How to Get a Tattoo License – Oregon

Oregon requires a license for tattoo artists. You can obtain a license by graduating from an Oregon licensed tattooing career school, or by reciprocity to show that you currently hold a license as a tattoo artist.

Oregon body art by tattoo artist

A standard Oregon tattoo artist license costs $50. 

A license obtained by reciprocity (i.e. obtained from an existing license) costs $150.

Licenses are valid for one year from the month they were issued. Renewing a tattoo license online costs $45. Renewing it in person or by mail costs $50.

Oregon Licensing Requirements: Tattoo Artist Application

oregon licensing requirements pursuant form from oregon health authority

To get a tattoo license in Oregon, you’ll need to submit the following completed application form prescribed by the Health Licensing Office:

A completed Tattoo Artist License Application (application here)

If getting your license with the reciprocity pathway, you’ll need an Affidavit of Licensure Request form (form here).

 Photocopies of 2 Forms of ID

Must have your current legal name

One must have your picture on it

 Proof that you are 18 or older. (Find acceptable forms of ID here.)

Proof of having a high school diploma or GED

Proof you’ve completed blood borne pathogens training from an Health Licensing Office approved provider* (approved training here); this certification must be kept up to date for working with blood and other potentially infectious materials.

Proof you’ve completed a CPR and basic first aid training from an Health Licensing office approved provider (approved training here); this certification must be kept up to date for current first aid training.

Provide documentation of completing a qualifying pathway (either an Oregon licensed tattoo school or reciprocity).

If you go through tattoo school, you’ll need to:

Submit official transcript from the Oregon licensed career school.

Pay the $50 examination fee.

Submit passing score of an Health Licensing Office approved written examination within two years of applying.

Pay the $50 required license fee.

If you use reciprocity:

If the training required for your previous license is not close enough to Oregon’s tattoo school requirement, you will have to submit documentation showing proof that you’ve been working as a tattoo artist for the last 3 out of 5 years or 5 years out of the last 10 years. (Proof can be tax documents, employer letters, and business licensing.)

Pay the $50 exam fee.

Submit a passing score of an Health Licensing Office approved written exam within two years of applying.

Pay the $150 license application fee.

If your county has additional regulations for body art practitioners, you can find them here.

To get a tattoo license in Oregon, you’ll need to submit the following completed application form prescribed by the Health Licensing Office:

  • A completed Tattoo Artist License Application (application here)
  • If getting your license with the reciprocity pathway, you’ll need an Affidavit of Licensure Request form (form here).
  •  Photocopies of 2 Forms of ID
  • Must have your current legal name
  • One must have your picture on it
  •  Proof that you are 18 or older. (Find acceptable forms of ID here.)
  • Proof of having a high school diploma or GED
  • Proof you’ve completed blood borne pathogens training from an Health Licensing Office approved provider* (approved training here); this certification must be kept up to date for working with blood and other potentially infectious materials.
  • Proof you’ve completed a CPR and basic first aid training from an Health Licensing office approved provider (approved training here); this certification must be kept up to date for current first aid training.
  • Provide documentation of completing a qualifying pathway (either an Oregon licensed tattoo school or reciprocity).
  • If you go through tattoo school, you’ll need to:
  • Submit official transcript from the Oregon licensed career school.
  • Pay the $50 examination fee.
  • Submit passing score of an Health Licensing Office approved written examination within two years of applying.
  • Pay the $50 required license fee.
  • If you use reciprocity:
  • If the training required for your previous license is not close enough to Oregon’s tattoo school requirement, you will have to submit documentation showing proof that you’ve been working as a tattoo artist for the last 3 out of 5 years or 5 years out of the last 10 years. (Proof can be tax documents, employer letters, and business licensing.)
  • Pay the $50 exam fee.
  • Submit a passing score of an Health Licensing Office approved written exam within two years of applying.
  • Pay the $150 license application fee.

If your county has additional regulations for body art practitioners, you can find them here.

Note:

Visit our article “What Does Tattoo School Teach? Can You Get Licensed?” to see what training is covered by Oregon tattoo school, and what additional training you might need.

Transferring a Tattoo License from Another State:

If you are moving from Oregon to another state, you can fill out an Affidavit of Licensure Request to have the Oregon Health Licensing Office send verification of your license to another state. 

If you need a temporary license, you can apply here. A temporary license cannot be used for longer than 30 days.

Turn in Your Application

Applications must be submitted by mail. You can mail them to:

1430 Tandem Ave. NE
Suite 180
Salem, OR 97301-2192

After you have passed your test, the license will be mailed to you.

If You Are Opening Your Own Body Art Facility:

As a licensed facility owner, your shop will be inspected regularly for safety, infection control, and sterilization requirements. You will also need to pay the required license fee ($250, including application fee).

You have to show the license clearly somewhere on the facility premises, and you can only hire tattoo artists who have been licensed by the state. 

You can find the application here

If you need an event facility license (temporary facility), you can find the application here

Learning From Oregon Tattoo Schools:

The state of Oregon requires that all body art practitioners submit documentation that they’ve attended a tattoo school (or have had similar training or experience in another state).

Tattoo schools have a required tattooing curriculum that covers the following topics:

Safety:

  • What good Personal protection equipment look like
  • Using sterile or distilled water
  • Proper hand washing
  • How to handle service related waste
  • Appropriate equipment sanitation

You will also be directed to go through blood borne pathogens training.

Practical Training:

Note:

Tattoo schools do not teach advanced tattooing techniques or tattoo artistry. You can find additional tattoo training 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
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.

write a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

SUGGESTED ARTICLES FOR YOU

MORE FREE CONTENT FOR YOU
September 13, 2022

Designing a hand tattoo is different than drawing for an arm or ...

How to Design a Hand Tattoo
July 13, 2022

Kentucky does not require a state license to be a tattoo artist. ...

How to Get a Tattoo License – Kentucky

Our Community

Join the Tattooing 101 Community today and get free, instant access to tools and resources that take you behind the curtain of all things tattooing. From apprentice to shop owner, we've got you covered.