How Do You Obtain a Tattoo License?

Each state has different requirements for obtaining a tattoo license, but as of 2015, most states require tattoo artists to complete a bloodborne pathogen class, acquire CPR certification, and pay registration and licensing fees. Check the government websites for the state and county in which you plan to work to learn what steps are necessary to obtain a license in your area.

  1. Take a bloodborne pathogen class

    Bloodborne pathogen courses can be completed online through credible health care websites, such as the Red Cross, Safe Response and Heartsave. Students must pay a fee for the course and pass a knowledge test at the end of the class.

  2. Obtain CPR certification

    Most CPR classes require hands-on training and are offered at a training office. The Red Cross website allows you to search for Red Cross CPR classes in your area. Applicants that complete the training and demonstrate their understanding and abilities are awarded a certificate as proof of completion.

  3. Pay registration and licensing fees

    Each state has different rules and fees associated with registering for and obtaining a tattoo license. All states require a valid driver's license or government identification. Business licenses can cost as much as $1000, while fees for individual licenses range from $10 to $250. Most licenses are valid for at least one year and may be valid for up to three. Government websites for each state have the most accurate information about the cost of a license and if any other fees are required.