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Can I donate blood if I have a tattoo?

Yes, you can donate blood if you have tattoos

If you got a tattoo in the last three months, it is completely healed, and was applied by a state-regulated facility, which uses sterile needles and fresh ink—and you meet all blood donor eligibility requirements—you can donate blood! 

The same rules also apply to ear and body piercings. Remember, tattoos also include tattoo “touch-ups” and permanent cosmetic tattoos.

Did you know that California is a state that regulates tattoo shops? That means once healed, you are able to donate blood as long as you meet all the other basic donor requirements.

States that do not regulate tattoo parlors:

• Connecticut • Georgia • Idaho • Maryland • Nevada 
• New York • Pennsylvania • Utah • Wyoming

You need to wait 3 months after getting a tattoo in any of the above states or outside the United States. Set a calendar reminder to donate blood after your 3-month deferral period.

Got Tattoos? Inked up and want to save lives?

Make an appointment to donate blood today or call us at (619) 400-8251.

If you have any questions or for more information, please email Donor Services at

This blog was updated 03.21.2023