regulate licensing, but the cities do. According to the Body Art Practitioner License Application Environmental & Occupational Health Division Boston Public Health Commission, you must submit a physical application to their offices and a fee ($100 for practitioner, $100 for apprentice, and $75 for visiting artists coming to a convention. For further information about the other cities, please visit their local website.
For further information on what to submit along with the application and fee, please visit Body Art Practitioners Requirements.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Massachusetts, please visit the website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Mich. Comp. Laws §333.13101 to 333.13112 Body Art Facilities. Duties of a person who owns or operates a body art facility; Section 333. 13104. Tattooing, branding, or performing body-piercing; licensure of body art facility required; application; form; issuance; duration; fees.
Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §333.13102 Tattooing or performing a piercing on an underage person without the prior written consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian (executed the in the presence of the person performing the act) is prohibited. Excludes emancipated minors.
As in many states, a minor can get a tattoo with parental consent. Often times, there is a requirement that the parent be present. However, a story by a Tattoo Artist in Michigan notes that the artist is not required to perform a tattoo on a minor and, therefore, chooses not to do so under any circumstances. Thus, while minors may get tattoos, it is possible that the desired Tattoo Artist may not choose to give tattoos to minors.
Public Act 375, which was enacted in December of 2010, indicates that individuals shall not tattoo, brand, microblade, or perform body piercing on another individual unless that tattooing, branding, microblading, or body piercing occurs at a body art facility licensed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
To find out more about licensing and legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Michigan, please visit the website of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
Minn. Stat. §§146B.01 to 146B.10 License issued by the commissioner is required in order to maintain, own, or operate a body art establishment
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to receive a tattoo or a body piercing without written parental consent. Violation is a misdemeanor.
The State of Minnesota requires the technician to complete the online application in one sitting, be sure to have the following on hand:
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Minnesota, please visit the website of the Minnesota Department of Health.
Miss. Code Ann. §73-61-1 et seq. makes it illegal for anybody to perform tattooing or body piercing upon any person for compensation with the state without possessing a current and valid Certificate of Registration issued by the Department of Health.
Tattooing or piercing of a minor under age 18 is prohibited. Violation is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum fine of $500.
Rule 11.3.2 Provisional Certificate of Registration; An applicant for a Provisional Certificate of Registration shall submit to the Department, verified by oath, written evidence in form and substance satisfactory to the Department, that the applicant:
SOURCE: Miss. Code Ann. §73-61-1 and Miss. Code Ann. §73-61-3.
To learn more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Mississippi, please visit the website of the Mississippi State Department of Health.
Mo. Rev. Stat. §324.520 to 324.526 – license issued by the director of the division of professional registration needed to practice tattooing, body piercing, or branding or to operate an establishment in which tattoos, body piercing, or brandings are performed.
Mo. Rev. Stat. §324.520 it is illegal to knowingly tattoo or pierce a body of a minor without prior written, informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.
The person performing the tattoo cannot do so if the person getting the tattoo is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance. Tattoo Artists may not remove a tattoo since that is considered to be a surgical process, and operators must inform customers of potential medical dangers, such as diabetics or people suffering from liver or kidney illness.
The State of Missouri has an Office of Tattooing, Body Piercing & Branding, where you can apply for your license. The requirements are:
If you are an apprentice, you should also get a license. You would be required to submit the following:
All individuals must submit Proof of Completion of the Course of Study:
For more information in regards to this, please visit Tattooing Practitioner Documents.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Missouri, please visit the website of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
Mont. Code Ann. §§50-48-101 to 110; §§50-48-201 to 209: Tattoo and body piercing shops need to be regulated in order to protect public health and safety. It is illegal to knowingly tattoo or pierce a body of a minor without explicit in-person consent of the parent or guardian.
A person convicted of the offense of unlawful transactions with children shall be fined an amount not to exceed $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for any term not to exceed six months or both. A person convicted of a second offense of unlawful transactions with children shall be fined an amount not to exceed $1,000 or be imprisoned in the county jail for any term not to exceed six months or both. (See compiler’s comments for contingent termination of certain text.)
(1) Any person desiring to operate an establishment shall submit an application for a license on forms provided by the department. The application must include the name and address of the applicant and the location and type of the proposed establishment.
(2) The applicant of license and all artists working in the proposed establishment shall be at least 18 years of age at the time of application.
(3) Prior to approval of an application for a license, the department or its designee will inspect the proposed establishment to determine compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
(4) The department will issue a license to the applicant if the applicant demonstrates that the proposed establishment complies with all applicable requirements of this chapter by plan review, inspection, and upon receipt of the license fee.
(5) Obtaining a license from the department does not relieve the applicant from satisfying applicable requirements from other federal, state, or local agencies. These requirements may include, but are not limited to:
(a) building code permits and inspections; (b) fire and life safety inspections; and (c) other business licenses.
To learn more about license requirements, please visit Body Art FAQ.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Montana, please visit the website of Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services.
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 38-1001 to 38-10,171 Tattooing and piercing is combined into one practice: “body art,” which requires a license from the Department of Cosmetology, Electrology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, and Body Art Practice Act.
Performing body art on a person under 18 years of age without the prior written consent of the minor’s parent or guardian is prohibited.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Nebraska, please visit the website of the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS).
Nevada is the only state in the United States that has no laws dealing with age limits for tattoos or body piercing. However, the state has laws regarding licensing and registering Tattoo Artists.
The Department of Human Health Services issues permits for body art practitioners:
The State of Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health is in the process of enacting regulations to ensure that all Invasive Body Decorations (covers body piercings, tattoos, and permanent makeup) are performed in a safe and sanitary manner to prevent the potential for spreading blood-borne diseases and establishes specific requirements for all facilities and artists.
Any facility that performs tattoo, tattoo removal, piercing, and permanent make-up procedures is required to perform these procedures in an approved facility and have a valid health permit and will be inspected by an Environmental Health Specialist from the DPBH-Environmental Health Section.
Any person wishing to open a permitted facility should complete the application 30 days before operations begins. The Applicant should speak with our staff to go through the application and specific requirements for their facility location.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Nevada, please visit the website of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 314-A:1 tp 314-A:13 makes practicing body piercing, branding, or tattooing without a license illegal. License and regulation of body art practitioners or tattooing facilities is required.
Tattooing and branding a person under the age of 18 are prohibited in New Hampshire. There are no exceptions for minors with parental consent. A minor, having parental consent, can have a body piercing. However, tattoos before the age of 18 are prohibited.
In New Hampshire, the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification has a Board of Body Art Practitioners, which regulates body art practitioners, body art apprentices, and microblading.
Plc 601.04 Initial Practitioner License Application Submission.
(a) Any person who wishes to engage in the practice of body art shall file an application for a body artist license.
(b) Each applicant for an initial practitioner license shall submit the following to the office:
(1) A completed “Body Art License Application – Initial” form, revised September 2018 and available on the board’s website, www.oplc.nh.gov/body-art;
(2) A recent 2”x 2” photograph of the applicant’s face;
(3) A fee in accordance with Plc 601.08(b);
(4) Documentation of the completion of a course in sterilization pursuant to RSA 314-A:2, III, (d); and
(5) Documentation that proves the applicant meets the requirements for licensure pursuant to RSA 314-A:2, III(c) and RSA 314-A:3, including:
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in New Hampshire, please visit the website of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.
Following in the path of other states, the New Jersey law states that “no tattoo or permanent cosmetics shall be applied to any person under 18 years of age without the presence, written consent and proper identification of a parent or legal guardian.”
In NJ, the state health department (NJDOH) doesn’t issue a tattoo license to individuals but rather an approval. You can get this through your local health department, where your body art establishment is. NJDOH does verify your credentials, as well as any other artists in your shop.
The guidelines by the NJDOH also state:” The level of tattooing that you will be doing is dependent upon how many hours of tattooing experience that you can document, by employment records, business records, references from previous employers, etc. If it’s less than 2000 hours, you would have to work as an apprentice under the supervision of a licensed practitioner until you get to the 2000-hour milestone. You will also need 10 client applications and 10 photographs or digital images of tattoos that you have personally performed. Copies or original consent forms or testaments from 3 clients are also required in order to be qualified as a practitioner. All apprentices and practitioners must obtain bloodborne pathogen training that is compliant with OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.1030.
If you do not meet the above standards, then you will need to apprentice under a licensed practitioner until you obtain the experience/documentation to become a practitioner and/or operator.”
N.J. Stat. Ann. §26-1A-7 defines the state’s sanitary code.
N.J.A.C. 8:27-1 et seq. Establishes sterilization, sanitation, and safety standards for the tattoo industry in order to protect the public’s health.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in New Jersey, please visit the website of the New Jersey Department of Health.
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 61-17B-1 et seq. Body Art Safe Practices Act provides a safe and healthy environment for the body art industry
An applicant for a tattoo or body piercing-scarification apprenticeship shall file an apprentice agreement notarized by all parties that the applicant shall complete the board-required training requirements.
N.M. Administrative Code 16.36.2 et seq. establishes training and licensing requirements for tattooing, piercing, scarification, and other forms of body art. All establishments must be licensed.
Like many states, tattoos may be performed on persons under 18. However, New Mexico adds some other options and requirements as listed in the state statutes. While mapping out a procedure for minors to get tattoos, the law states that the tattoo operator is not required to tattoo the person, even if parental consent has been provided. The restrictions include: “No person shall perform any body art upon a person under the age of 18 years without the written consent of a parent or legal guardian. The written consent must be kept on the premises at the body art establishment. The parent or legal guardian does not have to stay at the body art establishment during the entire body art procedure as long as the parent or legal guardian provides written and notarized consent to the specific planned procedure(s) to the body art establishment prior to the procedure(s). If the parent or legal guardian remains present during the body art procedure, the written consent does not have to be notarized. Written consent shall be personally delivered to the body art establishment by the parent or legal guardian; delivery by a person under 18 years of age is not sufficient. Photographic identification of the parent or legal guardian is required.
To learn more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in New Mexico, please visit the website of the New Mexico Department of Health.
Looking for information for parents of young Tattoo Artists? Continue reading about parents who want to help their children become Tattoo Artists.
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) regulates tattooing and body piercing in the state of New York. Regulations are currently under review.
Tattoo and body piercing businesses need a permit. Individual tattoo and piercing artists need a permit too. In New York City, businesses must also follow rules from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Permits are valid for up to two years.
N.Y. Public Health Law §460-466 Establishes regulations for the Body Piercing and Tattooing industry.
N.Y. Public Health Law § 460A; N.Y. Penal Law § 260.21 makes it unlawful to tattoo the body of a child under the age of 18 years. Violation is a class B misdemeanor.
Tattooing and body piercing carry risks of infection and bloodborne disease transmission, as well as allergic reactions, prolonged bleeding, swelling, scarring, and general discomfort. Existing medical conditions such as allergies, heart disease, diabetes, skin disorders, or conditions that affect the immune system may increase the risk of complications from tattooing and body piercing. You may wish to speak with a physician regarding potential health risks before getting a tattoo or body piercing. For more information, go to:
Risks to Consumers
US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
Think Before You Ink: Are Tattoos Safe?
Risks to Tattooists and Piercers
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Workplace safety and health topics–Bloodborne Infectious Diseases: HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B Virus and Hepatitis C Virus
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in New York, please visit the website of the New York State Department of Health.
N.C. Gen. Stat. §130A-283 states that tattooing without first obtaining a tattooing permit from the Department of Health and Human Services is illegal. Licensed physicians and their assistants (including nurses supervised by a licensed physician) are exempt if the act of tattooing is part of their professional practice.
N.C. Gen. Stat. §14-400 prohibits tattooing and body piercing of minors.
Anyone violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
(a) Every person engaged in the practice of tattooing shall register with their local health department on or before January 1, 1995, by providing their name, the address of the location at which they engage in tattooing, and their hours of operation.
