How to Get a Tattoo License – Maryland

In the state of Maryland, tattoo license regulations vary on where you live. Your county and local jurisdictions regulate tattoo licensing and body piercing.

The Maryland Department of Health does not require a license or permit in order to perform tattoo or body piercing.

Maryland body art by tattoo artist

However, the following cities/counties in Maryland do have various requirements. Check with your local health department to find out what you need to do. Here is some more information on Maryland Department of Health tattoo regulations by county:

  • Allegany County: Tattoo shops must be inspected and have a license, but individual artists do not need a license.
  • Baltimore City: Individual artists must have a tattoo artist license.
  • Calvert County: Tattoo shops must be inspected and have a license, but individual artists do not need a tattoo artist license.
  • Worcester County: Tattoo shops must be inspected and have a license, but individual artists do not need a tattoo artist license.

The following information will apply to the City of Baltimore ONLY:

A tattoo license in Baltimore, MD, costs $100. A tattoo license must be renewed annually. Renewing your tattoo artist license costs $100.

Registration

Again, tattoo laws in Maryland vary depending on your local health department regulations. Check with your health department for more information on which local ordinance and laws might apply when it comes to getting your tattoo and body piercing license.

In general, to get a license, you must:

Complete an application.

Pay the $100 fee (check made out to “Director of Finance”)

Copy of all Blood-borne Pathogens training certificates.

Complete other forms and additional tattoo license requirements as required by your local health department.

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

In general, to get a license, you must:

  • Pay the $100 fee (check made out to “Director of Finance”)
  • Complete other forms and additional tattoo license requirements as required by your local health department.

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

Turn in Your Application

Turn your tattoo license application in to the local health department. Which local health department depends on your county and city. For example, if you live in Baltimore, you will mail or bring your application form, $100 application fees, and BBP training certificates to this address:

Mailing Address:
Environmental Health
1001 E. Fayette Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

Your license will be mailed to you once your application is approved.
For more resources and information, contact your city or county health department or disease control center.

Things You Should Know:

Information about the requirements for sharp needle disposal in Maryland may be found here.

It is prohibited by law to tattoo anyone under 18, regardless of parent or guardian permission. 

Things You Should Know:

Information about the requirements for sharp needle disposal in Maryland may be found here.

It is prohibited by law to tattoo anyone under 18, regardless of parent or guardian permission. 

NOTICE

Any procedure that involves penetrating the skin, such as body piercing or tattooing, carry some risks.

The risks from such procedures include: pain, raising scars, bleeding, swelling, infection at the site of the procedure, transmission of blood-borne infections, scarring, and nerve damage.

The technician and all other partners performing your procedure should:

  • Obtain written consent for the procedure.
  • Properly wash his/her hands.
  • Cleanse your skin.
  • Use sterile instruments, equipment, and bandages for the prevention of infection.
  • Use proper technique to prevent infection at the site of the procedure.
  • Provide you with written instructions and resources to tell you what to expect about healing and how you should care for the area after the procedure has been done.

These are signage regulations applicable, again, to all individuals who perform tattooing or any other skin-penetrating services.

Additional Tattoo Establishment Regulations

Just as Maryland does not regulate tattoo and body piercing artist licensing at the state level, it also does not regulate tattoo studio and body piercing businesses.

To open a tattoo facility, you will need to check with your local health department.

However, there are Code of Maryland regulations that apply to any procedure that pierces the skin. Some Code of Maryland regulations to pay attention to include:

  • A health officer will respond to any disease control complaints at the facility.
  • All equipment used must be sterile and all single-use instruments must be discarded after their use.
  • A person who tattoos a patron of any age must provide written aftercare instructions to the customer.
  • Before and after tattooing services have been administered, the tattooists must provide cleansing services to ensure that the subject does not become infected.
  • Signed consent is necessary for any skin-penetrating procedures such as tattooing or piercing.
  • To obtain and maintain a business license, tattoo parlor owners must have an occupancy permit, business license, and other tattoo business establishment documentation as required by federal and state law.

Business License and Inspections

If you want to open a tattoo parlor in Maryland, you'll need to obtain a business license from the state. The process is fairly simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. 1
    You'll need to have your shop inspected by a health department official. 

This is to ensure that the premises meet all of the necessary health and safety standards.

  1. 2
    Submit an application for a business license.

Be sure to include any relevant information about your experience as a tattoo artist, as well as any other pertinent information about your business.

Once your application is approved, you'll be able to obtain your tattoo license and start operating your new shop!

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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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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