State Requirements to Obtain a Tattoo License

If you have ever looked into getting your license to become a tattoo artist, it’s likely you found it to be a very confusing search for information. Most states, have regulations that specify what you need into order to become a tattoo artist. However, there are many states that leave it up to the counties to regulate. The lack of consistency between states causes problems when an artist is looking to see what requirements they need to meet in order to legally tattoo within a state.

You’ll also see in the table below that the requirements can vary widely between states. Some states only require that you pay a fee and fill out an application. Other states may require a specific number of hours be completed as a supervised apprentice.

The table below provides the requirements for each state, the fees to get a license as well as a link to the state’s website to get additional information.

Since state and county laws change every year, please make sure you check the state’s page before pursuing your license. The table below should only be used as a guide to get you started.

StateDepartmentRequirementsCostLink to Additional Info
AlabamaDepartment of Health- proof of attendance from a bloodborne pathogen course or training program, given or approved by the Health Department, within the 36 months prior to applying for the permit
- a personal copy of Hepatitis B vaccination record, declination form, or proof of immunity
$25More Info
AlaskaDepartment of Commerce- 1,000 hours of training in a training program approved by the board
- Complete CPR training
- Complete blood borne pathogens training
$180More Info
ArizonaIndividuals are not required to obtain licenses.More Info
ArkansasDepartment of Health- Complete a 6-24 month training program with an artist/trainer
- Each artist must complete at least 375 clock hours in no less than 6 months of supervised work
- Pass written exam ($50 fee for test)
- Complete an approved blood borne pathogens course
$150More Info
CaliforniaDepartment of Health- Complete an approved blood borne pathogens course
- Must be 18
- A certificate of Hepatitis B vaccination
$54More Info
ColoradoDepartment of Health and Environment- Must be 18
- An OSHA Compliant Bloodborne Pathogen Training Certificate
$25More Info
ConnecticutDepartment of Public Health- Must be 18
- Complete an approved blood borne pathogens course
- Holds current certification by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association in basic first aid
- Completion of 2,000 hours of practice training under the supervision of a tattoo technician
$250More Info
DelawareDepartment of Public HealthIndividuals are not required to obtain licenses.More Info
FloridaDepartment of Environmental Health- At least 18 years of age
- Copy of government-issued photo ID
- Completion of the required Education Course for tattoo artist
$60More Info
GeorgiaDepartment of Public HealthNew rules are in the process of being written. Click the "More Info" link for current information.More Info
HawaiiDepartment of Health- Take a blood borne pathogen course (additional fee of $25)
- Complete a Tuberculosis and Syphilis test
$75More Info
IdahoIndividuals are not required to obtain licenses.More Info
IllinoisDepartment of Public HealthIndividual tattoo artists working for an employer do not require a license.More Info
IndianaDepartment of HealthNo license required for an individual, however yearly OSHA training is required.More Info
IowaDepartment of Public Health- Must be 18
- Must complete Bloodborne Pathogen and Standard First Aid Training
- Must have a high school diploma or G.E.D.
$75More Info
KansasBoard of Cosmetology- Complete an approved blood borne pathogens course
- High school diploma or G.E.D.
- Complete 50 procedures with a trained tattoo artist. Must provide documentation
$100More Info
KentuckyBased upon the local health department guidelines. More Info
LouisianaIndividuals are not required to obtain licenses.More Info
MaineDepartment of Health and Human Services- Must be 18
- Complete an approved blood borne pathogens course
- Demonstration of knowledge of safe practices in regard to the art of tattooing
$225More Info
MarylandDepartment of HealthThe state does not give licenses, but some local jurisdictions may have requirements.More Info
MassachusettsLicenses are regulated at a county level. Some requirements include:

- Complete an approved blood borne pathogens course
- Complete an approved CPR course
More Info
MichiganDepartment of Health and Human ServicesIndividuals are not licensed by the state. Only the facilities. More Info
MinnesotaDepartment of Health- Must be 18
- Complete 200 hours of supervised tattooing.
- Complete an approved blood borne pathogens course
$420 (for 2 years)More Info
MississippiDepartment of Health- Proof of having completed the American Red Cross “Preventing Disease Transmission”
course or equivalent.
- Completed and signed supervisory agreement form
$150More Info
Missouri- Must complete 300 hours and 50 sessions of tattooing under an approved
- Complete a first aid and CPR course
- Complete an approved blood borne pathogens course
$100More Info
MontanaDepartment of Food and Consumer SafetyNote: Yellowstone and Gallatin Counties have additional rules.

-Complete training on sanitation, First Aid and Bloodborne Pathogens
More Info
NebraskaDepartment of Health and Human ServicesNote: Several cities/counties require additional licenses.

- Must be 18
- Must have a high school diploma or G.E.D.
- Complete an approved course of Bloodborne Pathogen training and First Aid training
- Must report being convicted of any crimes
$95More Info
Nevada
New HampshireOffice of Professional Licensure and Certification- Provide proof of at least 3 years of practicing tattooing.
- Complete a course in sterilization
$110More Info
New JerseyDepartment of Environmental Health- At least 12 months of supervised training
- Complete an approved course of Bloodborne Pathogen training
$100More Info
New Mexico- Complete an approved course of Bloodborne Pathogen training
- Obtain CPR and first aid certification
- Complete a tattoo apprenticeship
$100More Info
New York- Complete the NYC Health Academy's Infection Control Course for Tattoo Artists$100 (for 2 years)More Info
North CarolinaLicenses are regulated at a county level.More Info
North DakotaLicenses are regulated at a county level.More Info
Ohiohttps://www.health.nd.gov/regulation-licensure/food-and-lodging/tattoo-and-body-art-facilitiesMore Info
OklahomaDepartment of Health- Must be 18
- Complete Bloodborne Pathogen training
- Complete First Aid training
- Complete CPR training
- Complete 2 years of apprenticeship
$250More Info
Oregon- Must be 18
- Have high school diploma or G.E.D.
- Complete Bloodborne Pathogen training
- Complete CPR and first aid training
- Attend an Oregon licensed tattoo career school
$50More Info
PennslyvaniaNo state regulations exist.
Rhode IslandDepartment of Health- Background check
- Complete an exam from the Rhode Island Department of Health
$90More Info
South Carolina- Must be 21 years old
- Complete Bloodborne Pathogen training
- Complete CPR and first aid training
More Info
South DakotaLicenses are regulated at a county level.
TennesseeDepartment of Health- Must be 18 years old
- Attend training
- Pass exam
- Be an apprentice for at least 1 year
$140Additional Info
Texas- Complete Bloodborne Pathogen training
- Complete tattoo training
More Info
UtahLicenses are regulated at a county level.
VermontOffice of Professional Regulation- Apprenticeship of 1,000 hours
- Complete 3 hour course on infectious diseases
More Info
Virginia - 750 hours in licensed Virginia school; or 1,500 hour Licensed Apprenticeship$86More Info
WashingtonDepartment of Licensing- Must be 18
- Complete Bloodborne Pathogen training
$250More Info
West VirginiaLicenses are regulated at a county level.
WisconsinDepartment of Safety and Professional Services- Complete an application$60More Info
WyomingNo state requirements. Laramie County and the City of Cheyenne have requirements that must be met.More Info
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