JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A policy change by The Blood Alliance will allow people who receive tattoos at licensed facilities in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina to donate blood sooner.

"Recent regulatory changes requiring licensing of establishments and artists applying tattoos in the State of Florida now allow donors an opportunity to donate blood," Odette Struys of The Blood Alliance wrote in a release. 

The tattoos must be completely healed -- which takes about one month. Previously, a one-year wait was required due to concerns about Hepatitis infection.

The Blood Alliance anticipates its pool of donors to increase annually by about 3 percent and will be particularly significant in blood drives at high schools and colleges, along with military bases, which have seen a greater deferral rate due to the previous tattoo regulations.

To make an appointment to donate, visit igiveblood.com, download the free iPhone and Android app, or call The Blood Alliance at 888-99-TBA HERO.