Virginia Tattoo License

Virginia Tattoo License

Generally, all artists who want to operate in the tattoo industry must first obtain a Virginia Tattoo License. However, before heading to the licensing office, you must first ensure that you are eligible and verify your training and experience. The process is not as difficult as many people think. It is only a matter of taking the right measures. And this article will walk you through them.

How to Get a License to Tattoo?

Applicants seeking certification must meet specific entry qualifications such as:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Complete an educational program and an apprenticeship
  • Have an active health certificate
  • Pass board approved test
  • Have a business permit (if working on their own business)

Let’s discuss each of them fully.

Board Approved Training

VA law mandates you to complete a course of study. The VA Board for Barbers and Cosmetology regulates the whole process. You are to attend one of the licensed schools and take 750 hours of lessons. Apprenticeship is also a part of your required education. You should have a 1500-hour apprenticeship in a certified parlor. In some cases, students get paid while they do on-the-job training. However, many professional artists offering traineeship programs charge for their services.

Anyone who has finished an approved course or apprenticeship is eligible to sit for the test.

Preparing for the latter is the next step.

Examination for Virginia Tattoo License

Once you have completed the required hours in one of the schools, you will be able to pass an examination. The board or a designated testing service may administer it.

To begin, create an account in PSI. Then, fill in the appropriate information. Finally, attach the payment receipt. You can schedule your exam once you have received a confirmation e-mail from PSI. There are both theoretical and practical questions. Pay $86 for the written test and $86 for the practical one. The questions include, but are not limited to:

  • Practices of body art
  • Health and sanitation standards
  • Design theory
  • Customer service
  • Practical usage of the coil machine
  • Knowledge of general business management principles


You can begin the application process after you have successfully passed the tests. The fee is $95, and you must include the following documents:

  • Certificate of training completion
  • Proof of an apprenticeship completion
  • Certification in Bloodborne Pathogens, CPR, and First Aid
  • Verification of successful examination
  • Passport size color photo

If you are unable to apply online you can mail the form to:

Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation

PSI Services LLC – VA Barber Cosmetology Program

P.O. Box 887

Wheat Ridge, CO 80034


A tattoo license in Virginia is valid for two years. The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation will send a notice before the expiration highlighting the procedures to follow. Meeting the continuing education requirement is the most important aspect of renewing the permit. It means you must complete at least 5 hours of health education as well as specific tattooing topics.

Generally, the renewal fee is $95. It’s nonrefundable.

How to transfer the license to VA?

You can transfer your permit from another state to VA if you already have one. You should submit an endorsement application and pay a charge of $95. Board requires you to provide a current permit issued by another state. Your training and exam should be substantially equivalent to Virginia’s requirement.

Nune G

Nune G

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