(b) No person shall engage in tattooing on or after June 1, 1995, without first obtaining a tattooing permit issued by the department. Persons permitted to engage in tattooing in counties with local rules shall obtain a tattooing permit from the department on or after June 1, 1995. Nothing herein shall preclude counties with local rules from permitting Tattoo Artists prior to June 1, 1995, at which time all Tattoo Artists shall be permitted by the department.
(c) No tattooing permit shall be issued to a person until an inspection by the department verifies compliance with this Section.
(d) Tattooing permits shall be issued in the name of the individual Tattoo Artist, shall list the address of the tattoo establishment where the artist will practice, and shall not be transferable to another person or place of practice.
(e) A valid tattooing permit shall be posted on the premises of the tattoo establishment in a conspicuous place where it may be easily observed by the public upon entering the establishment.
(f) Application for a tattooing permit shall be submitted to the local health department. The application shall include at least the following information:
(g) Any additional information requested by the department to verify compliance with this Section shall be submitted with the permit application. An initial application for issuance of a tattooing permit shall be submitted no less than 30 days before the anticipated commencement of tattooing by the artist within the jurisdiction of the local health department issuing the permit. Application for renewal of an existing tattooing permit shall be submitted to the local health department at least 30 days prior to the expiration date of the existing permit.
(h) Any permit application fee established by the local board of health shall be paid upon submission of the application.
History Note: Filed as a Temporary Adoption Eff. January 1, 1995, for a period of 180 days or until the permanent rule becomes effective, whichever is sooner;
Authority G.S. 130A-29; Eff. April 1, 1995.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in North Carolina, please visit the website of the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
N.D. Cent. Code §23-01-35 covers permits, fees, adoption of rules, exemptions, and injury reports relating to tattooing, body piercing, branding, subdermal implants, and scarification. Most importantly, it states that:
“A person may not operate a facility providing tattooing, body piercing, branding, subdermal implant, or scarification services without a permit issued by the department under this section.”
N.D. Cent. Code §12.1-31-13 makes it a class B misdemeanor to tattoo (as well as brand, pierce, scarify, or insert a subdermal implant) to a person under the age of 18 with the exception of tattoos done with written consent and in the presence of the parent or a legal guardian of the minor. Medical procedures are also exempt from this rule
A person may not operate a facility providing tattooing, body piercing, branding, subdermal implant, or scarification services without a permit issued by the department under this section. The holder of a permit shall display the permit in a conspicuous place at the facility for which the permit is issued. A permit issued under this section expires annually. An applicant for a permit shall submit an application for a permit to the department, on a form provided by the department, with a permit fee established by the department. The application must include the name and complete mailing address and street address of the facility and any other information reasonably required by the department for the administration of this section.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in North Dakota, please visit the website of the North Dakota Department of Health.
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §3730.01 to 3730.99 prohibits operating a tattoo business without the approval of the Board of Health (required by section 3730.03 of the Revised Code). Ohio’s Code also prohibits tattooing without meeting safety and sanitation standards established by the chapter in question as well as rules laid out in section 3730.10 of the Revised Code. Tattooing without meeting the appropriate disinfection and sterilization standards of invasive equipment (or its parts) described in section 3730.10 of the Revised Code is also prohibited. It is illegal to tattoo a minor under 18 without the consent of the minor’s parent/guardian/custodian. Consent is required in writing and in person at the tattoo shop.
A person seeking approval to operate a business that offers tattooing or body piercing services shall apply to the board of health of the city or general health district in which the business is located on forms the board shall prescribe and provide. The applicant shall submit all information the Board of Health determines is necessary to process the application. The applicant shall include the fee established under section 3709.09 of the Revised Code with the application.
Boards of health shall deposit all fees collected under this section into the health fund of the district the board serves. The fees shall be used solely for the purposes of implementing and enforcing this chapter.
