Oregon Tattoo Laws

Permanent Color Technicians and Tattoo Artists engage in tattooing the skin which is marked or colored by insertion of nontoxic dyes or pigments into or under the subcutaneous portion of the skin using single-use or sterile needles for figurative, cosmetic or medical purposes. Tattoo Artists generally engage in decorative or figurative designs. Permanent Color Technicians generally practice for cosmetic and medical purposes.

Permanent Color Technicians and Tattoo Artists must be at least eighteen years of age with a high school diploma (or GED) and must receive at least 360 hours of training from a career school licensed by the Oregon Department of Education. Professionals moving to Oregon from another state may apply for licensure if they can document two years of full-time experience (or four years of part-time experience) in either occupation.

Fifteen hours of continuing education is required every three years to maintain a valid Oregon license.

Permanent Color Technicians often practice in conjunction with plastic surgeons, dermatologists or cosmetologists and operate small independent businesses while Tattoo Artists operate small businesses and use recreational marketing at county and state fairs and other events.

Body Piercing in Oregon

The 1995 Oregon Legislature enacted licensing of business facilities offering body piercing services and registration of technicians performing body piercing.

Body Piercing is the creation of a permanent hole in the human skin for decorative or cosmetic purposes. In Oregon, technicians are registered and facilities are issued licenses to ensure public protection from poor practices or unsafe sanitary conditions that could transmit infection. Technicians and facility owners adhere to stringent universal precautions for sterilization of needles and equipment, biohazard waste disposal and infection control practices formulated to state and national standards.

Body Piercing facilities are subject to an annual inspection to ensure compliance with statutes and rules.

Body Piercing technicians must be at least eighteen years old and show evidence that they have received training in basic first aid, bloodborne infection control and aftercare procedures. Many Body Piercing technicians learn the occupation by serving as apprentices in established facilities under the training and direct supervision of a registered piercer. Apprentices may only provide support services, as Oregon law requires all Body Piercing technicians to be registered. All Body Piercing services must be provided in licensed facilities. Facility owners must be at least eighteen years old and comply with all applicable state, federal and local regulations for operating a business.

Services for Body Piercing are provided in a number of different settings, ranging from specialized full-body piercing business, to temporary booths established at community festivals and county fairs, to businesses that provide earlobe-only piercing services. Earlobe only piercing businesses such as jewelry stores and large retail stores must still meet the same basic safety and sanitation requirements as full-service piercing facilities.