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How To Apply


Note: guest artists must contact us at least three weeks prior to arrival to discuss licensing requirements.

The department issues both apprentice and professional licenses for tattoo artists and body piercers.

To qualify for an apprentice license, you must:

  • Complete a department-approved course in anatomy and physiology. 
  • Attend classroom training and receive certification in disease transmission / blood-borne pathogens, basic first-aid, and adult CPR. 
  • Maintain the above certifications for the duration of your license.
  • Arrange to mentor with a qualified Cambridge body art practitioner who will direct and oversee your apprenticeship.
  • Understand and agree to comply with all applicable requirements of the Cambridge Body Art regulation.

To qualify for a professional license, you must:

  • Complete a two-year apprenticeship program under the supervision of a professional practitioner, or demonstrate two years of full-time experience as a professional body art practitioner.
  • Understand and agree to comply with all applicable requirements of the Cambridge Body Art regulation.

For more information, see Body Art Practitioners: Frequently Asked Questions.


All body art establishments must be inspected prior to licensure. Department staff conduct a comprehensive inspection of the physical space and review the establishment's operating and safety procedures. The inspection ensures that all body art activities conducted in the establishment comply with regulations, and will not negatively impact the public health of the community.

Inspections are conducted every six months, or when changing conditions warrant one.

Establishment license renewals are due each year by May 31. You can prepare for renewal by completing the Self-Audit Form.

For more information, see Body Art Establishments: Frequently Asked Questions.

Last updated on February 10, 2020


For more information about body art licensure, please contact:

Sammi Chung, MS
Public Health Compliance Specialist
Cambridge Public Health Department


Cambridge Public Health Department
119 Windsor Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-665-3800 (main)
617-665-3888 (fax)
617-643-0744 (TTY)

Hours: Monday-Friday:
8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
After Hours

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Derrick Neal
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Cambirdge Health Alliance

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