- Submit proof of being 18+ years of age and complete and submit an application form and pay appropriate fees.
- Submit proof of having a high school diploma or General Education Degree (GED).
- Submit documentation of having completed blood borne pathogens training from an HLO-approved provider.
- Submit documentation of having completed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic first aid training from an HLO-approved provider.
- Provide documentation of completing a qualifying pathway (see below).
Pathway 1: Oregon school
Applicant must graduate from an Oregon licensed tattooing career school after completing the following required training:
- Completion of approved training program including 360 hours of training (210 theory/150 practical), chairside supervision under a licensed tattoo artist.
- Must have documentation showing a minimum of 50 completed procedures (which means "a tattoo that has been finished, including any touchups or additional work following initial healing and the client is released from service")
- Training must be conducted by an Oregon licensed tattoo artist registered as a teacher by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission's Private Career Schools division.
- A registered teacher must provide direct supervision of practical training on a one-to-one student/teacher ratio for students performing practical training while the student is working on the general public. Direct supervision means the teacher is present and actively involved in direct oversight and training of students.
- Licensed tattoo schools must submit official transcripts directly to the Health Licensing Office.
- Take and pass both written and practical examinations.
Pathway 2: Reciprocity
- Submit an affidavit of licensure demonstrating proof of current license, which is active with no current or pending disciplinary action, as a tattoo artist. The licensing requirements in the other state must be substantially equivalent to Oregon's licensing requirements. If they are not substantially equivalent, the applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the HLO that he or she has been employed or working as a tattoo artist full time for three of the last five years. Documentation includes employment-related documents such as paystubs, W-2 Forms and federal tax forms, as well as a letter from employer or employers.
- Pay application and examination fees.
- Submit passing score of an approved written examination.
Tattoo applicants must complete and pass two written exams: the tattooing written examination and the tattooing skills assessment.
Sources used as references for the exam questions are included in the blueprints above, including the Diseases of the Skin Syllabus.
Applicants are required to produce to forms of original identification issued by a federal, state or local government agency of the United States at the time of the examination. One form must be photographic, and the legal names on both pieces must match. See the Identification Requirements page for details.
Examination retake policy
Applicants who fail the written examination after one or more attempts must wait seven days or more before retaking the examination. After the third and sixth failed attempts, applicants must obtain additional training from an Oregon educational institution.
Review requirements for retaking the written examination, including recertification of training.
Blood borne pathogen and CPR information
Blood borne pathogen courses must be compliant with U.S. Federal guidelines 29 CFR 1910.1030 and may be obtained through hands-on, online or blended course instruction.
CPR and First Aid certification courses must be obtained through hands-on training, or blended training that includes a hands-on skills assessment examination for certification. Course provider certifications for these courses must include an evaluator/instructor name and authorization number on the certification card.
Approved CPR, First Aid, and Blood Borne Pathogens Providers
- Tattooing licenses are valid for one year.
- Licensees receive a renewal form in the mail approximately 45 days prior to the license entering inactive status.
- Licensees must attest on the renewal form that they have current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation from an approved provider, current first aid training from an approved provider, and current certification in blood borne pathogens training from an approved provider.
- Licensees must also attest upon renewal that they have obtained required continuing education.
- Renew your license online.
Tattoo Artists Fees