Get your license: Shops, mobile units, and event locations

Find out what the requirements are to get a license to operate a shop or mobile unit that offers tattoo, body piercing, body art, or permanent cosmetic services.

Get your license faster! Apply for your license online.

Who needs a license?

Every shop or mobile unit that provides tattooing, body art, or body piercing services must have a license. Conventions or events in Washington State must have an event license and meet the same requirements as shops and mobile units.

See the laws and rules for tattoo, body piercing, and body art permanent cosmetic artists.

How to apply

Follow the steps below to get your license.

1. Meet the requirements

To get a shop, mobile unit, or event license, your business must:

  • Have an outside entrance separate from any rooms used for sleeping or residential purposes.
  • Have adequate toilet facilities for the use of customers located in or adjacent to the shop or business.
  • Not use any room, except toilet facilities, for both residential and business purposes.
  • Meet the zoning requirements of the county, city, or town where the business is located.
  • Have safe storage and labeling for all equipment and substances.
  • Meet local and state fire codes.
  • Have at least $100,000 in public liability insurance for combined bodily injury and property damage.
  • Be registered with the Department of Revenue. You automatically register with the Department of Revenue when you file a Business License Application.

2. Submit your application

Submit your application online

Create your SAW account or log in to apply and pay your application fee online.

Submit your application by mail

Complete an Artist Shop, Artist Mobile Unit, or Event Location Application.

Mail your form, any supporting documents, and a check or money order (payable to the Department of Licensing) for the application fee to:

Tattoo, Body Art, Body Piercing Program
Department of Licensing
PO Box 3856
Seattle, WA 98124-3856

How long your license is valid

Your license will expire one year after it is issued or when your business liability insurance expires, whichever comes first.

Business requirements

All shops, mobile units, and events must meet all:

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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