Apply for a permit to perform body art

Get a license to become a tattoo, body piercing, or permanent cosmetics practitioner.

What to do

1. Complete the application packet

2. Pay the application fee

Write a check or money order for the application fee to the SF Department of Public Health.

3. Provide additional documents

  • Driver's license or photo ID
  • Current blood-borne pathogens training certificate (that meets the Cal OSHA requirement of at least 2 hours of instruction)
  • Hepatitis vaccination certificate or completed declination form

4. Gather and submit your application materials

Deliver your materials in person or by mail to:

Department of Public Health

Environmental Health Branch
Tattoo, Body Piercing and Permanent Cosmetics
49 South Van Ness Ave., Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94103
View location on google maps

What to expect

  1. After we process your application, we will email you a temporary permit.
  2. You will get a bill from the Tax Collector.
  3. Once you pay the annual license fee, the Tax Collector will send you your annual license by mail.
  4. We will mail you a permit to operate.

You will need to renew your license and pay the annual license fee each year. The Tax Collector will mail you your renewal bill. If you move, make sure to update your mailing address.

Get help

Last updated April 16, 2024