To receive approval to offer tattooing or body piercing services, a business must demonstrate to a board of health the ability to meet the requirements established by this chapter and the rules adopted under section 3730.10 of the Revised Code for safe performance of the tattooing or body piercing procedures, training of the individuals who perform the procedures, and maintenance of records.
A board of health that determines, following an inspection conducted under section 3730.04 of the Revised Code, that a business meets the requirements for approval shall approve the business. Approval remains valid for one year unless earlier suspended or revoked under section 3730.05 of the Revised Code. A business’s approval may be renewed. Approval is not transferable.
Body art in Ohio is regulated under the authority of Chapter 3730.01 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) and Chapter 3701-9 of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC).
The body art program is administered locally by the local health district in which the body art facility is located.
If you own or operate a body art facility, have plans to do so, or have any questions, you may contact your local health department for assistance.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Ohio, please visit the website of Ohio Department of Health.
The Health Certification Project offers a Tattoo Artist certification exam for the Oklahoma State Department of Health. It costs $200, and it requires the following documentation:
It has also set these rules for the proper practice of tattooing within the State.
Okla. Stat. tit. 21 §842.1 to 842.3. Any person is prohibited from tattooing unless licensed by the State Department of Public Health.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any artist to perform body piercing or tattoo procedures outside of a licensed body piercing or tattooing establishment.
(b) Eating or drinking by anyone is prohibited in the area where body piercing or tattooing is performed by the licensed artist in a licensed body piercing or tattoo establishment. Smoking is prohibited in any licensed establishment.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Oklahoma, please visit the website of the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Or. Rev. Stat. §690.350 mandates that all “Body Art Practitioners” (including Tattoo Artists) are required to obtain a license and certificate of practitioners from the Office of Health Licensing.
Or. Rev. Stat. §679.500 allows oral surgeons to offer local anesthesia to persons who are about to receive a permanent lip color from a licensed Tattoo Artist.
Minors can only be tattooed with the authorization of a physician.
Scarification and dermal implants are prohibited.
Persons with sunburns, skin diseases, or disorders cannot be tattooed or pierced.
Minors cannot be pierced on the genitals or nipples, even with parent/guardian consent.
Piercing on testes, deep shaft (corpus cavernosa), uvula, eyelids, and sub-clavicle are all prohibited.
To learn more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Oregon, please visit the website of the Oregon Health Authority.
The State doesn’t issue permits, but the city of Philadelphia states:
The certificate costs $40 for body artists and body art apprentices.
If you lose your certificate, a replacement certificate costs $65. You must include a written statement of why you need a replacement with your application.
A temporary body artist certificate costs $10.
You can pay using a money order payable to Philadelphia Health Dept. – EHS.
To apply for a temporary body art artist certificate (to work in Philadelphia for seven days or fewer), you must submit:
Pa. Cons. Stat. tit.18 §6311 makes it unlawful to tattoo (or body pierce) minors under 18 unless a parent or guardian gives consent and is present during the procedure.
In the State of Pennsylvania, there are local regulations. Check with your local Health Department.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Pennsylvania, please visit the website of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
In Rhode Island Title 23 Health and Safety Chapter 23-1 Department of Health Section 23-1-39 mandates minimum requirements to be met by Tattoo Artists and tattoo shops relating to sanitation of premises and sterilization of instruments.
Title 23 also mandates that tattoo businesses must register (and pay an annual registration fee) with the Department of Health (of both persons and premises where tattooing is performed) and requires regular inspections of those premises. Violations will result in revocation of the registration.
Lastly, tattooing (or body piercing) of a minor is illegal unless with the consent of and in the presence of the parent or a legal guardian of the minor.
For tattoo licenses, you must submit to the State of Rhode Island Department of Health:
If you have ever been licensed in another state, license verification(s) must be sent directly from the state(s) in which you hold or have held a license. (Interstate Verification Form included in this application can be used for that purpose.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Rhode Island, please visit the website of the Rhode Island Department of Health.
S.C. Code Ann. §44-34 The Department of Health and Environmental Control is required to establish regulations governing sterilization, sanitation, and safety standards for the tattoo industry in South Carolina. Regulations must be met by tattoo establishments in order for them to maintain sterile conditions and safe disposal of instruments.
