How to Get a Wisconsin Tattoo License

All tattooists in Wisconsin must hold a Practitioner's license. It costs $60 to get your Tattooist license. 

Licenses expire on June 30th of each year. Your license may be renewed online here. It costs $60 to renew your tattooist license.

You may request a fee reduction with this form if your federal adjusted gross income is at or below 180% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Requirements

To get a tattooist license in Wisconsin, you must

Submit an application online

The application will ask you to indicate the name, address, phone number, and email of the shop you will be tattooing in.

Pay the $60 fee 

Getting vaccinated against Hepatitis B is highly recommended for all body piercing, tattoo, and permanent makeup practitioners.

Taking a bloodborne pathogens course and getting certified is highly recommended for all tattoo, body piercing, and permanent makeup practitioners. 

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

To get a tattooist license in Wisconsin, you must

  • The application will ask you to indicate the name, address, phone number, and email of the shop you will be tattooing in. 
  • Pay the $60 fee  
  • Getting vaccinated against Hepatitis B is highly recommended for all body piercing, tattoo, and permanent makeup practitioners.
  • Taking a bloodborne pathogens course and getting certified is highly recommended for all tattoo, body piercing, and permanent makeup practitioners.  

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

Turn in Your Application

Complete your license application and any applicable fees. (At the time of writing, the application fee is $60).

Once your application and fee are received in the mail by your local health department, license/permit specialists review and enter the application information into a database. Application data entry may take approximately up to three weeks after receipt during normal processing times, or up to six weeks during peak workloads.

An email notification is sent to the applicant with an application ID number and a link to view the application status online once the data entry is completed.

When all requirements are met, the application process is complete. An email notification is sent to the applicant noting the license/permit has been granted including instructions on how to print a copy of the license/permit online. The DSPS will not mail a hard copy of the license.

Permanent Makeup:

Wisconsin defines tattooing as follows: “To insert pigment under the surface of the skin of a person, by pricking with a needle or otherwise, so as to produce an indelible mark or figure through the skin.”

Because of this, permanent makeup artists fall under the tattooist permit. 

Body Piercing:

body piercer

In the state of Wisconsin, body piercing is defined as: “perforating any human body part or tissue, except an ear, and to place a foreign object in the perforation to prevent the perforation from closing.”

Tattoo/Body Piercing Establishment

A license is required for any establishment where tattooing or body piercing activities occur. 

Licenses expire and must be renewed before June 30th of each year to continue providing professional services. 

To become a licensed establishment:

  • Look at this list. If your county is listed, you need to contact your local health department for further instructions.
  • Submit this application form to DSPS.
  • Pay applicable fees ($135 for tattoo or body piercing. $220 for tattoo and body piercing). Click here for the fax payment form.
  • Schedule a Pre-Licensing Inspection* (they’ll call you after processing your application).  
  • Talk with your local zoning authority to make sure your property is approved for business use.

* Your county health department will perform an environmental health inspection. Some counties do not offer this service. If your county does not, you need to contact DSPS. Find your county’s phone number here.

Things You Should Know:

No person under 18 years of age may be tattooed.

Tattoo Establishments must also be licensed. The process for this may be found here.

Things You Should Know:

No person under 18 years of age may be tattooed.

Tattoo Establishments must also be licensed. The process for this may be found
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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  • 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.

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