Tattoo and Body Art


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The Department of Public Health & Wellness regulates, certifies and inspects all body art studios, including tattoo, permanent make-up, body and ear piercing.  We also register all body art artists in Louisville Metro.  Recently tattoos and body piercing have become mainstream and are viewed by enthusiasts as expressive forms of body art.  Louisville Metro has observed a gradual increase in certified studios over the past ten years.  We certify approximately 51 studios annually including over 302 registered artists. 

NEW! The state of Kentucky now requires all tattoo artists and piercers to complete a bloodborne pathogen class each year. Click HERE for a fact sheet with more information.

What courses can be used to meet the new Bloodborne Pathogen training requirement?

Any course, either online or in person, that is OSHA compliant and the provides opportunity for students to pose questions is sufficient for Tattoo Artists and Piercers. Online training companies should be able to verify whether or not students have access to instructors for subject-matter questions. Many list phone or email support for student questions as part of their curriculum.

Please see below for a short list of compliant online training courses. This is not a complete list; always feel free to contact KY Food Safety at 502-564-7181 if you are unsure that a course meets CFR requirements.

More New Changes for Tattoo Artists and Piercers

Click HERE for a fact sheet that explains updated regulations for jewelry quality for tattoo artists and piercers.

Click HERE for an explanation of NEW FEES for tattoo and piercing studios

Regulations and Statutes:

KY Regulations for Tattooing

KY Regulations for Body & Ear Piercing 

Body Art Studio Certification

There are requirements that must be met before a tattoo and/or body art studio certification can be issued. 

  • Tattoo (including permanent make-up) & Body Piercing Studios. Click here for certification requirements.
  • Ear Piercing Studio
    • Owners must obtain a studio certification from LMPHW prior to operation
    • The annual studio certification fee is $200.00
    • Opening inspection checklist.
    • Call 574-8252 to schedule an appointment for an opening inspection.
  • Mobile Studio - A mobile unit is an establishment on wheels or otherwise mobile. Permitted units pay one yearly fee and may operate statewide. Mobile units may not remain at one location longer than 14 consecutive days.  Click here for plan submittal requirements and plan application.

Temporary Studio

All temporary tattoo and body piercing studio must have a certification to operate.  All temporary tattoo artist and body piercers must have a registration from the local health department prior to commencing operations. Studio registrations are valid, if the establishment complies with regulations, for up to 7 days at one location within a 90 day period.

Click here for an application.
Click here to apply and pay online.
Click here for artist registration.
Click here for the requirements.
Click here for the Temporary Tattoo Studio Checklist

Artist Registration

The Body Art Program registers tattoo artists and body and ear piercers. Anyone engaged in the practice of tattooing or body/ear piercing in Louisville Metro must be registered by the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.


1. $100.00 precertification check or money order payable to:

Louisville Metro Government
Att: Environmental Health Services
400 E. Gray St.
Louisville, KY 40202 

2. Application filled out by artist.
    Note: Tattoo and Body Piercers must be 18 years of age.  Ear piercers must be 16 years of age.

3. Must submit copy of drivers license or photo id.



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