What License Is Needed as a Tattoo Artist in Texas?

In Texas the state requires that the tattoo studio have a license issued by the state, but there are no requirements that individual tattoo artists in the studio receive a license. Further, Texas cities have licensing requirements for businesses. Consult the Texas Department of State Health Services as well as your local city government offices for up-to-date information about licensing requirements.

Tattoo Studio

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, any business that produces indelible marks or figures on the human body must have a license from the state before beginning operations. Businesses that perform such services include tattoo studios, as well as those that perform scarification or permanent body modification.

Artist Requirement

To receive a tattoo license, the business and its tattoo artists must meet specific requirements. The business must maintain a clean facility, and all tattoo artists must practice universal precautions to prevent infections or the spread of infections. The studio must maintain sterilization records and have a routine sterilization process in place. Artists may not perform tattoos or modifications on people under the influence of drugs or alcohol, must maintain records for all those receiving a tattoo and must report any infections or adverse reactions to the Department of Health Services.

Local Requirements

Apart from the state requirements for tattoo studio licensing, individual cities and localities in the state have also adopted various license requirements that may apply. For example, the city of Arlington requires all businesses to receive an occupancy permit. Further, tattoo parlors are limited to specific areas of the city zoned as "CS" or community service zones.

New Locations

If you've been working at a licensed tattoo parlor in Texas and subsequently move to a new location, the license does not travel with you. Texas tattoo parlor licenses are address-specific, meaning if the business relocates the owner must obtain a new license for the new location. Further, if you open a new tattoo studio, you must obtain a new license even if you already own a studio or have worked in a licensed studio.


About the Author

Roger Thorne is an attorney who began freelance writing in 2003. He has written for publications ranging from "MotorHome" magazine to "Cruising World." Thorne specializes in writing for law firms, Web sites, and professionals. He has a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas.