How to Get a Montana Tattoo License

In Montana, all tattoos must take place in licensed body art establishments. The license applies to the shop itself and to the owner of the shop. 

If you are a tattoo artist and not the owner/operator, you do not have to be licensed. 

If the location or the owner of the shop ever changes, a new license must be applied for.

Montana body art by tattoo artist

Gallatin County and Yellowstone County Body Art/Body Piercing Establishments ONLY:

Gallatin County and Yellowstone County have their own licensing program in place of the state program. The Montana department of health’s standards cover the rest of the state.

Yellowstone County is the only location that licenses individual artists. The requirements for this may be found here.

Tattoo Artist Guidelines

While the shop you work at will be the license holder, as a tattoo artist, you are still required to have current training certificates in:

General sanitation/infection prevention

Contact Staci at 406-444-2089 for the current password to access the quiz

You will also need a photo ID 

While the shop you work at will be the license holder, as a tattoo artist, you are still required to have current training certificates in:
  • Contact Staci at 406-444-2089 for the current password to access the quiz
  • You will also need a photo ID 

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


Knowledge of general sanitation, bloodborne pathogens, and first aid is required for all permanent make up and cosmetic tattooing services. You will also need similar training to work in body and ear lobe piercing establishments.

Mobile Body Art Establishments

If you have a mobile unit that is licensed, that may be used in any county in Montana, whether the license is from Yellowstone County, Gallatin County, or Montana DPHHS.

Things You Should Know:

A tattooing procedure may not occur if:

  • Either the artist or the client is under the apparent influence of alcohol or other mind-altering drugs.
  • The client has not signed a consent form.
  • The client is under the age of 18, without the explicit in-person consent of the client's parent or legal guardian. The parent or legal guardian must accompany the client throughout the procedure.

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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  • 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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