Ohio governor proposes legislation regulating body artists, requiring state-issued license

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Governor Mike DeWine has issued a proposal requiring all professional body artists and piercers in Ohio to register and pay for a state license.

The proposed provision is part of the governor's state budget plan.

According to a budget testimony from Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton, the licensing of body artists would standardize requirements, reduce the potential for transmission of infectious diseases and help protect public health.

Currently, individual tattoo artists and body piercers in Ohio are only required to document that they have been appropriately trained in the trade.  Documentation of this training is "subjective" and "left to the discretion of each local health department."

The current standards also require that body artists undergo CPR and blood-born pathogens training, according the Ohio Administrative Code, however these standards are enforced by local health departments, not ODH.

Under DeWine's proposal body artists who perform tattooing and or body piercing must register with ODH and obtain a license, similar to the laws regulating barbers and cosmetologists.

Registration would cost $250, be effective for one year and require annual renewal.

This license also requires approval of the artist's plans regarding sanitation, safety and operation of the body art business.

ODH says each body art business will be inspected prior to issuance of the license and annually thereafter.

Individuals who pierce ears with an ear-piercing gun will not be required to register with ODH.

According to Acton's testimony, the licensing of body artists is supported within the industry.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.