West Virginia Tattoo Artist License Laws

West Virginia does not require tattoo artists to be licensed. Tattoo shops must apply for a permit in their county.

Note:

It is highly recommended that all tattoo artists go through a bloodborne pathogens training course, as well as learn to tattoo on fake skin first.

Tattoo and Body Piercing Studios Registration | West Virginia State Code

If you want to open your own shop, you must register as a tattoo studio business with the West Virginia department of health.

Get Registered as a Tattoo Studio Business

To get your tattoo studio permit, you’ll need to take the following steps:

Get a West Virginia business registration certificate and register with the local or regional board of health.

Apply to get inspected by your local or regional board of health.

If you are in compliance, you will be given an operating permit. Tattoo studios and body piercing studios are required to display this permit where it is clearly visible.

Pay the $200 permit fee.  

To get your tattoo studio permit, you’ll need to take the following steps:
  • Get a West Virginia business registration certificate and register with the local or regional board of health.
  • Apply to get inspected by your local or regional board of health.
  • If you are in compliance, you will be given an operating permit. Tattoo studios and body piercing studios are required to display this permit where it is clearly visible.
  • Pay the $200 permit fee.  

Note:

Before you get inspected by a local health department representative, make sure you have all the tattoo equipment you need and that you are following all the operational requirements. (For example, wearing disposable latex examination gloves and using a proper germicidal or soap solution.) Find Body Art Studios operation standards here.

Things You Should Know:

You cannot tattoo a minor without written parental consent, a copy of their ID, and having the parent/guardian present during the tattoo procedure. You cannot tattoo anyone under 16 at all, even with parental consent. Find more information on this law 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
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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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