Get your license: Tattoos, body piercing, body art, and permanent cosmetics

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.

Log in to SecureAccess Washington (SAW)

Don't have a SAW account? Learn how to create a SAW account.

Submit your application by mail

License expiration dates

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

Get email updates

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest rule changes and licensing updates by email.

Related information

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.

Need additional help? Here's how to contact us:

call Phone: 360-664-6660
(TTY: Call 711)
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