Body Art Program

The purpose of this program is to protect human health and safety through a program of inspection, complaint investigation, public education and assistance to industry. The program requires the establishment and maintenance of sterile conditions and safe disposal of instruments for the persons engaged in the business of tattooing, body piercing, and the application of permanent cosmetics.

Body Art Facility: The specified building, section of a building, or vehicle in which a practitioner performs or demonstrates for the purpose of instruction, body art, including reception areas, the procedure area, and the decontamination and sterilization area.

Permanent and Mobile Body Art facilities are required to be approved by Environmental Health Services prior to beginning construction or use.

InkSafeSLO provides locations of permitted body art facilities and links to health inspection results. 

Temporary Body Art Events and booths are required to be approved by Environmental Health Services prior to the event.

State laws establishing minimum requirements for body art are provided in the California Safe Body Art Act (Act) which was enacted to provide minimum statewide standards for the regulation of persons engaged in the business of body art in California. Body art includes tattoo, body piercing, branding, and the application of permanent cosmetics. The requirements are intended to protect both the practitioner and the client from transmission of infectious diseases. Inspections will occur at all body art facilities within San Luis Obispo County. The Act resides in the California Health and Safety Code (H&SC), Division 104, Part 15, Sections (§§) 119300-119328.

State legislation requires all practitioners of "body arts," including tattooing, body piercing, and application of permanent cosmetics, to register with Environmental Health Services.

Registration requirements include review and understanding of proposed regulations, completion of an application packet, and payment of a registration fee.

Please note, possession of a health permit to operate a Body Art Facility does not fulfill the requirement for practitioner registration. Owners of Body Art Facilities who perform body art activities shall obtain both practitioner registration and a health permit to operate the Body Art Facility.

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