After getting a tattoo, can I donate blood?

It is a common misconception that having a tattoo prevents you from donating blood.

The truth is that most people with tattoos can donate blood, provided they don’t have certain diseases.

It may take up to 12 months for a person to donate blood after getting a tattoo. The purpose of this is to ensure that they have not developed any diseases as a result of getting the tattoo.

Learn about blood donation rules and how long to wait after getting a tattoo in this article.

Is it possible to donate blood if you have a tattoo?

If you don’t have any risk factors that prohibit or limit blood donation, most people with tattoos are able to donate blood.

Those who get tattoos in regulated facilities that do not reuse ink can give blood right away.

A person who gets a tattoo in a state without a license must wait 12 months to make sure that they did not contract a contagious disease.

There are no tattoo licenses in the following states:

  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

Individuals who get tattoos in prison, those who apply their own tattoos, and those who get tattoos in states with regulations but from unregulated artists or facilities must also wait before donating blood.

Can you donate blood at any time?

Before donating blood, a person must wait 12 months after receiving a tattoo in an unregulated facility. Hepatitis is a risk.

Inflammation of the liver is known as hepatitis. People with serious health issues are especially vulnerable to hepatitis B and C, which are highly contagious and potentially deadly.

These forms of hepatitis can be contracted by coming into contact with blood that contains them. During or after blood donation, this may occur.

Hepatitis symptoms can take up to 6 months to appear after exposure.

The 12-month waiting period ensures that a person with the disease does not donate blood and inadvertently spread the hepatitis virus.

A person who gets a tattoo in a regulated and licensed facility does not need to wait to give blood afterward.


Life can be saved by donating blood. It is still possible to donate blood even if you have a recent tattoo.

Different states have different regulations and may require a person to wait 12 months before donating.

Information about upcoming blood drives can be obtained from your local American Red Cross.


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