How to Get a Tattoo License – Nebraska

For body artists to perform tattoos in the state of Nebraska, you must hold a Body Art License issued by the state of Nebraska's Department of Health. No general education development certificate is required, but there are certain courses in bloodborne pathogens and CPR that you will need to take instead.

A Body Art License costs $95 and requires the completion of the appropriate application with the Nebraska Department of Health. If you receive your tattoo artist license within 6 months of the renewal date (March 31 of an odd-numbered year), it costs $25.

However, the fee may be waived if you are a tattoo artist who is:

  • Between the ages of 18 and 25
  • Low income
  • Enrolled in a state or federal public assistance program (such as SNAP or TANF from the Department of Human Services or other local government office) OR
  • Have a household adjusted gross income below 130% of the federal income poverty guideline (per the third column on this chart)
  • Military family (active duty service member, military spouse, honorably discharged veteran, spouse of an honorably discharged veteran, or unremarried surviving spouse of a deceased service member)

All body artist licenses expire on March 31st of odd-numbered years. Renewal of a Body Art License costs $118.

The Application

To get a Body Art License and become a permanent color technician, you must submit copies of the following:

Your completed license application

 Birth certificate or US passport to prove US Citizenship

High school diploma or GED (or equivalent)

Training should include at least 2 hours of instruction

Training should cover sanitation, infection control, and sterilization

Any basic First Aid training certificate

To get a Tattoo Artist Apprentice Card, you must have:
  • Birth certificate or US passport to prove US Citizenship
  • High school diploma or GED (or equivalent)
  • Training should include at least 2 hours of instruction
  • Training should cover sanitation, infection control, and sterilization

If you plan to practice in Lancaster County, you must also be licensed by the Lancaster County Health Department. Find information about that license here.

If your county has additional regulations for body piercing or body art work, you can find the appropriate license application information for your county here

Licensed Tattoo Artists Moving to Nebraska: 

If you hold or have held an individual tattoo artist license in another state, you must still apply as normal for a license in Nebraska. 

However, in addition to the steps listed above, you also need to contact the state(s) in which you are/were licensed and request a certification of your license or similar document. Then you will submit this document with your application.

Turn in Your Application

Mail your application to:
DHHS Licensure Unit
Attn: Body Art
P.O. Box 94986
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509
Or email it to

Make sure to include copies of the following required documents, as well as your fee by check or money order to the above address.

  • Birth certificate or US passport to prove US Citizenship
  • High school diploma or GED (or equivalent)
  • Bloodborne pathogen training certificate
  • Basic first aid training certificatetificate

If your body artist application is complete, you will receive your tattoo artist license in the mail within about 10 days.

Things You Should Know:

In addition to individual artists needing to be licensed, each tattoo establishment must also be licensed in order to practice body piercing and tattoo art.

More information about that process for interested body art facilities can be found 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
  • 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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