Under NH law, tattoo artists are required to get an occupational license from the state Office of Professional Licensure and Certification.
Applicants have to apprentice in a tattoo shop, under the supervision of a licensed tattoo artist, for one year before qualifying for the license. They must also complete a course on sterilizing equipment and show proof of a hepatitis B vaccine, or apply for a medical or religious exemption. Get more information about tattoo licenses.
Many other states have similar regulations governing tattooing, though several—such as Louisiana, Illinois and Arizona—do not require a license to be a tattoo artist.
There is currently no effort underway to change New Hampshire's tattoo licensing rules.
Supporters of eliminating New Hampshire’s licensing requirement argue that it can be hard for aspiring tattoo artists to find a shop willing to supervise them through their apprenticeship. They say that eliminating the license requirement would open the market, providing an economic boost and giving artists equal chance to succeed.
Opponents counter that the health risks of tattooing and its permanency mean the state has a responsibility to ensure that only fully qualified and trained individuals are practicing the art. They argue that the current license requirements are not excessive, noting that in some states regulations go even further than in New Hampshire, where only licensed nurses or physicians are allowed to give tattoos.
Do you think NH should eliminate the license requirement for tattoo artists? Leave a comment and have your say.