Moreover, tattooing of any person under the age of 21 is made illegal, with the exception of people of at least 18 years of age, with parental consent.
(A) The Department of Health and Environmental Control must establish by regulation sterilization, sanitation, and safety standards for persons engaged in the business of tattooing. The department must provide the necessary resources to support the development of these standards. The standards must be directed at the establishment and maintenance of sterile conditions and safe disposal of instruments. The standards may be modified in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act as appropriate to protect consumers from transmission of contagious diseases through cross-contamination of instruments and supplies.
(B) Prior to performing tattooing procedures, a tattoo facility must apply for and obtain a license issued by the department that shall be effective for a specified time period following the date of issue as determined by the department. To obtain a license, the tattoo facility must:
(1) obtain a copy of the department’s standards and commit to the application to meet those standards;
(2) provide the department with its business address and the address at which the licensee would perform any activity regulated by this chapter;
(3) provide to the department a certificate of each Tattoo Artist’s initial certification of successful completion of courses in bloodborne pathogens and tattoo infection control as approved by the department and a current American Red Cross First Aid Certificate and an Adult Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification obtained from the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association;
(4) remit to the department an initial and subsequently annual license renewal fee of an amount set by the department;
(5) provide to the department a certified copy of an ordinance passed by the local governing body where the business will be located, which authorizes the tattooing of persons within its jurisdiction;
(6) be in substantial compliance with department standards as determined by an initial license inspection conducted by the department.
(C) A tattoo facility may only provide tattooing and may not engage in any other retail business, including, but not limited to, the sale of goods or performing any form of body piercing other than tattooing.
HISTORY: 2004 Act No. 250, Section 1, eff June 17, 2004.
According to SCDHE:
“A Tattoo Artist 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, The Department-approved sources be found here: http://www.scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/docs/Health/docs/tattootraining.pdf .
An individual who has a current and valid tattoo license or permit from a state with requirements that meet the minimum requirements of the regulation, i.e., training, age, or who has 1000 or more hours during the last three years performing tattooing procedures in a licensed or permitted tattoo facility, as confirmed in writing by the licensee, from a state with requirements that meet the minimum requirements of the regulation, i.e., training, age.”
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in South Carolina, please visit the website of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
S.D. Codified Laws §9-34-17 allow any municipality to regulate the tattoo industry by issuing licenses to Tattoo Artists and by establishing standards for sanitation, provided that those standards are as stringent as those required by the Department of Health.
S.D. Codified Laws Ann. §26-10-19 makes it a class 2 misdemeanor to tattoo a minor without signed consent from the parent.
Municipalities may set stricter regulations and have the authority to license body artists.
There is no state license required to be a Tattoo Artist. However, you may require a license or certification from your local South Dakota Department of Health.
To learn more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in South Dakota, please visit the South Dakota Department of Health website.
Title 62 Professions, Businesses and Trades Chapter 38 Tattoos and Body Piercing Part 2 General Provisions Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-38-201 (2014) prohibits tattooing of minors with the exception of persons of at least 16 years of age with parental consent and presence during the tattooing procedure if done to cover up an existing tattoo.
Minors who lie about their age to get a tattoo are guilty of a “delinquent act” and must pay a fine of $50–$250 and serve at least 20 hours of community service.
Tattooing a minor is a class a misdemeanor, breach of body piercing law is a class b misdemeanor.
Tattoo Artists and body piercers are licensed by the state Department of Health, tattoo shops require a certificate from the local health department.
Tenn. Code §§ 62-38-201-310
According to TN Code § 62-38-204 (2021)
1) be trained in the profession of tattooing to include sterilization methods in a certified shop for at least one (1) year, under a currently licensed Tattoo Artist who has been certified and operating in compliance with applicable laws in this state for no less than three (3) years.
2) Out-of-state Tattoo Artists must be able to show proof of at least two (2) years of experience as a professional Tattoo Artist in another state. Business licenses, tax records, etc., may be used to show proof of prior work.
