How to Get a Cosmetic Tattooing License in US, UK, & CA

PMUHub investigated the requirements for obtaining a cosmetic tattooing license in different territories of the US, UK, and Canada.

cosmetic tattooing license

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Getting a cosmetic tattooing license is a touchy process with a lot of local variations.

Find out how each administration classifies cosmetic tattooing, who requires an apprenticeship, and exactly which board or institution is in charge in every location.

Table of contents - Skip to a specific paragraph

Cosmetic Tattooing License vs. Permanent Makeup License

In short, they are the same thing wrapped in different terminology. Permanent makeup is known under several different labels across different countries, states, and territories:

  • Permanent (or semi-permanent) makeup,
  • Permanent (or semi-permanent) cosmetics,
  • Cosmetic tattooing,
  • Makeup tattoo, etc.

In terms of regulations and law, permanent makeup is often subsumed under tattooing or body art. In those contexts it’s typically known as cosmetic tattooing.

Although sometimes there are specific industry societies or associations, permanent makeup regulations are mostly a matter of state-level Health Departments or local councils.

These governmental regulatory bodies are in charge of issuing, renewing, inspecting, and rescinding a permanent makeup license both for an artist and their business premises.

What Does a Cosmetic Tattooing License Cover?

The specific provisions included in a permanent makeup artist license vary widely between different administrations. You’ll need to check with your local regulatory agency. In general, they usually deal with:

  • Workplace hygiene,
  • Personnel hygiene,
  • Infection prevention,
  • Infection management,
  • Bloodborne pathogens training,
  • Equipment sterilization,
  • Registration with local healthcare authorities, etc.

What Does a Cosmetic Tattooing License Cover?
Image source: Freepik

Cosmetic Tattoo License US

Acquiring a permanent makeup license in the US varies widely between states.

Generally, states subsume cosmetic tattooing and all forms of permanent makeup under traditional tattooing and/or body art services. Some, however, recognize cosmetology and/or aesthetician licenses as separate from the tattooing profession.

The specific requirements are determined by each state, and they may differ between counties as well.

Since these permanent makeup regulations are prone to change, you should contact both your state and local authorities to get the most up-to-date information.

As a starting point, we bring you a summary of the various cosmetic tattooing regulations by state, as well as the specific regulatory body you should reach out to in each state.

Skip to a Specific State

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Alabama

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: OPTIONAL (a body art operator may train apprentices in their facility)
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: State Board of Health – Bureau of Environmental Services: Division of Food, Milk, and Lodging

Notes: In Alabama, cosmetic tattooing is governed by the Rules of Body Art Practice and Facilities. You also must obtain a body art license for the premises where you work as a permanent makeup artist.

Your facility must follow state-mandated structural guidelines in order to be eligible for the license.

You can get more in-depth information from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Alaska

Tattooing license: YES, RESTRICTED (additionally or alternatively: Permanent Cosmetic Coloring license)
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES (additionally: a CPR course)

Regulatory body: Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development – Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing: Board of Barbers and Hairdressers

Notes: Alaska requires you to be a licensed tattooist if you intend to provide microblading services.

The tattooing license, however, does not permit you to perform microneedling, microchanneling, nanoneedeling, skin stamping, and dermaroller services.

These are restricted by the State of Alaska and remain within the domain of medical professionals, as of October 2022, for the foreseeable future.

Tattoos and permanent cosmetic coloring specifically are regulated by the Statute AS 08.13 and Alaska Administrative Code 12 AAC 09, which you can find conjoint in this document.

Other related Statutes and Regulations are available here, and you can get further detailed information at the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers FAQ page.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Arizona

Tattooing license: NO
Apprenticeship: NO
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: N/A

Notes: The State of Arizona does not have licensing requirements, regulations, nor relevant regulatory bodies for the permanent makeup business specifically, nor for the tattoo or body art industries.

