While you don’t need a state license to be a tattoo artist in Idaho, you do need to comply with Health Department standards.
In this article, we’ll break down:
Idaho Tattoo Artist Licensing Requirements
Under state law, tattoo artists in Idaho do not need to have a body art license.
However, individual tattoo business shops have to get permits and comply with standards from the Health Department. Artists will be expected to tattoo in a way that aligns with those standards.
Many of the regulations shops have to follow to offer tattooing are the same for body piercing, if you decide to offer both.
How to Open a Licensed Tattoo Shop in Idaho
Tattoo Industry Standards
While the state may not regulate it, tattoo artists in Idaho are highly encouraged to go through a bloodborne pathogens training course, get vaccinated against Hepatitis B, and get some form of tattoo education (through a tattoo course or tattoo apprenticeship) before they begin working with clients.
Tattooing Minors Without Parent or Legal Guardian Consent
It is illegal to knowingly tattoo anyone under the age of 14. To tattoo someone between the age of 14 and 18, you must have written informed consent from a parent or legal guardian. You cannot tattoo a minor below the age of 14, even if the parent consents.
The prior written informed consent from the parent or legal guardian must be given in the presence of such person who will perform body piercing or tattooing.
County Regulations to Perform Body Piercing and Body Art
If your county health department has additional regulations, you can find them here.
It can be difficult to find information on how to get an individual license for your business to perform tattooing and body piercing, since there are no formal state regulations in regards to tattooing.
However, the below items are general standards that you might expect to find as they relate to tattoo licenses. Check with your local public health department to find out exactly what you might need.
Registration as a Business
In most cases, business licenses are necessary to operate tattoo parlors in Idaho, as they are in other states. If you already practice medicine as a medical doctor and want to perform tattooing for a medical purpose, you may be exempt from this requirement, but it's important for shop owners to consult the public health department first.
To get an individual license for business, you will usually need to register as a business (LLC, DBA, etc) and have a formal business name on file with the state. There may be fees required for you to open your tattoo parlor and you will want to check in about zoning regulations for this specific license in your city, too.
To own a body piercing or tattoo shop, it is necessary that each person obtains a business permit for tattooing.
Sanitary Condition and Health and Wellness Requirements
Any such person who wishes to open a business in tattooing should also make sure the shop meets sanitation and health and wellness standards.
Regulations again vary by county but usually require that the shop owners have a complete list of all services provided on site as well as a permit for occupancy from the zoning board.
There usually needs to be copies of written consent forms for registration of new clients, documentation of waste and sharps disposal procedures, and regulations in place for dealing with blood borne pathogens.
Other common requirements for business licensing of tattoo shops include working hand sinks with hot and cold water, a complete list of all persons doing tattoos at the site, and a process for providing aftercare instructions.
Additional Tattooing Training, Apprenticeship, and Safety Standards for Disease Control
Many counties require that, for this specific tattooing license, a tattoo artist or body piercer must have completed an apprenticeship under the direct supervision of a person with experience in tattooing and that specific license.
The laws again vary by county, but most persons will benefit from an apprenticeship regardless of whether it is required by the local or county laws.
Adding Other Services to Your Shop
Finally, for someone who plans on adding other services to your tattoo shop (like a tanning device, doing ear piercing, or any other work besides just the option to get a tattoo), it is important that the person obtains the proper license.
Registration and licensing for these procedures may not follow the same rules for tattooing in your county, so it is important to do your research to be sure.
Counties site: https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/health-wellness/community-health/public-health-districts
For further assistance finding hepatitis B vaccine: https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/services/hepatitis-b
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