Indiana Tattoo License Requirements

If you're thinking about becoming a tattoo artist in Indiana, there are a few things you need to know.

In this article, we’ll break down:

  • What the requirements are to become a tattoo artist
  • Where to get the paperwork you need
  • Where to learn more about regulations at the county level
Indiana body art by tattoo artist

We’ll also include the regulations on body piercing for artists interested in both tattooing and piercing.

Tattooing and Body Piercing in Indiana

The state laws of Indiana define tattooing as "an indelible mark made with needles of other instruments, or a mark made by scarring, on or under the skin."

Indiana laws do not require licensing or registration of tattoo artists or body piercing professionals. However, operating a tattoo business requires you to follow certain regulations, and there are various criminal penalties for violating the law. 

While there is no tattoo artist license or registration, tattoo artists are required to tattoo in a licensed shop or body art facility inspected by the state. However, Hepatitis B vaccination and completing a bloodborne pathogens course is highly recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccination

Hepatitis B vaccination is encouraged for tattoo artists. If a tattoo artist at a tattooing business in Indiana chooses to decline the hepatitis B vaccination, he or she must provide written consent that he has declined to do so.

Blood Borne Pathogens Course

Tattoo artists working in a shop are required to complete an OSHA-approved Blood-borne pathogens course. Documentation of this should be submitted to local health departments for proper disease control.

Under Indiana's state laws, the laws provide prohibitions against hiring any tattoo artists who have not met this occupational safety requirement. Tattoo parlors must have a written disease control plan for exposure as well as plans for maintaining sanitary operations.

There also needs to be annual training and recordkeeping of attendance at OSHA standard- and sanitary operations-related events. This requirement must be renewed annually according to Indiana's state laws.

Business Licensing

While there is no individual tattoo artist license, in order to operate a business that specializes in tattoos, body piercing, and other forms of body art, you must obtain a business license.

To do this, you will need to be established as a formal business entity that specializes in tattooing. You will need to have contact information for your location displayed and in some counties, you’ll have to pass a background check.

You may need to have a list of all procedures and equipment used at your tattooing and body piercing business along with a list of all sterilization procedures used for safe tattooing and piercing.

Your county will also have a few forms for you to fill out that you’ll need to get directly from your local office.

Most of the time, the business license from the county department is renewed annually, though this can vary. You may be subjected to regular (usually annual) visits and inspections from the department of health by law, too.

Tattoo Art and Body Piercing Facilities in Indiana

Display Notices in Tattoo Parlors

All tattoo establishments are legally required to display this Patron Rights Information form. 

The Indiana State Department of Health requires all tattooing business operations to display this notice to ensure that all tattooing facilities are complying with safety and sanitation requirements.

The patron rights documents includes restrictions that tattoo artists must follow, such as:

Using health-department approved cleaning agents after work 

 Prohibiting tattooing or body piercing in living areas

 Prohibiting animals in the tattoo area

 Restricting eating, drinking, and applying makeup in the work area

 Washing hands and tools

 Obtaining consent from a parent or legal guardian when tattooing a minor under the age of 18

The patron rights documents includes restrictions that tattoo artists must follow, such as:

Using health-department approved cleaning agents after work

Prohibiting tattooing or body piercing in living areas

Prohibiting animals in the tattoo area

Restricting eating, drinking, and applying makeup in the work area

Washing hands and tools

Obtaining consent from a parent or legal guardian when tattooing a minor under the age of 18

Age of Consent and Parental Consent Requirement

It is illegal to tattoo anyone under the age of 18 unless they are accompanied by, or have written consent from, a minor's parent or legal guardian. This written permission from a minor's parent legal guardian must be obtained on-site before any body piercings or tattooing is completed. 

If you fail to obtain parental consent prior to any tattoo and body piercing of a minor, there are various criminal penalties that may apply.

Additional Tattooing and Body Piercing Requirements By County

If your county has additional regulations, you can find them here. Most counties do not require certification of individual tattoo artists but do require certification of a tattooing facility, according to the department of health. 

Most counties also have provisions in place that dictate the standards for sanitary operation of a body art facility.

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
  • Professional tattoo artist coaches
  • Private mastermind community
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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