That said, as a permanent makeup artist you do fall under the category of “employees who have a reasonably anticipated occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens.” You should educate yourself about the risk and get certified in prevention and management from a credible institution, such as The University of Arizona.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Arkansas

Tattooing license: YES (optionally: Cosmetology License, restricted)
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Arkansas Department of Health – State Board of Health, Center for Health Protection: Office of Cosmetology and Body Art

Notes: To perform permanent makeup services in Arkansas, you need to complete a minimum of 375 hours of hands-on apprenticeship over the course of 6 months, and then undergo a practical examination.

A licensed Cosmetologist or Aesthetician may provide laser services (with a Class 1 or Class 2 device only), as well as microneedling services so long as the skin is not pierced or penetrated beyond the epidermis.

To provide microblading services or any other type of permanent makeup service, you must be licensed for tattoo and body art practice.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in California

Tattooing license: NO
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: The California Department of Public Health

Notes: In the State of California, practicing permanent makeup artists as a whole are regulated by the State Department of Public Health, but the specific regulations and licensing requirements significantly vary between counties.

In general, you can expect to need a business license and proof of Hepatitis B vaccination. You will also need to complete a period of practical training (usually around 6 months) and complete a Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control program.

Beyond these general qualifications, you should inquire with your local authorities about specific requirements for obtaining a valid cosmetic tattooing license for practicing permanent makeup in your area.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Colorado

Tattooing license: NO
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: The Colorado Department of Public Health – Division of Professions and Occupations: Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure

Notes: Permanent makeup services are a part of the Cosmetology industry in Colorado. The State requires operators to complete 132 hours of accredited apprenticeship in order to be eligible for a license application.

For more specific information about the requirements and scope of the business you want to provide, you should consult the official pages of The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Connecticut

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: The Connecticut Department of Public Health; The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

Notes: Permanent makeup artists are categorized as Tattoo Technicians in the State of Connecticut. In order to be eligible for a license application, you must complete 2,000 hours of practical training under supervision. You also must complete a Bloodborne Pathogens and Infection Control training program.

The Connecticut Public Health Department’s official website offers more details on licensing requirements for tattoo technicians.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Delaware

Tattooing license: NO
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) – Division of Public Health: Health Systems Protection

Notes: The DHSS maintains a Body Art Program which establishes minimum standards for body art establishments. Since Delaware law considers permanent makeup to be a form of tattooing, the same regulations apply.

To check whether you have the necessary qualifications and get the most recent information on further specific requirements, you should directly contact the Body Art Program.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Florida

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: NO
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: The Florida Department of Health – Division of Environmental Health: Consumer Safety

Notes: The Tattooing Program in Florida oversees licensing for permanent makeup artists. To be eligible for a license application, you need to first register the premise where you work or intend to work in order to get the space licensed.

Once you have an establishment license, you need to include that in your Tattoo Artist License application. You will also need to complete the state-required Bloodborne Pathogen and Communicable Diseases Course for Tattoo Artists with a minimum passing score of 70%.

Further requirements vary by county. You should contact your county’s local Health Department for the current information.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Georgia

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Georgia Department of Public Health – Division of Environmental Health: Body Art

Notes: Permanent makeup regulations in the State of Georgia are subsumed under body art regulations, but there is wide disparity between specific county requirements.

To get the most pertinent information regarding your own practice and premises, you should contact your local County Environmental Health Office.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Hawaii

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: NO
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: State of Hawaii Department of Health – Food Safety Branch

Notes: The Food Safety Branch of Hawaii’s DOH deals with sanitation in general, and therefore governs the tattooing business, which also includes all forms of permanent makeup.

The Branch makes available general tattoo industry information for Hawaii, as well as specific rules and regulations governing tattoo artists and tattoo shops.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Idaho

Tattooing license: N/A
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: N/A

Regulatory body: N/A

Notes: At the time of writing this guide, the State of Idaho does not have any published permanent makeup regulations, nor any licensing requirements, issue inspections, licensing board, or regulatory body overseeing the business of tattooing or body art.

If you wish to train or work as a permanent makeup artist in Idaho, contact the Idaho Board of Medicine and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Illinois

Tattooing license: NO
Apprenticeship: NO
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: The Illinois Department of Health – Environmental Health Protection: Body Art Program

Notes: Most permanent makeup regulations in the State of Illinois are subsumed under the body art umbrella, and are regulated by the State’s Department of Health. The Environmental Health Protection division regulates body art establishments and prescribes licensing requirements.

Some services, such as microneedling, fall outside the scope of regulation of the body art program. Your best course of action is to contact both the Environmental Health Protection division and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional regulations to see exactly what legislation applies to your services.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Indiana

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Indiana Department of Health

Notes: Permanent makeup regulations in the State of Indiana heavily vary between counties. You should reach out to your local Health Department Division and inquire about the specific local requirements for a license to practice

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Iowa

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: NO
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: The State of Iowa Department of Health and Human Services – Bureau of Environmental Health Services

Notes: Iowa includes microblading, cosmetic tattooing, and other forms of permanent makeup in its Tattoo Program. It issues and manages permits for both the artists and their premises, including temporary establishments. The Tattoo Program is implemented by the Bureau of Environmental Health Services of Iowa.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Kansas

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Kansas Board of Cosmetology

Notes: The State of Kansas requires that all applicants for a permanent makeup tattoo license complete 1,200 hours of training under the direct supervision of a licensed trainer in a licensed establishment and submit their Body Art Apprentice Client Logs, to prove that they have provided at least 50 completed procedures for body art services during their apprenticeship.

Under Kansas law, permanent makeup artists are classified as Permanent Cosmetic Technicians and fall under the Body Art Professions umbrella.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Kentucky

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Notes: Kentucky regulations on the tattoo and body art industry, including practicing permanent makeup, tend to vary on county and sometimes city level. Inquire with your local authorities for the most recent legislation and specific rules that would impact your business and your premises.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Louisiana

Tattooing license: NO
Apprenticeship: NO
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Louisiana Department of Health – Office of Public Health: Food and Drug Unit

Notes: The State of Louisiana classifies permanent makeup, as well as any other form of tattooing and body modification, as Commercial Body Art. A permanent makeup artist license is obtained from the Food and Drug Unit, but the applicant must first pass inspection.

This is mandatory to register both oneself as a commercial body art operator and one’s facilities where the service is being rendered. The inspections are performed by local (parish) authorities.

To get the most relevant information pertinent to your permanent makeup business in Louisiana, contact the inspector who covers your parish.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Maine

Tattooing license: NO (instead: board certification by the American Academy of Micropigmentation)
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: The Maine Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Environmental and Community Health

Notes: A permanent makeup license in Maine requires a training course of at least 36 hours of practical instruction, as well as training on the prevention and control of bloodborne and infectious diseases. An artist becomes board certified within 2 years of obtaining their license to practice.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Maryland

Tattooing license: NO
Apprenticeship: NO
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Maryland Department of LaborMaryland Board of Cosmetologists: Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

Notes: As of the time of writing of this guide, the State of Maryland prohibits any type of cosmetic tattooing in salons on State territory. That said, every county and city is free to propose their own laws, so you should contact your local Department of Health or related regulatory body for accurate information.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Massachusetts

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Massachusetts Department of Public Health – Bureau of Environmental Health: Community Sanitation Program

Notes: The State of Massachusetts recognizes permanent makeup as a form of tattooing and regulates the registration and licensing of such businesses under the state-approved Community Sanitation Program.

An applicant is required to complete 100 hours of training under an instructor who is board-certified by the American Academy of Micropigmentation. The applicant further needs to complete a number of works under a licensed permanent makeup technician, but exactly how many varies between counties and cities.

Contact your local Health Department for more details on the regulations that apply to you.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Michigan

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services – Department of Community Health: Body Art Facility Program

Notes: Michigan legislation widely varies by county. A permanent makeup artist will need to register their establishment for a Tattoo Parlor License, but the artist themself may not be required to carry a permit to practice.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Minnesota

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Minnesota Department of Health – Health Occupations Program: Minnesota
Body Art Regulation

Notes: In Minnesota, a permanent makeup artist is recognized as a “Body Art Technician” under tattooing regulations. Technicians and establishments alike must conform to the Body Art Technician Licensing System.

