Final phase of DOL’s new professional and business licensing service available June 29

June 18, 2020

DOL logoThe Department of Licensing (DOL) will roll out the final phase of its professional and business licensing system’s technology modernization project on Monday, June 29.

“Our new license renewal system will benefit all of our professional licensees, and allow them to manage their licenses and renewal online,” said Jennifer Clawson, DOL’s assistant director of the Business and Professions Division.

The agency’s professional and business licensing system will be temporarily shut down for 10 days, from June 19 through June 28, to ensure a successful transition to the new system. During the outage, customers will be unable to process any professional or business license applications or renewals.

This system replacement improves and expands convenient online services for professional license holders such as real estate brokers, cosmetologists, tattoo artists, and security guards. The new system will allow them to:

  • Pay license fees using more online payment options
  • Self-print licenses
  • Check application or renewal status
  • Manage account information

The new system includes extra security features to protect customer data and an online option for the public to submit complaints and look up the status of a professional license.

Starting June 29, this phase will include the following programs:

  • Auctioneers
  • Bail bonds
  • Body art, body piercing, and tattoo
  • Combative sports
  • Commercial driver license schools
  • Cosmetology and cosmetology schools
  • Court reporters
  • Driver training schools
  • Employment agencies
  • Home inspectors
  • Motorcycle training schools
  • Private investigators
  • Private security guards
  • Real estate brokers, managing brokers, firms, and schools

The first phase, completed in November 2019, included the following programs:

  • Appraisers and appraisal management companies
  • Architects
  • Camping resorts and timeshares
  • Engineers
  • Funeral and cemeteries
  • Geologists
  • Land surveyors
  • Landscape architects
  • Notaries
  • On-site wastewater

Make sure your tattoo artist has a license to ink

May 31, 2013
DOL image

DOL image

OLYMPIA — Before getting the tattoo you’ve always dreamed about, the Department of Licensing recommends you choose a tattoo artist and shop carefully so you don’t leave with more than just a work of body art.

“Getting a tattoo can be a great experience if the tattoo artist is properly licensed and following all of the safety and sanitation rules,” said Teresa Berntsen, Deputy Director of the Department of Licensing.

State law requires all tattoo shops and artists to be licensed.  Tattoo shops must follow very strict safety and sanitation rules to protect customers from the spread of disease and infection, and are subject to inspection every two years, or upon receipt of a consumer complaint. Tattoo artists must be at least 18 years old, and have a current blood borne pathogens certificate.

It’s important to remember tattooing presents a potential for infections and allergic reactions. Berntsen recommends customers take a few common sense precautions:

  • Look at shop owner and tattoo artist licenses to make sure they are current.
  • Check the shop for overall cleanliness.  Make sure that work surfaces, equipment, and towels are clean.
  • Feel free to question the shop owner and tattoo artist about their sanitation and safety procedures.
  • Make sure that items such as needles, stencils, pigments, dyes, razors and products used to control blood flow are only used once and disposed of properly. Some equipment may be re-used if the parlor follows proper sanitizing and sterilizing procedures.
  • Make sure the artist properly covers equipment that might come in contact with the customer, including tattoo machines and electrical cords.
  • Be sure the artist washes their hands and wears gloves throughout the tattoo application.
  • Do not get a tattoo in someone’s kitchen or living room. The shop should have an outside entrance separate from any rooms used for sleeping or residential purposes.
  • Do your homework when choosing your artist.  Every artist has their own style so be sure to choose the artist who will give you the tattoo you want.

If you have concerns about whether or not a tattoo shop or artist is licensed, go to the department’s website at http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/checkstatus.html.  Consumers can file a complaint by calling (360) 664-6660.

The Department of Licensing has produced a new video titled, Tattoo Safety. It appears below.




FAST FACT: DOL also regulates more than 30 professions

August 15, 2011
courtesy: Seattle Times/ NW Jobs
Tatoo artist Hanz Zarate of Pierced Hearts Tattoo Parlor in Seattle. (Seattle Times photo by Michelle Archer)

While most everyone knows we issue driver licenses, ID cards and vehicle tabs, an often overlooked area of the Department of Licensing’s responsibilities is business and professional licensing.  We regulate 34 professions that represent more than 264,000 active licensees. 

A recent  Seattle Times article provides a great overview of our programs.


DOL is more than just driver licenses and car tabs

November 29, 2010

Every working day, DOL is serving Washington residents. The agency licenses and regulates drivers, vehicles and vessels and works with law enforcment to ensure our roadways and the traveling public is safe.

But there’s a whole other side of the agency that isn’t as obvious, but is critical to consumer protection in our state. DOL licenses and regulates 30 different professions, and issues business licenses through the Master License Service.

Each year, we:

  • Manage about 262,000 professional licenses.
  • Register nearly 4,000 complaints regarding professional licenses.
  • Issue over 3,000 cosmetology operator licenses for cosmetologists, barbers, manicurists, and estheticians.

  • Licensing for body art, tattoo, and body piercing starts July 1

    June 30, 2010

    by Christine Anthony

    Tattoo and body artists and body piercers across the state can begin applying for their industry’s new professional licenses starting this month.

    The Legislature directed DOL to create a tattoo, body piercing, and body art licensing program in 2009 as a measure to protect public health. The law requires tattoo artists, body piercers, and permanent makeup cosmetic technicians to get and maintain a state license. Business establishments where these services are offered also must obtain a license.

    The new regulations and licensing information are posted on the Department of Licensing website at www.dol.wa.gov/business/tattoo.