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How to get your license: Tattoo, body piercing, body art, and permanent cosmetic artists

We have a new online service for managing professional and business licenses. Learn how to set up account access and manage your license. If you need help with the new service, please contact your professional licensing program.

We expect a processing delay for mailed applications and renewals. Renew or apply online for faster processing of your license. Thank you for your patience and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Who needs a license

Anyone who charges a fee to provide one of the following services:

  • Implant pigment into the skin using a needle or other instrument. Requires a tattoo artist license.
  • Penetrate the skin or mucous membrane to insert an object, such as jewelry, for cosmetic purposes. Requires a body piercing artist license.
    • This doesn't include stud-and-clasp ear piercing or health-related procedures performed by a licensed health care worker.
  • Intentionally produce scars on the body through branding or scarification. Requires a body art artist license.
  • Apply permanent eyeliner, eyebrows, lip liner, lip color, or repigmentation by implanting pigment under the skin. Requires a permanent cosmetic artist license.

Requirements

To get an artist license, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a current and active bloodborne pathogens certificate. To find a bloodborne pathogen training course use your internet search engine to find a local or internet-based blood borne pathogen training providers.

How to apply

Online

You'll need a SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account to apply online.

Apply online

By mail

Send the following:

When will I get my license?

We won't mail your license unless you request a printed copy. Your license is available to print online.

If you applied online

  • We'll process your request within 14 business days. It will be available to print online at any time.
  • Check your email for notifications about your license.
  • See how to self-print your license.

If you applied by mail

  • We'll process your request within 45 business days and send a copy of your license to the email address listed on the application.
  • You can print your license online at any time. See how to self-print your license

Get a printed license by mail

  • To get a printed license when applying by mail, you must send the license print fee with your application.
  • To request a printed copy of your license, send us the following information:
    • Name
    • Mailing address
    • Email address
    • Phone number
    • License type
    • License number
    • Check or money order for the license print fee, payable to Department of Licensing
    • Mail to:

      Tattoo, Body Art, Body Piercing Program
      Department of Licensing
      PO Box 35001
      Seattle, WA 98124-3401

How long your license is valid

Your license is valid for 1 year after we issue it.

Related information

Email updates

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