Michigan Tattoo License Requirements

If you're interested in becoming a tattoo artist in Michigan, this article will break down:

  • What requirements you need to have
  • Where to get necessary paperwork
  • Where to find additional information for your county.

Do You Need a License to Perform Body Piercing or Body Art in Michigan?

You do not need a state license to be a tattoo artist in Michigan. Only body art facilities aimed at tattooing or where body piercing occurs require formal body art licensing (tattoo shops).

However, some local and county health departments have regional licenses. Check with your local health department or public health office to find out if you need to be licensed as an individual.

Requirements to Work in a Body Art Facility

According to the Department of Health, to work in a tattoo shop, you must do the following:


Follow MIOSHA Standards

As a medical waste producer, you must follow all MIOSHA Bloodborne Infectious Disease Rules and MIOSHA Standards.

In order to protect workers from exposure to bloodborne pathogens, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established a set of rules known as the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. These rules apply to any workplace where there is a potential for contact with human blood or other bodily fluids (through which various diseases like hepatitis and human immunodeficiency virus can be spread).

In addition, Michigan's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) has promulgated its own set of rules under the public act relating to bloodborne pathogens.

The MIOSHA body art procedure requirements are more stringent than the federal OSHA standards, and they require employers to take additional steps to protect workers, such as ensuring that engineering controls are in place.

You can find online training for this public act here.


Get Vaccinated

You must also receive a Hepatitis B Vaccine (this might be paid for by the tattoo shop if you are not yet vaccinated) or sign the HBV Vaccine Declination Form found here.


Complete Body Art Paperwork

If you want to become a tattoo artist, it is important that you learn the necessary skills and regulations.

The best way to do this is by taking classes at a certified school or training center. Once you have the proper education, you will need to apply for a license from the state. With the right training and licensing, you can start your career as a tattoo artist soon.

Print and fill out a Body Art Employee/Technician/Contractor Record here.

How to Get a Body Art Facility License

If you are interested in owning a licensed facility to perform tattooing and other permanent cosmetics services, you will need to apply for a body art facility license. There are several ways to do this.

You can apply or renew a facility's body art license online with the State of Michigan Department of Health. If you're one of the facilities applying for a license through the state for the first time, you will need to register and create a username and password.

You can also apply for a license for your facilities by mail. This is also done through the health department and will require you to download and print an application, then submit it with the payment via the mail.

On your application, you will need to indicate what services you plan to provide at your facility, such as tattooing, body piercing, branding, or cosmetic tattooing.

You will also need to indicate your hours of operation and all relevant contact details. Make sure to give a valid email address so you can receive email updates on required paperwork and other services.

Licensing fees are $577.96 for a new license and all fees must be paid to the community health department before licenses are produced.

An inspection is required for a new facility to indicate that the facility meets the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' Health Requirements for safety and environmental quality.

More Information on Body Art Facilities and Licensing

Above are the statewide requirements for becoming a tattoo artist in the state of Michigan, something that is becoming increasingly popular.

If your county has additional regulations, you can find them here. If you have additional questions, you can contact the department of health and environmental health services at BodyArt@michigan.gov.

Finally, note that an individual shall not tattoo, brand, or piercing a minor unless the tattoo artist has written consent from the minor's parents or guardians.

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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