Colorado Tattoo License Requirements

In order to become a tattoo artist in Colorado, there are certain requirements that you must meet. 

In this article, we’ll break down:

  • What the requirements are to become a tattoo artist
  • Where to get necessary paperwork
  • Where to find your county regulations
Colorado body art by tattoo artist

Colorado Body Art Regulations

There is no requirement for any state license or certification. You will need to check with your county’s health department for any local requirements - many require tattoo artists to be licensed by their county

This guide will refer to registration requirements in Denver County only, where a license is required.

In Denver County, you can only obtain a Body Artist License if you are currently working at a licensed body artist establishment or a licensed body art mobile vehicle. A license costs $25. You can also obtain a temporary body artist permit for trade shows and seminars.

The license must be renewed annually from the date they are issued. Renewal costs $25. To renew your Body Art License, you can sign into Denver’s Permitting and Licensing Center here. You can renew your license as early as 90 days before it expires. (You should receive an email that your renewal period has started.)

All fees can be paid via credit card through Denver’s Permitting and Licensing Center’s portal.

The Application

In order to get a Body Art License in Denver County, you will need:

1

Bloodborne Pathogens Training

You will need an OSHA Compliant Bloodborne Pathogen Training Certificate (earned within the last 12 months). Find approved courses here and here

This training will teach you how to safely and sanitarily handle your client's blood for safe and sanitary practice, as well as how to protect yourself from exposure to bloodborne diseases.

Without this training, you could put yourself and your clients at risk of serious illness or even death. Many approved bloodborne pathogen courses also include a first aid certification and training on how to handle equipment and supplies properly for safety practices.

2

Create an Application Account

Create an account in the Licensing Center. Make sure you pick an email and password you will keep track of because you’ll return to this login to renew your license. 

Go to the “Business, Short-Term Rental, and Occupational Licensing” section and click on “Apply New.” On the next page, click the bubble next to “Body Artist License.”

There will be a few qualifying questions on the next page (yes or no questions).

3

Submit Forms and Identification

On the next pages of the application, you will fill out your name, contact information, and agree to terms and conditions. You will also be asked to upload:

  • Your bloodborne pathogens training certificate (your name MUST be on this certificate)
  • Valid state-issued ID (driver’s license or passport)
  • Recent headshot photo (you must face the camera, no hat or glasses, and plain background)

4

Pay the Application Fee

You can pay the $50 ($25 application fee, $25 license fee) via credit card or using a routing number from your bank account.

5

Watch Your Email

It takes about 7 days for the office to approve your application. If they need any additional information from you, they will email you at the address you provided. If they do not and you are approved, you’ll get a temporary badge emailed to you so you can start tattooing at a licensed body art establishment right away.

Once your badge is printed and ready, it will either be mailed to you or you can go and pick it up (you’ll specify which option you want when you submit your forms and identification).

Note:

If you’d like to watch the application process via video, you can do that here.

Renewing a Permit for Body Art in Denver

1

Go Into Your Account

Visit your account in the Licensing Center. Here you’ll be able to choose the option to renew your license.

2

Pay the $25 Renewal Fee

3

Take an Approved Bloodborne Pathogen Training Course

You will probably need to take a bloodborne pathogens course each time you renew to stay up to date with your training. You’ll then provide an OSHA Complaint Bloodborne Pathogen Training Certificate (must be valid and taken within the last twelve months).

4

 Receiving Your Renewed Licensing

When your renewal is approved, a new expiration sticker for the year will be mailed to you. Place this sticker over the previous year’s on the back of your badge.

Additional Regulations for Body Art in Colorado

If your county has additional regulations, you can find them here.

Things You Should Know:

It is illegal to tattoo anyone under the age of age without consent from a parent or legal guardian. Tattooing a minor without consent can result in a $250 fine per offense.

It is illegal to tattoo inside a home.

Find additional Rules and Regulations for Body Art Establishments here.

Prepare for a Tattooing Career with the Artist Accelerator Program

examples of students own tattoo

Learning the steps you need to take to get licensed is an important step in your journey, but it can also be pretty eye-opening to how difficult tattooing can be. Without the right knowledge, it’s impossible to level up your skills and become a professional tattoo artist. 

However, finding the straight-forward information you need to progress is difficult. And with so much out there online, it’s hard to avoid picking up bad habits from incorrect and outdated resources.

This is one of the biggest struggles new tattooers face, and too many talented artists have given up their goal of getting into tattooing because of the years it would take to unlearn their bad habits. 

That’s why aspiring artists are learning to tattoo with the Artist Accelerator Program’s structured course. As a student, you learn every step of the tattooing process from professional artists with the experience and advice you need to build your skills and create incredible tattoos. 

With the Artist Accelerator, you can stop wasting time searching through incorrect information. You just get the clear, easy-to-understand lessons you need to start improving fast… along with support and personalized feedback from professional artists in our online Mastermind group.

Over 2500 students have already gone through the course, with many of them opening up their own studios. If you want to join them and learn the skills you need to start tattooing full time faster…

Click here to learn more about the Artist Accelerator Program.

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship?

Tattooing 101's Artist Accelerator 90 day program is the closest thing to a real apprenticeship

  • 500 video modules
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  • Private mastermind community
AUTHOR
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain.

When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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