How to Get a Utah Tattoo License

A Tattoo Technician Permit is required to perform tattoos in Utah. Permits are issued by the local health districts, and the requirements vary for each department.

Utah body art by tattoo artist

The below information is for Southwest Utah district. If you are not in Southwest Utah (Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Washington counties), please contact your local health department to find out their requirements to obtain a body artist license.

For Southwest Utah district, Tattoo Technician Permits cost $100. Technician permits must be renewed every 2 years. It costs $100 to renew your technician permit.

The Application Process for Tattoo Artists in Utah

To get a permit for body piercing services or body art in Southwest Utah, you must complete the following requirements:

1

Complete a Tattoo Artist Application

First, you will need to submit a completed Tattoo Technician Permit application.

Submit your application Utah Division of Professional Licensing.

2

State ID$100 Licensing Fee

The application must be accompanied by a $100 licensing fee.

3

Get Vaccinated

Tattoo artists must also submit proof of immunization against hepatitis B. You may be able to turn in a declination form if you have a medical reason to not get vaccinated.

Note:

As a tattoo artist, you may qualify for a free combined hepatitis A & B vaccine per the Adult Hepatitis B Vaccination Initiative.

4

Blood Borne Pathogens Training

The applicant must provide proof of completion of a three-hour blood borne pathogens training course. Bloodborne pathogens training certificate from the American Red Cross must have been completed within the past two years.

  • Find this training here. The cost is $35.00 and the class is entirely online.

5

First Aid and CPR Training Certificate

You will need a current training certificate in first aid and CPR from the American Red Cross completed within the past two years.

Find a First Aid/CPR class here. These courses are often offered by the county's department of public health, too, so check to see if this is something your county offers.

6

Valid Government-Issued ID

You will need to provide a government-issued ID verifying your residence and county of residence (Salt Lake County, Beaver County, Duchesne County, etc).

7

Training Experience as a Tattoo Artist

To work as a tattoo artist in Utah, you will also need one of the following.

  • Three-month apprenticeship with a body art establishment permitted by its local Health Department. You’ll need a written and signed statement from the establishment outlining the apprenticeship training
  • 80 hours of supervised training at a body art establishment permitted by your local Health Department. Training will be documented in hourly increments by the trainer. You must also take an in-person course and it may be credited to the 80 hours. 
  • 30 consecutive months’ work experience as a body artist at a permitted establishment.

These training experiences at a Utah tattoo parlor or body piercing facilities are necessary for tattoo technicians to get licensed.

Note:

The 80 hour training option is not an option for a tattoo artist who does fine line and tiny tattoos. (3-month apprenticeship only.) Check with your county offices or other authorized government agency for more information on how to get a body artist license for this style.

8

List of Body Art/Body Piercing Intentions

You will need to provide the county with a list of the body art techniques you will be practicing at your Utah tattoo parlor (tattooing, piercing, permanent cosmetics, etc.). 

This list is meant to validate that the work you will be doing as a tattoo artist in your tattoo parlor is related to the experience you actually have in that area.

9

Body Artist License Exam

The body piercing and tattoo artist exam is the last step you need to take in getting a body artist license and being approved to work in a Utah tattoo parlor. Again, this is not required by all locations in Utah, so it's important to check with your local city or state guidelines to make sure you are approved to practice as a tattoo artist.

The tattoo artist exam cannot be taken until you have completed all of the other documentation on the list above, so save this as the last step in your journey toward becoming a tattoo artist.

Turn in Your Body Artist License Application

Turn in Your Application

Applications can be mailed or hand delivered to the Southwest Utah Public Health

Department located at

620 S 400 E, St.

George, UT 84770.

Southwest Utah has a 14 business day review period for applications.

Once the application has been reviewed and approved, the applicant will be issued a license, which must be renewed every two years. 

In order to maintain their license, tattoo artists in Utah must complete four hours of continuing education every two years. These requirements help to ensure that Utah's tattoo artists are knowledgeable and up-to-date on the latest safety standards.

Body Piercing

Body piercing generally falls under the same regulations as other kinds of body art (including tattooing).

However, it is important to note that if you plan to offer piercing in your Utah tattoo parlor, you can only offer piercing services that you were specifically trained to perform when receiving your body artist license.

For example, if your training covered ear lobe and ear cartilage piercings, that is all you can do - you can't pierce navels or noses. Also, you must use piercing guns for ear lobe piercings only.

Tattoo/Body Piercing Studios Requirements

You will also need to provide copies of the following patron/client forms that you will use in your establishment:

  • See page 6 here for guidelines on client forms

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

In general, to operate a tattoo shop, you will need to provide copies of all sterilization records and patron forms, such as client consent and disclosure forms, aftercare instructions for each body art service offered as a tattoo artist, and sterilization records for each sterile instrument.

If you purchase pre-packed and pre-sterilized equipment, the record may include invoice numbers, order numbers, etc.

To open a Utah tattoo parlor, you will also need to submit a scale drawing and floor plan of the facility. This will include things like the location of all hand washing sinks, the location of light sources, etc. You'll need to provide a pest management plan and plans for how waste will be disposed of. Cleaning and disinfection plans should be submitted.

You'll need to submit copies of sterilization record forms, information about autoclaves, copies of client consent and disclosure forms, and a list of all inks, needles, anesthetics, etc is used. Don't forget that you will also need to provide copies of aftercare instructions for each body art service to be offered in your facility as well.

Finally, in your application, you'll need to provide a list of all employees (not just each tattoo artist) and their exact duties along with a complete description of all body art services to be performed in your Utah tattoo parlor. You'll have to pay a facility permit fee of $200 and a plan review fee of $125.

Remember that, once your facility is open, you will be subjected to regular health inspections from the county's department of public health. These may be at random and are subject to individual county requirements.

Things You Should Know:

Permits are only valid for the district in which they were issued. A body artist license is valid for two years from the date of issue. If you move to a new district within Utah, you must obtain a new permit.

If you fail to update your body artist license when you move to a new Utah tattoo parlor or a tattoo parlor outside of the state, you will invalidate it. You do not need to pay additional fees in order to update the name of the Utah tattoo parlor when you change it, so make sure you take the time to change this information over.

Body art establishments must be permitted in addition to individual technicians.

Finally, keep in mind that it is illegal in the state of Utah (no matter the county) to perform a tattoo on a minor under the age of 14 years old without legal guardian or parental consent. Performing a tattoo on a minor without legal guardian or parental consent can lead to a revocation of your body artist license.

Things You Should Know:

Permits are only valid for the district in which they were issued. A body artist license is valid for two years from the date of issue. If you move to a new district within Utah, you must obtain a new permit.

If you fail to update your body artist license when you move to a new Utah tattoo parlor or a tattoo parlor outside of the state, you will invalidate it. You do not need to pay additional fees in order to update the name of the Utah tattoo parlor when you change it, so make sure you take the time to change this information over.

Body art establishments must be permitted in addition to individual technicians.

Finally, keep in mind that it is illegal in the state of Utah (no matter the county) to perform a tattoo on a minor under the age of 14 years old without legal guardian or parental consent. Performing a tattoo on a minor without legal guardian or parental consent can lead to a revocation of your body artist license.

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?

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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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