You can also look into the specific Minnesota Statutes on Body Art.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Mississippi

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Mississippi State Department of Health

Notes: The Mississippi DOH has an official licensure program for the tattoo industry, which also encompasses cosmetic tattooing. In order to be granted a tattoo license, you need to apply with the Department and complete at least 9 months of work under another licensed artist.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Missouri

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance – Division of Professional Registration: Office of Tattooing, Body Piercing & Branding

Notes: The State of Missouri requires you to complete an apprenticeship of up to 300 hours in order to obtain a tattoo license. This varies between individual counties, though, so check the official information on the forms of licensure to find what applies to you.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Montana

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: NO
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services – Public Health and Safety: Food and Consumer Safety

Notes: Montana subsumes permanent makeup under body art, along with traditional tattoos, body piercing, and ear piercing. You can find all of the licensing rules, relevant statutes, and general information for artists in the Body Art Factsheet.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Nebraska

Tattooing license: NO
Apprenticeship: NO
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services

Notes: Nebraska categorizes permanent makeup services as body art; therefore the licensing is governed by the relevant legislation on the Body Art Profession.

You can search the State’s License Information System for detailed insight, and always contact your local Health Department or other relevant county/ city authority.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Nevada

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: YES, CONDITIONAL
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Southern Nevada Health District

Notes: In Nevada, cosmetic tattoo artists require a Body Art Card issued by the SNHD. Keep in mind that the local requirements vary by county.

In certain areas of Nevada you may be required to complete a certain number of hours as an apprentice to be eligible to apply for the Card. Check with your local Health Department.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in New Hampshire

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification – Board of Body Art Practitioners

Notes: To become licensed in New Hampshire, aspiring permanent makeup artists must complete at least 100 hours of training accredited by either the American Academy of Micropigmentation or the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in New Jersey

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services – Public Health & Food Protection Program

Notes: New Jersey-based permanent makeup artists are required to complete at least 40 hours of training, which must be certified by either the American Academy of Micropigmentation or the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals.

Check the state-issued Microblading/Permanent Cosmetics Guidance Document and the State Sanitary Code Chapter VIII: Body Art Procedures for more specific guideline

Cosmetic Tattooing License in New Mexico

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department – Board for Barbers and Cosmetology

Notes: In New Mexico, the document you need is called a “permanent cosmetic tattoo license.” In order to be eligible to apply, you first must complete an apprenticeship with a licensed permanent makeup artist. The specific number of hours required varies between counties.

Once you complete the apprenticeship, you can apply to be approved by the Board. Once approved, you may take the State Law exam and a permanent cosmetic tattooing theoretical exam. Find more information in this document.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in New York

Tattooing license: N/A
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: N/A

Regulatory body: New York State Department of Health (local Department branches)

Notes: New York State is unique among the rest in that permanent makeup regulations are entirely locally determined. The State does have a centralized Department of Health, but each county decides its own rules and regulations for the cosmetic tattooing industry.

Consult this interactive map by the State DOH to locate your own county or region. From there, contact relevant authorities and ask about the specific legislation that applies to you.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in North Carolina

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Public Health (local Department branches)

Notes: North Carolina subsumes permanent makeup under the tattooing business. As far as licensing regulations go, each county decides its own. For the most accurate information, locate your administrative region and inquire with your local Health Department to see which legislation applies to you.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in North Dakota

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: N/A

Regulatory body: North Dakota Department of Health – Division of Food and Lodging

Notes: Your studio needs to pass inspection before you can have a permit issued. The specific requirements vary by county. Contact your local Health Department.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Ohio

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Ohio Department of Health – Body Art Program

Notes: Chapter 3730.01 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) defines cosmetic tattoos and permanent makeup as an aspect of the tattoo industry. The Body Art Program is administered locally, by the district in which the body art facility is located.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Oklahoma

Tattooing license: YES (optionally: medical license)
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Oklahoma State Department of HealthConsumer Health Service

Notes: Like most US states, Oklahoma subsumes permanent makeup services under the tattooing trade, and practitioners require a license via the Tattoo and Body Piercing Program.

There is, however, one exception: medical micropigmentation. The term refers to any permanent makeup service which is deemed a medical necessity.

