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Environmental Health

Tattoo, Body Piercing and Permanent Cosmetics Program

The Tattoo, Body Piercing and Permanent Cosmetics Program regulates tattoo, piercing and permanent cosmetic facilities in order to ensure the proper maintenance, cleanliness and sterilization procedures.

Principal Activities and Services

  • Issue Permits
  • Conduct yearly inspections of all facilities for general maintenance and cleanliness, proper sterilization procedures.
  • Maintain and issue registration documents and registration cards to all active practitioners.
  • Promulgates and publicizes new or revised existing ordinances and regulations.

Obtaining a Permit

See the Fee Schedule in the Helpful Links for all application fee information. Send all application forms and fees to:

  • Environmental Health Section
  • Attn: Tattoo, Body Piercing and Permanent Cosmetics
  • 1390 Market Street, Suite 210
  • San Francisco, CA 94102
Permit for business owner/operator

A business owner/operator is someone who engages in the practice of tattooing, body piercing or applying permanent cosmetics. To apply for a business owner/operator permit:

  1. Fill out and complete the following forms:
    1. Application for Permit To Operate or Certificate of Sanitation (pdf)
    2. Zoning Referral Form (pdf)
    3. Fire Marshal Form (pdf)
  2. A check for the application fee payable to the SF Department of Public Health (See Fee Schedule doc under "Helpful Links")
  3. A completed Application for Registration Card (pdf)
  4. Provide copies of the following:
    1. A driver license or photo id
    2. A blood-borne pathogen training certificate
    3. A hepatitis vaccinations certificate

Permit for practitioners

Practitioners are persons who are solely engaged in the practice of tattooing, body piercing or applying permanent cosmetics. To apply for a practitioner permit:

  1. A completed Application for Registration Card (pdf)
  2. A check for the application fee payable to the SF Department of Public Health (See Fee Schedule doc under "Helpful Links")
  3. Provide copies of the following:
    1. A driver license or photo id
    2. A blood-borne pathogen training certificate
    3. A hepatitis vaccinations certificate

Temporary permits

Temporary permits are required for tattooing, body piercing or permanent cosmetics booth at special events. For a temporary permit, fill out and submit the following forms:

  1. Special events sponsor application for body arts booth (pdf)
  2. Vendor application to operate body arts booth (pdf)
  3. A copy of current registration or a completed Application for Registration Card (pdf)
  4. A check for the sponsor fee and corresponding fee for each high hazard body art booth. See the fee worksheet (pdf) to calculate the fees for a high hazard booth for special events.

Making a Complaint

If you would like to make a complaint regarding a tatto, body piercing or permanent cosmetic business or practitioner, click here.