How to Get a Tattoo License – Kentucky

Kentucky does not require a state license to be a tattoo artist. Instead, you must register with the local health department in the county you will be tattooing in. Most of the information below is for the most populated county, Jefferson County.

Kentucky tattoo artist registration is valid for one year. Registration costs vary by county. (Find your local department of health and applications here.) 

The Louisville Metro Local Health Department has a $100 registration fee. The rest of this article will refer to this area only.


The rules below are the same for body and ear piercers.

Registration for Tattoo, Body Piercing, and Ear Piercing 

Tattoo, body piercing application form


Fill out an Application and Pay the License Fee

To register as a tattoo artist in Kentucky, you will need a photo ID and a completed application (you will get the application from your local health department or on their website). 

Click here for the Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness form. (This form applies to body piercing, tattoo artists, and temporary workstations.)

You’ll also be required to pay a fee, probably around $100. However if you’re planning to tattoo and provide body piercing, you will have to pay the fees for both ($200).


Bloodborne Pathogens Training for Tattoo, Body Piercing, and Ear Piercing Programs

Applications vary by county health department, but Kentucky state law requires that all tattoo artists complete an OSHA-compliant bloodborne pathogens course.


Regulations for Individual Local Health Departments

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

Turn in Your Application

You can submit your online application here.

Tattoo and Body Piercing Studios

You can find the regulations for tattoo studios and tattoo artists working in them here. Annual inspection fee is $400+ and the certification must be renewed yearly before December 31. Your shop will be inspected by a public health professional from the county health department.

You can find the regulations for body piercing studios, body piercers, and ear piercers here. Annual inspection fee for a body piercing establishment is $400+. If you only provide ear piercing, inspection is $200+. The certification must be renewed yearly before December 31.

Things You Should Know:

It is illegal to tattoo anyone under the age of 18 without written and notarized consent from a parent or legal guardian.

Find more Tattoo Laws here.

Find more Tattoo Regulations 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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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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