How to Get a South Dakota Tattoo License

There is no state license required to be a tattoo artist. However, you may require a license or certification from your local South Dakota department of health. Visit your local site here.

South Dakota body art by tattoo artist

The following information is for Sioux Falls, where a license is required. The license costs $60.

The tattoo license needs to be renewed annually. All licenses expire on December 31st each year. It costs $60 to renew the license.

The Application

To get a tattoo license in Sioux Falls, you must submit:

Certificate of completion from a Blood-Borne Pathogens Training. (Find resources for BBP training here and here.) 

Copy of ID (such as driver’s license or Government-issued ID). It must show proof of age along with height, weight, eye and hair color, and sex.

To get a tattoo license in Sioux Falls, you must submit:
  • Certificate of completion from a Blood-Borne Pathogens Training. (Find resources for BBP training here and here.)
  • Copy of ID (such as driver’s license or Government-issued ID). It must show proof of age along with height, weight, eye and hair color, and sex.

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

Turn in Your Application

Applications can be submitted by mail or in person. The address is:

224 W. Ninth St.
City Hall
Sioux Falls, SD

Licenses usually take about a week to be issued. 

Tattoo and Body Piercing Establishments: South Dakota Department of Health Laws

 The South Dakota department of health has a set of requirements for all tattoo, tattoo removal, and body piercing establishments. Below is a quick summary; however, you can find the full text on the state website by clicking on each category.

  • Non-porous floors, walls, and ceilings
  • Good lighting
  • 60 square feet of space for one tattoo or body piercing artist (additional booths can be 40 square feet)
  • You must have a sink with warm, potable, running water
  • You must have soap, single use paper towels and/or air hand dryer (cloth towels are not acceptable)
  • You must have a toilet in your studio for both artists and customers 
  • General-use equipment (chairs, tables, etc.) must be made of non-porous materials; cleaning must be easy
  • Trash cans must have liners and lids
  • No animals except for service animals
  • No smoking, eating, or drinking
  • Ensure regular cleaning of the shop
  • To ensure safe practice and sanitation methods, every shop offering tattoo and piercing services must go through an inspection once a year from the South Dakota department of health.
  • You must have an autoclave that follows these regulations or use single-use equipment that is disposed of after coming into contact with a client’s skin.

If you are a tattoo or body piercing artist, you can find additional information about providing safe services here.

Things You Should Know:

 It is illegal to tattoo anyone under the age of 18 without written consent from a parent or legal guardian.

Bloodborne pathogen training course / infectious diseases education
Bloodborne pathogen training course / infectious diseases education
South Dakota Department of health rules for tattoo and body piercing services and equipment:

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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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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