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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 diseases 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 Montgomery 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, plan review applications, and plan fees 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 procedure 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. Applicants must provide proof of attendance, within 36 months, in a Health Department-approved bloodborne pathogen course. They must also provide a copy of a Hepatitis B vaccination record, a declination form or proof of immunity, and a photo ID.

A Body Art Facility must post in a conspicuous area its Body Art Facility License, a Disclosure Statement, and its Body Art Operator's Permits. The BAF must have the client complete forms indicating medical history and a minor consent form (if the 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: August 24, 2023