Such procedures may only be performed in a physician’s office, by a person with the relevant medical certificate, and under the supervision of a physician. For more details refer to the Medical Micropigmentation Certification Program.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Oregon

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: YES, VARIABLE
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Oregon Health Authority – Health Licensing Office: Board of Certified Advanced Estheticians

Notes: Regulations vary by county. Check with your local Health Department to confirm the required number of hours for your apprenticeship.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Pennsylvania

Tattooing license: N/A
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: N/A

Regulatory body: N/A

Notes: At the time of writing this guide, the State of Pennsylvania does not have any published permanent makeup regulations, nor any licensing requirements, issue inspections, licensing board, or regulatory body overseeing the business of tattooing or body art in any form.

If you wish to train or work as a permanent makeup artist in Pennsylvania, contact the Department of Health and your county authorities for information.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Rhode Island

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: N/A

Regulatory body: Rhode Island Department of Health – Professional Licensing and Facility Regulation: Tattoo Artists and Tattoo Parlors

The State of Rhode Island classifies permanent makeup under tattoo art and relevant laws and regulations apply.

If you’re interested in building a cosmetic tattoo career in this state, we encourage you to contact your local healthcare regulatory body to check for the most up-to-date permanent makeup regulations applicable to your area.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in South Carolina

Tattooing license: NO (instead: medical licensing)
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation – Board of Medical Examiners

Notes: While South Carolina does have a Tattoo Act, it does not regulate permanent cosmetics of any kind, because it specifically excludes tattooing the head, neck and face.

Instead, permanent makeup or cosmetic tattooing procedures are performed by licensed physicians or surgeons if in their medical opinion it is necessary or appropriate. Read the Board of Medical Examiners’ Micropigmentation Policy for further details.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in South Dakota

Tattooing license: N/A
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: N/A

Regulatory body: N/A

Notes: At the time of writing this guide, the State of South Dakota does not have any published permanent makeup regulations, nor any licensing requirements, issue inspections, licensing board, or regulatory body overseeing the business of tattooing or body art.

Contact your local Health Department and your county’s healthcare and esthetic industry authorities to check whether there are any county-level permits or training requirements.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Tennessee

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Tennessee Department of Health – Environmental Health Program: Tattoo and Body Piercing Programs

Notes: The State of Tennessee does not recognize permanent makeup as a niche of the industry, though it does acknowledge microblading and microneedling treatments. Microblading is subsumed under the Tattooing trade and governed by the State of Tennessee DOH Tattoo Program.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Texas

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Texas Health and Human Services Department of State Health Services – Environmental Operations Branch: Tattoo and Body Piercing Studios Program

Notes: The State of Texas identifies permanent makeup treatments under the label “intradermal cosmetics” and subsumes it under tattooing and body piercing.

Consequently, the same rules and regulations regarding training, certification, and licensing apply. Contact your local Health Department for information pertinent to your county.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Utah

Tattooing license: N/A
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: N/A

Regulatory body: N/A

Notes: At the time of writing this guide, the State of Utah does not have any published permanent makeup regulations, nor any licensing requirements, issue inspections, licensing board, or designated permanent makeup regulatory body.

Contact your local Health Department and your county’s healthcare and esthetic industry authorities to check whether there are any county-level permits or training requirements.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Vermont

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Vermont Secretary of State – Office of Professional Regulation: Tattooists

Notes: In the State of Vermont you must be licensed specifically as a permanent cosmetic tattoo artist, but can perform your services anywhere tattooing is permitted, including a licensed cosmetology shop.

Check Vermont’s Tattooists & Body Piercers Statutes for details as to licensure requirements, apprenticeship, and other applicable legislation.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Virginia

Tattooing license: YES (specifically: Permanent Cosmetic Tattooer License)
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: The Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation – Board for Barbers and Cosmetology

Notes: The Commonwealth of Virginia subsumes permanent makeup licensing under individual tattooing licenses (as opposed to licenses for schools, training facilities, or places of business). You can apply for a Permanent Cosmetic Tattooer License or a Master Permanent Cosmetic Tattooer License.

