Body Art Licensing - MDH

Body Art Licensing

Body Art Regulation
Guest & Temporary/Apprentice Technician Information and Applications
Full Technician Information and Applications
Establishment Information and Applications
Temporary Event Information and Applications
Consumer Information
Complaint Information
Current Body Art Licenses


2016 Legislation

2016 legislation amended several Body Art statutes. The amendments add definitions of direct and indirect supervision; require that technicians receive 60 days notice prior to license expiration; change requirements for proof of age; enact requirements for proof of identification for parents or guardians of minors requesting piercing; and make changes to requirements for individuals seeking full licensure, including:

  • Requiring five hours of bloodborne pathogen training.
  • Requiring 200 hours of tattoo experience for licensure.
  • Requiring 250 piercings under direct supervision and 250 piercings under indirect supervision for licensure.

After December 31, 2016, applicants for licensure as a piercer must show a minimum of 250 piercings under direct supervision and 250 piercings under indirect supervision. Direct supervision means that the supervisor is within five feet and the line of sight of the temporary licensee. Indirect supervision means that the licensed technician is physically present in the establishment.

After December 31, 2016, applicants for licensure as a tattooist must show 200 hours of supervised tattooing. Activities relating to tattooing which previously counted toward the 200 hours will no longer count toward those hours.

Please note:

These new requirement do not apply to applicants who apply for licensure by reciprocity.

These new requirements will also not be applied to applicants who were issued their most recent temporary body art license prior to January 1, 2017. Applicants who were issued their most recent temporary body art license prior to January 1, 2017 need to submit only 200 hours of supervised experience in the area in which they are seeking licensure.

Bloodborne Pathogen Training

MDH does not accept online Bloodborne Pathogen Training from American Heart Association or Red Cross. These classes require additional site specific training that MDH cannot verify is being conducted. These classes are also not testing participants at the conclusion of the training. MDH wants to ensure all technicians are receiving the best educational experiences available to them, while keeping the safety of their consumers in mind. If you have any questions, you can email

Body Art–Public Meetings (updated 9/23/2014)

In 2014, MDH hosted two public meetings to get input from body artist on regulatory requirements. We have compiled discussion statements from artists in the documents listed below:

Please feel free to email with any comments, questions or concerns. We look forward to working together in moving Minnesota to the forefront of safety in the Body Art Community!

Important! FDA Recall

FDA announces recall on certain tattoo inks and needles:

Temporary Licenses

  • Supervision. Temporary Licenses are NOT valid unless in the presence of the listed supervisor. The Minnesota Department of Health will be analyzing  and may deny any applications for temporary licensure with a supervisor that has listed 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.

Gross Misdemeanor

Pursuant to Minnesota Statute 146B.03, Subdivision 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 us, or contact your local police.

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Body Art Regulatory Information:

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Body Art Guest & Temporary Technician Information and Applications:

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Body Art Full Technician Information and Applications:

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Body Art Establishment Information and Applications:

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Body Art Temporary Event Information and Applications:

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Body Art Consumers:

If you are under the age of 18:

You CANNOT get a tattoo in Minnesota—even with the consent of your parent or guardian.

You MAY get a piercing, BUT you will need parent/guardian consent AND your parent/guardian must be present during the procedure. You CANNOT get the following, even with consent: nipple piercing, genital piercing, branding, scarification, suspension, subdermal implantation, microdermal, or tongue bifurcation.

Consumer Information:

Be an informed consumer. Make sure your tattooist or piercer is licensed by MDH, and make sure they are working in a licensed body art establishment.

MN body piercing regulation does not include the piercing of the outer perimeter or the lobe of the ear using a presterilized single-use stud-and-claps ear-piercing system. The single-use stud-and-claps ear-piercing system should not be used to pierce any part of the body besides the lobe of the ear.

MDH does not regulate temporary/henna tattoos. See Additives Used in Henna Tattoo Materials - Potential Health Concerns if you have questions regarding temporary tattoos or if you want instructions on how to report an adverse reaction to a temporary tattoo.

Current Body Art Licenses:

Current Body Art licenses in Excel spreadsheets available for download below:

*Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Section 146B.02, subdivision 9, an establishment located in a jurisdiction which has enacted an ordinance that either meets or exceeds the state statute is exempt from the state licensure requirement. However, regardless of the establishment location all technicians must be licensed. Currently, establishments in the following jurisdictions are exempt from the state licensure requirement for establishments: the Cities of Minneapolis, Maplewood, Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, Brooklyn Park, Minnetonka and New Hope; and the Counties of Anoka, Hennepin, and Steele.

Complaint Information

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Updated Friday, March 17, 2017 at 02:32PM