3) Receive a permit application from an EHS in the county where you live and pay the permit fee.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Tennessee, please visit the website of the Tennessee Department of Health.
Texas Health and Safety Code, Title 2 Health, Subtitle G Licenses, and Other Regulation, Chapter 146 Tattoo and Certain Body Piercing Studios prohibit a person from operating a tattoo studio without a license issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services. It also prohibits tattooing of a minor. An exception requires the consent of a parent or guardian if he or she believes that allowing the minor to get a tattoo in order to cover an existing obscene or offensive tattoo is in the best interest of the minor.
With parent/guardian consent, this means that minors can get a tattoo to cover up an existing tattoo with offensive, gang-related, or drug-related content.
The Texas Department of State Health Services also states:
We require any business in the practice of producing an indelible mark or figure on the human body by scarring or inserting pigments under the skin using needles, scalpels, or other related equipment to license with the Department of State Health Services. This includes studios that perform traditional tattooing, permanent cosmetics, and scarification. An artist may not tattoo a person younger than 18 without meeting the requirements of 25 Texas Administrative Code, §229.406(c), whose parent or guardian determines it to be in the best interest of the minor child to cover an existing tattoo.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Texas, please visit the website of the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Utah Code Ann. §76-10-2201 makes it illegal to perform or offer to perform a tattoo to a minor unless prior consent of the parent or guardian is given. The tattoo Artist is not guilty of a violation if he or she did not know the minor was underage and if the artist reviewed, recorded, and maintained a personal identification number for the minor before performing the tattoo.
Tattooing or body piercing a minor is a class b misdemeanor. There is a $1000 fine for tattoo shops that commit this violation.
Utah Code Ann. §76-10-2201
Some of the requirements for UCHD to issue a body art technician certificate of registration are:
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Utah, please visit the website of Utah Department of Health.
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, §4101 to 4109 makes it illegal to tattoo a minor unless written consent is given by the minor’s parent or guardian.
Tattooists and body piercers must be registered.
Vt. Stat. Ann. Title 26 §4101 to 4109
The Vermont Department of Health states:
Tattooist & Body Piercer Advisors, together with the Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation (OPR), work to administer licensing for your profession. Before you begin your initial, renewal, or reinstatement application, please review OPR’s application fees and 90 Day Initial Licensing Policy.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Vermont, please visit the website of Vermont Department of Health.
Va. Code §54.1-700 et seq. Provides definitions relating to the Board of Barbers and Cosmetology and the tattoo industry.
Va. Code §15.2-912 Regulation of tattoo parlors and body-piercing salons allows any local government to enact an ordinance that regulates the sanitary condition of the personnel, equipment, and premises of tattoo parlors and specifies procedures for enforcement of compliance with the disease control and disclosure requirements of § 18.2-371.3.
Va. Code §18.2-371.3. Tattooing and Body Piercing of Minors prohibits tattooing of minors under 18, with the exception of when the tattoo is done in the presence of the person’s parent or guardian. Tattoos performed under the supervision of a medical doctor or a registered nurse as part of regular medical procedures are also exempt.
To receive a license as a tattooer, limited-term tattooer, permanent cosmetic tattooer, or master permanent cosmetic tattooer in compliance with § 54.1-703 of the Code of Virginia, an applicant must meet the following qualifications:
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Virginia, please visit the website of the Virginia Department of Health.
Wash. Rev. Code §70.54.320 to 70.54.350 mandates – in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare – the establishment of requirements for the sterilization procedures in the commercial practices of electrology and tattooing to reduce the risk of infection with blood-borne pathogens such as HIV and Hepatitis B. Any person who practices electrology or tattooing shall comply with the rules adopted by the Department of Health. This is under *RCW 70.54.340, and violation of such is a misdemeanor.
Wash. Rev. Code § 18.300; 18.300.005 to 18.300.902 mandates that any person engaging in performing a tattoo needs to first obtain a license and keep it in good standing. Having a license expired, canceled, revoked, suspended, or non-payment of restitution or a fine are all reasons why a license would be considered not in good standing.
Wash. Rev. Code § 246-145-001 to 060 dictates the standards for sterilization procedures and infection control, as well as penalties for not complying with the rules.
Wash. Rev. Code §26.28.085 prohibits the tattooing of a minor and makes this violation a misdemeanor.
For a tattoo license, you must:
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Washington, please visit the website of the Washington State Department of Health.
Learn more about the profession on our website or read how to change careers and become a Tattoo Artist!
During the 2010 Legislative Session, the West Virginia Legislature amended §16-38-3 (a) 4 of the Code of West Virginia, Tattoo Studio Business. This code requires all Tattoo Studios to discuss risk factors determined by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). It includes discussing as a risk factor, the potential that a tattoo may interfere with the clinical reading of a magnetic resonance imaging study (MRI) with all patrons before the administration of a tattoo. THIS LAW BECAME EFFECTIVE JUNE 9, 2010.
West Virginia Code Chapter 16. Public Health. Article 38. Tattoo Studio Business regulates the sanitation requirements for tattoo studios:
“(a) The Tattoo Artist’s hands shall be washed and then air blown or dried by a single-use towel prior to beginning work on each person or when interrupted in the process of working on a person. In addition, disposable latex examination gloves shall be worn by the Tattoo Artist during the tattooing process. The gloves shall be changed and properly disposed of each time there is an interruption in the application of the tattoo, each time the gloves become torn or punctured, or whenever the ability of the gloves to function as a barrier is compromised.
(b) Cabinets for the storage of instruments, dyes, pigments, single-use articles, carbon, stencils, and other utensils shall be provided for each operator. They shall be maintained in a sanitary manner.
(c) Bulk single-use articles shall be commercially packaged and handled in such a way as to protect them from contamination. Storage of single-use articles may not be in toilet rooms or in vestibules of toilet rooms nor under nonpotable water lines or exposed sewer lines.
(d) Work tables and chairs or benches shall be provided for each Tattoo Artist. The surface of all work tables and chairs or benches shall be constructed of a material that is smooth, light-colored, nonabsorbent, corrosive-resistant, and easily sanitized. The work tables and chairs or benches shall be sanitized with a germicidal solution after each tattoo application. All existing tattoo studios on the effective date of the administrative regulation shall be exempt from the required color of the work table.
(e) All materials applied to human skin shall be from single-use articles or transferred from bulk containers to single-use containers and shall be disposed of after each use.
(f) No pets, including working dogs, guide dogs, or security dogs from a certified trainer, may be permitted in a tattoo studio workroom as defined in subsection (b), section four of this article. “
Violation of the rules is a misdemeanor.
Tattooing of a minor requires prior written consent from a parent or guardian.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in West Virginia, please visit the website of West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
Wis. Stat. §463.10 Regulation of Tattooists and Tattooing Establishments. Department of Health Services shall provide uniform, statewide licensing and regulation of tattooists and uniform, statewide licensing and regulation of tattoo establishments and perform inspections.
Wis. Stat. §948.70 prohibits tattooing (or offering to tattoo) a minor under 18, with the exception of physicians performing usual medical duties relating to their professional practice.
Tattooing a minor or even offering to do so is subject to a fine of up to $200.
Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations 948.70 and 252.235
Per Wis. Admin. Code § SPS 221.04, all tattooing and body piercing activities must occur in a licensed establishment. In addition, all tattooists and body piercers must also hold a practitioner’s license.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Wisconsin, please visit the website of Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
According to Wyoming Statute §14-3-107 Tattooing or body-piercing of persons who have not reached the age of majority the practice of body piercing, branding scarification, sculpting, or tattooing, is prohibited from being performed on any person who has not reached the age of majority, except when a parent or a legal guardian is present during the procedure and has given consent. The law mandates that the person’s age must be verified with an appropriate form of identification.
Misdemeanor criminal offense, punishable by fine and prison time.
To find out more about legislation relating to tattooing or tattoo schools in Wyoming, please visit the website of Wyoming Department of Health.