Body Art Technician Licenses
Agency contact information:
Health (MDH), Minnesota Department of
625 Robert St. N.
P.O. Box 64975
St. Paul, MN 55164-0975
(651) 201-5000 | (888) 345-0823 (MN toll free)
Health Occupations Program
Health Occupations Program | P.O. Box 64882 | St. Paul, MN 55164-0882 | (651) 201-3731
Body Art Program
Body Art Licensing | P.O. Box 64882 | St. Paul, MN 55164-0882
Contact Info: Health.BA@state.mn.us
The Minnesota Department of Health is the state's lead public health agency, responsible for protecting, maintaining and improving the health of all Minnesotans.
Body Art Establishment License Application
Provisional Body Art License Application
Body Art Establishment Exemption License Application
Body Art Technician Application
Temporary Body Art Technician License Application
Body Art Licensing Verification of Credential Form
Guest Artist Application
Body Art Temporary Event Permit Application
Application forms are available on the MN Dept. of Health website at Body Art Licensing.
Body art technicians must have a state-issued license to perform either tattooing or piercing. This includes permanent cosmetic tattooing.
As of August 1, 2013, performing body art without a license is a gross misdemeanor.
Download applications from the MN Dept. of Health website at Body Art Licensing. The packets will include one technician licensure application. Body art establishment owners may copy the technician application if there is more than one technician in their establishment. NOTE: each technician must submit their own application for licensure.
Supervision - Temporary Licenses are NOT valid unless the supervisor listed on the temporary application is present. The Minnesota Department of Health may deny any applications for temporary licensure when the listed supervisor already has 2 or more temporary technicians. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines supervision as: "the action or process of watching and directing what someone does or how something is done: the action or process of supervising someone or something." No body art procedures may be performed unless the supervising technician is present and actively supervising.
Hours - Due to concerns about the safety of body art clients, time in excess of 8 hours per day will not be counted toward the 200 supervised hours required to qualify for a full license.
Tattooing - At least 150 of the 200 supervised hours must be skin time. Autoclaving, flash drawing, client consultations, set-ups, and tear-downs may make up the additional hours.
Piercing - After May 1, 2014, licensed temporary piercers will need to log and perform a minimum of 250 supervised piercings before they can seek a full piercing license .
Review the Minnesota Body Art Regulation brochure.
Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 146B.03, Sub. 11, effective August 1, 2013, any individual performing body art without a valid license is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If you are aware of an individual practicing without a license, please complete a Minnesota Body Art Complaint Form and mail it to MDH, or contact your local police.
Initial technician license - $110 including surcharge
Temporary technician license - $110 including surcharge
Technician license - $110 including surcharge
Initial dual technician license - $110 including surcharge
Renewal of technician license - $110 including surcharge
Guest artist license - $55 including surcharge
Penalty fee for late submission for renewal applications - $75
Application for Exemption from State Establishment License: No fee
Establishment license: $1,100 including surcharge
Temporary event establishment permit: $75
Licensing surcharge to be assessed
The Minnesota Legislature passed legislation requiring a 10% surcharge of no less than $5 and no more than $150 on each business, commercial, professional or occupational license. The funding from this surcharge will go to MN.IT Services (formerly Office of Enterprise Technology (OET)), which is establishing an electronic licensing system for the state. The surcharge will be in place through June 30, 2015. See Minn. Stat. § 16E.22.
Period of Issuance:
Temporary technician license: Annual
Technician license or renewal of technician license: Biennial
Temporary guest artist license: Effective for no more than 30 days.
Establishment license: 3 years
Temporary establishment permit: Effective no more than 21 days
Provisional establishment licenses: Expire when the establishment license is issued. During the provisional period, MDH will conduct an inspection. When MDH determines the establishment meets the license requirements, a regular establishment license will be issued at no additional fee.
Length of Determination Process:
Contact the MN Dept. of Health for further details.
Other Pertinent Information:
As of July 1, 2010, a person under the age of 18 CANNOT get a tattoo in Minnesota—even with consent of their parent or guardian.
As of July 1, 2010, a person under the age of 18 MAY get a piercing. BUT, the person will need parental/guardian consent AND the parent/guardian MUST be present during the procedure. A person under the age of 18 CANNOT get the following, even with consent: nipple piercing, genital piercing, branding, scarification, suspension, subdermal implantation, microdermal, or tongue bifurcation.