NH Tattoo License Laws

New Hampshire has very specific requirements for those who want to apply for a body art license. 

In this article, we will go over the steps necessary to make sure you are fully prepared when applying.

NH Tattoo License Basics

To perform tattoos or do body piercing or other permanent cosmetics in the state of New Hampshire, you must hold a Body Artist license issued by the state of New Hampshire. A Body Art license costs $110.

State of New Hampshire tattoo licenses expire on the last day of your birth month in odd-numbered years. Renewing a Body Art license costs $110.

(For example, if your birthday is April 12th and you obtained your license in 2022, then your license would expire on April 30, 2023.)

The Application Process for Tattoo Artists in NH

To become a tattoo artist in New Hampshire, you must first complete an apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed body artist and do permanent cosmetics.

To apply to be a tattoo apprentice, you must submit:

Completed Body Art License Application (available at the county and state office of health)

Recent 2”x 2” photograph of your face

$110 fee by cash, check, or money order

Documentation of the completion of a course in sterilization that covers methods and techniques for the proper sterilization of instruments and materials used in tattooing

Provide a passport-style photo. This should clearly show your face and any defining features.

Proof of supervision that includes:

The name, mailing address, including city, state, and zip code, and telephone number of your licensed supervisor

A copy of your supervisor’s New Hampshire Body Art license

A letter signed and dated by your supervisor saying they agree to train you

Your tattoo apprenticeship (training) should be a minimum of 1500 hours of training within 12 months (one year) under the direct supervision of the licensed tattoo artist who has agreed to supervise you.

Once your apprenticeship at the tattoo shop is complete, you will apply for your tattoo license by submitting:

Recent 2”x 2” photograph of your face

$110 fee by cash, check, or money order

Documentation of the completion of a course in sterilization that covers methods and techniques for the proper sterilization of instruments and materials used in tattooing  

A signed letter from your supervisor confirming that you have completed your apprenticeship

If your county has additional regulations for NH apprentice tattoo artists seeking professional licensure, you can search them here.

To transfer your tattoo artist license from another state, you must submit:

Copies of all licenses from the last 3 years 

Not all states require an occupational license in order to work at a tattoo shop.

If that is the case and your state did not require a tattoo license, you will need to meet the following New Hampshire requirements instead:

A signed statement from a state official affirming that the state does not require licensure

The name, address, and phone number of the place(s) of employment 

The months and years worked

Copies of business records, tax returns, or pay stubs for the months of employment providing proof of at least 1500 hours of employment per year

The owner’s or manager’s name and phone number

A signed statement from the owner or manager verifying the employment history at their tattooing establishment

To apply to be a tattoo apprentice, you must submit:
  • Recent 2”x 2” photograph of your face
  • $110 fee by cash, check, or money order
  • Documentation of the completion of a course in sterilization that covers methods and techniques for the proper sterilization of instruments and materials used in tattooing
  • Proof of supervision that includes:
  • The name, mailing address, including city, state, and zip code, and telephone number of your licensed supervisor
  • A copy of your supervisor’s New Hampshire Body Art license
  • A letter signed and dated by your supervisor saying they agree to train you

Your tattoo apprenticeship (training) should be a minimum of 1500 hours of training within 12 months (one year) under the direct supervision of the licensed tattoo artist who has agreed to supervise you.

Once your apprenticeship at the tattoo shop is complete, you will apply for your tattoo license by submitting:
  • Recent 2”x 2” photograph of your face
  • $110 fee by cash, check, or money order
  • Documentation of the completion of a course in sterilization that covers methods and techniques for the proper sterilization of instruments and materials used in tattooing  
  • A signed letter from your supervisor confirming that you have completed your apprenticeship

If your county has additional regulations for NH apprentice tattoo artists seeking professional licensure, you can search them here.

To transfer your tattoo artist license from another state, you must submit:

  • Copies of all licenses from the last 3 years

Not all states require an occupational license in order to work at a tattoo shop.

If that is the case and your state did not require a tattoo license, you will need to meet the following New Hampshire requirements instead:

  • A signed statement from a state official affirming that the state does not require licensure
  • The name, address, and phone number of the place(s) of employment 
  • The months and years worked
  • Copies of business records, tax returns, or pay stubs for the months of employment providing proof of at least 1500 hours of employment per year
  • The owner’s or manager’s name and phone number
  • A signed statement from the owner or manager verifying the employment history at their tattooing establishment

Turn in Your Tattoo License Application

Mail or hand-deliver your application, photograph, and fee to:
Office of Professional Licensure and Certification
121 South Fruit Street, Suite 303
Concord, NH 03301

Other Options for Handing in Application

Or tattoo artists may apply online for your New Hampshire tattoo license here. You can also search additional requirements for tattooing certification at this link as well.

When Will the License Be Approved?

The executive director will review your tattoo license application and notify you of its legal status within 30 days if you do not meet the tattooing certification requirements as detailed by your health department. If your application is acceptable, the health department will mail your license to the address on your application.

Things You Should Know:

According to the Office of Professional Licensure, minors may not receive tattoos regardless of parental consent. By NH law, violation of the state minimum age/parental consent law is punishable by license revocation or suspension and a fine of up to $2,000. You can be found guilty of a criminal violation for the first offense and a misdemeanor for any offense after that.

Artists at body piercing and tattoo parlor facilities should not accept any clients that appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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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