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 Community Health (MDCH).

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 MDCH 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 MDCH Body Art webpage:
  2. 2. Apply for a license through the MDCH Body Art webpage. Include your license application fee when submitting. Click here to apply.
  3. When MDCH has received the licensure fee they will submit an inspection form to District Health Department No.2 (DHD No.2).
  4. Once DHD No.2 has received the inspection form from MDCH, 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 No.2.
  6. Once the completed Application for Inspection Form and inspection fee are received by DHD No.2, the inspector will contact you to set up your inspection.
  7. Satisfactory inspection results are communicated back to MDCH by the inspector so that MDCH may issue the license.



Complaints regarding body art facilities may be submitted by filling out a complaint form at any District Health Department No.4 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.4:

Tracey Wood

(989) 343-1852