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Body Piercing and Tattooing Guidelines


State Health, Department of

Tattooing and body piercing are regulated by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). Regulations are currently under review.

Tattoo and body piercing businesses need a permit. Individual tattoo and piercing artists need a permit too. In New York City, businesses must also follow rules from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Permits are valid for up to two years.

The following regulations are currently in force:
  • Children under 18 cannot be tattooed under any circumstances. Body piercing of children requires signed parental consent. Consent is not required for piercing children's ears.
  • Businesses must use single-use needles for all procedures.
More rules will be released shortly.

Click the following link to learn about local tattoo requirements in New York City

NYS Department of Health (DOH)

Bureau of Community Environmental Health & Food Protection
Empire State Plaza
Corning Tower, Room 1395
Albany, NY 12237
Phone (800) 458 1158
Fax (518) 485-5414

Or: 1 (800) 458-1158

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DoHMH)

125 Worth Street
New York, NY 10013
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