Body Art Licensing

Public Act 149, which was enacted in December of 2007 and amended in Public Act 375 of 2010, requires that individuals shall not tattoo, brand, or perform body piercing on another individual unless that tattooing, branding, or body piercing occurs at a body art facility licensed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Body art is becoming increasingly popular and the implementation of Act 149 sets statewide requirements for body art facilities aimed at decreasing the risk of transmission of blood borne diseases such as hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Licenses are issued by MDHHS after a satisfactory inspection by the local health department or their authorized contractor from another local health department.


Exemptions from Body Art Licensing:

  1. State of Michigan licensed physicians (MD or DO) or dentists who utilize body arts procedures as part of patient treatment, as well as other licensed health care professionals working in the same office or facility as that physician and under the direct supervision of that physician.
  2. Facilities and individuals that only provide ear piercing services.


Licensure Steps

  1. Review the Public Act 375 of 2010, Requirements for Body Arts Licensing and MDHHS Body Art webpage:
  2. 2. Apply for a license through the MDHHS Body Art webpage. Include your license application fee when submitting. Click here to apply.
  3. When MDHHS has received the licensure fee they will submit an inspection form to District Health Department No.2 (DHD2).
  4. Once DHD2 has received the inspection form from MDHHS, you will receive a package of information along with a bill for the annual inspection fee.
  5. Submit the Application for Inspection Form with the inspection fee to DHD N2.
  6. Once the completed Application for Inspection Form and inspection fee are received by DHD2, the inspector will contact you to set up your inspection.
  7. Satisfactory inspection results are communicated back to MDHHS by the inspector so that MDHHS may issue the license.



Complaints regarding body art facilities may be submitted by filling out a complaint form at any District Health Department No.2 office. Note that complaints regarding body art facilities/operators/artists must be pertinent to the safe performance of body art procedures- such as unlicensed facility, facility cleanliness, proper hygienic practices, safe operation, underage client without parental consent, intoxicated client/operator, disease transmission, post-procedure complications, danger to public health and similar issues. The health department does not investigate complaints regarding the quality of workmanship or other aspects of the body art procedure itself where such quality issue does not endanger the client- such as misspellings or differences of opinion regarding procedure placement/orientation, or artistic issues.

Contact Information

District Health Department No.2: