Body Art Practices and Facilities

The Alabama Department of Public Health adopted rules in 2001 governing body art facilities. Its purpose is to protect the public by establishing standards for the prevention of disease that may be associated with tattooing, body piercing, and branding.

Body art is defined as the practice of physical body adornment using invasive procedures and, for the purpose of these rules, is an inclusive term for any procedures utilizing body piercing, tattooing, cosmetic tattooing, branding, or scarification.

Physicians licensed by the Alabama Licensure Commission and who perform body art procedures as part of patient treatment are exempt from these rules. Nor does this definition include, for the purpose of these rules, piercing of the ear using pre-sterilized single use stud and clasp ear piercing systems.

Body Art Facilities (BAF) are permitted and inspected by the Baldwin County Health Department. Permits must be renewed annually and inspected at least every 180 days. Permits are not transferable and the initial annual license is $250.00. The fee is $200.00 for a renewal license.

Prior to the new construction or remodel of an existing structure to a body art facility, properly prepared plans, a plan review application, and a plan fee must be submitted to the Health Department. A review and approval from the health department must be received before construction or remodeling can begin.

Body Art Operator Permit

No person shall practice body art procedures without first obtaining an operator permit from the Health Department. Permits must be renewed annually. The fee is $25.00 and is not transferable or prorated.

Please provide the following items when making an application for a Body Art Operator Permit:

  • proof of attendance from a bloodborne pathogen course or training program, given or approved by the Health Department, within the 36 months prior to applying for the permit
  • a personal copy of Hepatitis B vaccination record, declination form, or proof of immunity
  • a copy of photo identification

Application for a Body Art Operator Permit

A Body Art Facility must post in a conspicuous area its BAF license, a Disclosure statement, and its Body Art Operator's Permits. The BAF must have the client complete forms indicating medical history and minor consent form (if client is under the age of 18). Also, site care instructions must be given to each client who had a procedure performed. Samples of these documents may be found in the Rules for Body Art Practice and Facilities.


Page last updated: April 28, 2017