Find out what the requirements are to get a license to work as a tattoo, body piercing, body art, or permanent cosmetic artist.
Get your license faster! Apply for your license online.
Who needs a license?
Anyone who charges a fee to provide one of the services listed below needs a license. The license you need depends on the service(s) you provide.
- If you implant pigment into the skin using a needle or other instrument, you need a tattoo artist license
- If you penetrate the skin or mucous membrane to insert an object, such as jewelry, for cosmetic purposes, you need 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
- If you intentionally produce scars on the body through branding or scarification, you need a body art artist license
- If you apply permanent eyeliner, eyebrows, lip liner, lip color, or re-pigmentation by implanting pigment under the skin, you need a permanent cosmetic artist license
How to apply
Follow the steps below to get your tattoo, body piercing, body art, or permanent cosmetic artist license.
1. Meet the requirements
To get an artist license, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a current and active bloodborne pathogens certificate
Note: search online to find a local bloodborne pathogen training course or online blood borne pathogen training providers.
2. Submit your application
Choose the method that works best for you.
Submit your application online
You'll receive your license faster by applying and paying online.
Don't have a SAW account? Learn how to create a SAW account.
Submit your application by mail
Mail your form, a copy of your bloodborne pathogens certificate, and a check or money order (payable to the Department of Licensing) for the appropriate application fee and license print fee if applicable to:
Tattoo, Body Art, Body Piercing Program
Department of Licensing
PO Box 3856
Seattle WA 98124-3856
License expiration dates
Your license is valid for one year after we issue it.
For veterans, military personnel, and partners
Your military experience or training might help you meet licensing requirements. You may also be able to get a temporary license if you're moving here with a current license from another state. Learn more about using your military training to meet professional license requirements.
If you're a U.S. veteran, you may be eligible for partial reimbursement of your fees. Learn more about getting reimbursed for fees.
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