The required amount of training and experience for each license level varies between artists completing apprenticeships within the Commonwealth of Virginia and those trained outside the Commonwealth of Virginia, but within the United States and its territories.

Consult the Permanent Cosmetic Tattooer Examination & License Application for specifics. For further information, consult the State of Virginia Permanent Cosmetic Tattooing Examinations bulletin which is available here.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Washington

Tattooing license: YES (specifically: Permanent Cosmetic Artist License)
Apprenticeship: NO
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: Washington State Department of Licensing

Notes: The State of Washington includes permanent makeup in the tattoo and body art industry. Specifically, a Permanent Cosmetic Artist License is required to “apply permanent eyeliner, eyebrows, lip liner, lip color, or repigmentation by implanting pigment under the skin.”

Check the Department’s Licensure page for further details and don’t forget to contact your local healthcare regulatory body to get updated information on the rules and regulations for your county or city.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in West Virginia

Tattooing license: NO (instead: a Cosmetology or Aesthetician license)
Apprenticeship: YES
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources – West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists

Notes: The courses and hours required by the State of West Virginia differ between professions. A Cosmetologist is required to complete 1,800 hours of courses and training, whereas an Aesthetician is required to complete 600 hours.

Compare the scope of services that a Cosmetologist and an Aesthetician are allowed to provide at the Board’s Consumer Information page.

Likewise, peruse the Boards Licensing Requirements page for detailed information on the various qualifications and documentation you need to apply for a permanent makeup artist license.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Wisconsin

Tattooing license: YES
Apprenticeship: NO
Bloodborne pathogens training: YES

Regulatory body: The State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services – Division of Industry Services: Tattooing and Body Piercing Establishment

Notes: The State of Wisconsin recognizes permanent makeup treatments as tattoos, but its Administrative Codes do not provide for training or certification requirements.

Instead, consult the Wisconsin Body Art Code and the DSPS Tattooing and Body Piercing Rules and Statutes for detailed information. Don’t forget to check your county and/or city regulations with a local Health Department branch.

Cosmetic Tattooing License in Wyoming

Tattooing license: N/A
Apprenticeship: N/A
Bloodborne pathogens training: N/A

Regulatory body: N/A

Notes: At the time of writing this guide, the State of Wyoming does not have any published permanent makeup regulations, nor any licensing requirements, issue inspections, licensing board, or designated permanent makeup regulatory body.

Contact your local Health Department and your county’s healthcare and esthetic industry authorities to check whether there are any county-level permits or training requirements.

cosmetic tattooing license in the us
Image source: Freepik

Cosmetic Tattoo License Canada

There is no regulatory body for the permanent makeup, cosmetic tattooing, or body art industry in Canada as of the time of writing of this guide. There is likewise no professional license you need, but you are required to register as a business with the government.

You will need certificates to get appropriate insurance. Contact your local Health Department to set up a sanitation inspection. Check their website to find out what your facility needs to pass the inspection and be approved for doing permanent makeup business.

cosmetic tattoo license in Canada
Image source: Freepik

Cosmetic Tattoo License UK

The United Kingdom healthcare authorities recognize permanent makeup as a part of the tattoo industry. An industry operator (“tattooist”) must have a Tattoo, Piercing and Electrolysis License in order to conduct business.

The specific requirements for this license slightly vary by state and territory. In general, you need to contact the local council where your premises are based and follow their directions.

Local bylaws will require that you register yourself, your premises, or both. Registration fees and details vary from area to area.

For more information on the Tattoo, Piercing and Electrolysis License, check the relevant governmental pages for Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England and Wales.

Cosmetic Tattooing License Final Takeaway

Remember that licensing requirements vary between local administrations in both the UK and US. They are also prone to change.

Although there are certain state-wide regulations, your best course of action is always to contact your local council and healthcare and/or aesthetics governing body.

They will have the most up-to-date information about the rules and regulations that apply specifically to your case.

See also:

Microblading Certification
Microblading Licensing and Regulations US
Microblading Licensing and Regulations UK
Microblading Licensing and Regulations CA
Microblading Licensing and Regulations AU

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