How to Apply for a Tattoo License – Nevada

If you are interested in becoming a body artist in Nevada, there are a few things you need to know. In this article, we will provide you with information on how to apply for a body art license in Nevada.

We will also discuss the requirements and regulations for body artists in Nevada.

Tattoo License Nevada Requirements

Body Art Cards 

Southern Nevada including Laughlin, Clark County, Mesquite, Henderson, and Las Vegas require tattoo artists to have a Body Art Card. Body Art Cards expire after two years. They can be renewed within 60 days before the expiration date.

Fees to Apply

The one time fee for a Body Art Card is $138 ($118 exam fee, $20 card fee). If you miss your exam appointment with no notice, a $239 charge may be applied. 

Fees can be paid via cash, debit, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, money order, cashier’s checks, and business checks at all old and new locations.

The Application

An aspiring tattoo artist must first have a minimum of 6 months of continuous experience in a licensed tattoo shop in Nevada or another state before they can get a permanent Body Art Card. 

Applicants who do not have this experience have to complete a 6-month or longer apprenticeship at a permitted tattoo shop with certified tattoo artists, permanent make up artists, or body piercing practitioners.

Apprentices must have a Body Art Apprentice Card before they can begin their apprenticeship.

To get a Tattoo Artist Apprentice Card, you must have:

An ID proving you are 18 or older

 A score of 80% or higher on the Sanitation Multiple Choice Examination

Schedule an appointment to take the exam here.

Appointments are held in the Food Handler Card Suite at Southern Nevada Health District Main Facility: 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107

The exam includes 30 multiple choice questions.

Find study materials here and here.  

Results will be available immediately and the exam can be retaken. All body art activities must stop until the exam is passed.  

Certification/training that meets the requirements of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. This infectious disease training is essential if you want to be able to pass initial inspection and be able to practice work as a tattoo artist in a safe and sanitary manner. 

Written documentation from the health-permitted tattoo shop providing your tattoo apprenticeship.

To get a Tattoo Artist Apprentice Card, you must have:
  • An ID proving you are 18 or older
  • A score of 80% or higher on the Sanitation Multiple Choice Examination
  • Schedule an appointment to take the exam here.
  • Appointments are held in the Food Handler Card Suite at Southern Nevada Health District Main Facility: 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107
  • The exam includes 30 multiple choice questions.
  • Results will be available immediately and the exam can be retaken. All body art activities must stop until the exam is passed.  
  • Certification/training that meets the requirements of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. This infectious disease training is essential if you want to be able to pass initial inspection and be able to practice work as a tattoo artist in a safe and sanitary manner. 

Plus: Experience Verification Form

After six months, you must submit a completed Experience Verification Form (completed after 6 months of training) and schedule an appointment for a New Body Art Card here.

To apply for a Body Art Card, you must:

Have an ID proving you are 18 or older

Possess a minimum of six months experience or training

Have a score of 80% or higher on the Sanitation Exam

Schedule an appointment to take the exam here.

Appointments are held in the Food Handler Card Suite at Southern Nevada Health District Main Facility: 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107

The exam includes 30 multiple choice questions.  

Find study materials here and here.

Results will be available immediately and the exam can be retaken. All body art activities must stop until the exam is passed.

Possess current certification/training that meets the requirements of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

Schedule an appointment for a New Body Art Card here.

To renew a Body Art Card, you must:

Complete an application in person at: Southern Nevada Health District Main Facility: 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107

Provide proof of valid training that meets the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard completed within the past year.

Schedule an appointment to renew your Body Art Card here.

Late fees will be applied to expired cards. If your card has been expired for over a year, you have to take the exam and pay the licensing fee again

To apply for a Body Art Card, you must:
  • Have an ID proving you are 18 or older
  • Have a score of 80% or higher on the Sanitation Exam
  • Have a score of 80% or higher on the Sanitation Exam
  • Schedule an appointment to take the exam here.
  • Appointments are held in the Food Handler Card Suite at Southern Nevada Health District Main Facility: 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107
  • The exam includes 30 multiple choice questions.  
  • Results will be available immediately and the exam can be retaken. All body art activities must stop until the exam is passed.
  • Schedule an appointment for a New Body Art Card here.

To renew a Body Art Card, you must:

  • Complete an application in person at: Southern Nevada Health District Main Facility: 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107
  • Schedule an appointment to renew your Body Art Card here.
  • Late fees will be applied to expired cards. If your card has been expired for over a year, you have to take the exam and pay the licensing fee again

For the visiting tattoo artist, please fill out this application

If you need a temporary permit before taking the exam, please fill out this application

If your county has additional laws that regulate tattoo artists, permanent makeup artists, body piercers, or even tattoo removal, you can find more information to complement the above requirements here.

Body Art Establishments - Licensing

The northern half of Nevada does not require individuals to be licensed in order to perform tattoos. Only the tattoo or piercing shops need (sometimes called “body art establishments” or “invasive body decoration establishments”) to hold a permit. The process for obtaining a valid health permit may be found here.

In general, tattoo facilities must meet some of the following requirements. This is just a sampling of what you'll need:

Facility Requirements:

  • A free standing hand sink on premises
  • Thorough cleaning of the facility prior to and after tattooing clients
  • To provide artists with detailed education on sanitation and bloodborne pathogens, along with proper tattooing procedures
  • Individual work stations that are separate from where customers are waiting

Things You Should Know:

It is illegal to tattoo a minor or practice microblading or piercing under 14 years old in the state of Nevada, unless it is under the supervision of a medical professional. Minors under 18 require written consent and proper identification of a parent or guardian unless they’ve been legally emancipated. Any tattoos performed on a minor has to be done in the presence of a parent or guardian. 

Answers to other general questions can be found in the links below.

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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