How to Get a Tattoo License – Minnesota

To be a tattoo artist in Minnesota, individuals must have a “Body Art Technician License” issued by the state of Minnesota. The application fee is $420 and is paid as the last step of your online application. 

Technician licenses expire every two years on March 31. To remain in good standing, you’ll need to pay the renewal fee of $420 before that date.

Body Art Technician Application

login portal for body art technicians

To apply for a Body Art Technician License, you must submit the following to your local Minnesota department of Health:

Completed tattoo license application (online only). Click here for a guide on how to complete the application.

Document proving that you are at least 18 years old such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, or military ID

Bloodborne pathogen training certificate(s). A list of acceptable courses may be found here.

Certificate(s) should show course title, credit hours, and date of completion.

Coursework must total at least five hours

Courses should be completed within the past year

Training should cover the following topics:

Bloodborne pathogens 

Prevention of disease transmission

Infection control

Aseptic technique

A log of 200 hours of supervised experience in a body art establishment with a Minnesota licensed tattoo artist as well as a notarized affidavit signed by your Minnesota licensed supervisor attesting to your logged hours. Find a notary near you here. Log must show the following for each procedure:

Date of procedure

Description

Contact information of your client

Supervisor's initials

Number of hours it took to complete

To apply for a Body Art Technician License, you must submit the following to your local Minnesota department of Health:
  • Document proving that you are at least 18 years old such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, or military ID
  • Certificate(s) should show course title, credit hours, and date of completion.
  • Coursework must total at least five hours
  • Courses should be completed within the past year
  • Training should cover the following topics:
  • Bloodborne pathogens
  • Prevention of disease transmission
  • Infection control
  • Aseptic technique
  • A log of 200 hours of supervised experience in a body art establishment with a Minnesota licensed tattoo artist as well as a notarized affidavit signed by your Minnesota licensed supervisor attesting to your logged hours. Find a notary near you here. Log must show the following for each procedure:
  • Date of procedure
  • Description
  • Contact information of your client
  • Supervisor's initials
  • Number of hours it took to complete

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

License Transfer for Tattoo Artists Moving to Minnesota

If you are licensed in another state with similar requirements, you may be able to get a license in Minnesota by “reciprocity.” To apply for a license by reciprocity you will apply online here and upload the following:

Document proving that you are at least 18 years old such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, or military ID

Bloodborne pathogen training certificate(s). A list of acceptable courses may be found here

Certificate(s) should show course title, credit hours and date of completion.

Coursework must total at least five hours

Courses should be completed within the past year

Training should cover the following topics:

Bloodborne pathogens 

Prevention of disease transmission

Infection control

Aseptic technique

A copy of your current tattoo license.

If you are licensed in another state with similar requirements, you may be able to get a license in Minnesota by “reciprocity.” To apply for a license by reciprocity you will apply online here and upload the following:
  • Document proving that you are at least 18 years old such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, or military ID
  • Bloodborne pathogen training certificate(s). A list of acceptable courses may be found here
  • Certificate(s) should show course title, credit hours and date of completion.
  • Coursework must total at least five hours
  • Courses should be completed within the past year
  • Training should cover the following topics:
  • Bloodborne pathogens 
  • Prevention of disease transmission
  • Infection control
  • Aseptic technique
  • A copy of your current tattoo license.

Guest Artist License

If you are from out of state, and you’ll be tattooing at temporary events. You can apply for a guest artist license. This allows you to tattoo in Minnesota for no more than 30 days per calendar year. The fee for guest body artists is $140.

Turn in Your Application

Applications are only accepted online through the online portal. No paper applications are available. You can pay any fees through the online portal’s secure payment system.

When completing your online application make sure you have the following ready to upload:

  • Proof of age document (i.e. driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, etc.)
  • Notarized affidavit signed by your supervisor
  • Log of supervised hours
  • Bloodborne pathogen training certificate(s)

After submitting your online application, the Department of Health will review it and email you once it is approved. This usually takes about 7 to 10 business days. Then you may log back into your account here and print your license. They do not provide a printed copy for you.

Things You Should Know:

Minors cannot be tattooed in Minnesota regardless of parental consent.

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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