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Permits, violations & licenses

Apply for a body artist certification

The Department of Public Health approves the operation of body art establishments and certifies body artists in Philadelphia. Body art includes:

  • Tattooing.
  • Body piercing.
  • Permanent make-up.
  • Microblading.


Anyone who wants to work as a body artist or body art apprentice in Philadelphia must be certified.


The certificate costs $40 for body artists and body art apprentices.

If you lose your certificate, a replacement certificate costs $65. You must include a written statement of why you need a replacement with your application.

A temporary body artist certificate costs $10.

You can pay using a money order payable to Philadelphia Health Dept. – EHS.


To apply for a body art artist/apprentice certificate, you must submit:

  • A completed application for a body art artist/apprentice certificate.
  • For a body art apprentice, a letter signed by both the artist and the apprentice stating that the certified body art artist is taking on the applicant as a body art apprentice.
  • Official documentation stating that you have been conducting this work full time for at least three years (for new Philadelphia body art artists only).
  • A copy of your blood-borne pathogen certification (for artists only).

To apply for a temporary body art artist certificate (to work in Philadelphia for seven days or fewer), you must submit: