Body Art Program

Tattoo Artist at Work

Assembly Bill 300, the Safe Body Art Act, was signed into law by Governor Brown on October 9, 2011. This law provides a uniform set of standards for the body art industry to protect the health and safety of body art practitioners, their customers and the public. Body art is an invasive process that includes piercing, tattooing, application of permanent cosmetics, and branding. These practices present the potential for spreading blood-borne diseases, such as Hepatitis B.

The Food and Housing Division (FHD) of the Department of Environmental Health is the local agency charged with implementing the Safe Body Art Act in the County of San Diego. Effective on July 1, 2012, the law requires that body art be performed in a safe and sanitary manner to prevent the potential for spreading blood-borne diseases; it establishes specific requirements for body art facilities and practitioners, as well as limited requirements for mechanical piercing.

Body art practitioners are those who perform tattoo, piercing, permanent cosmetics and branding on a person’s skin. They are required to received annual training in bloodborne pathogen standards annually to ensure they know how to prevent transmission of blood-borne diseases; they also must perform these procedures in approved Body Art facilities that have a valid health permit and are inspected by Environmental Health Specialists of the Department of Environmental Health.

The County of San Diego is proud to present the Emmy Award winning Safety Stickler documentary featuring local owner/artist Mike Martin, who relates his experience promoting safety in the field of body art. In this six minute video you will also see how the County of San Diego works with local tattoo artists to protect the health of everyone that gets "inked!"



In order to maintain the Practitioner's Registration, practitioners must pay for registration annually, attend Bloodborne Pathogen training annually, and submit a signed Practitioner Location of Operation Agreement.

NEW PRACTITIONER CHECKLIST (you will need to submit):

RENEWAL PRACTITIONER CHECKLIST (you will need to submit):





Body Art Operator's Guide: PDF
Practitioner Location of Operation Agreement: PDF
Infection Prevention Control Plan Template: PDF
Body Art Sterilization Log: PDF
Microblading Fact Sheet: PDF
Sterile Water Use in Tattooing: PDF


Public Health Permit Application: PDF
Practitioner Location of Operation Agreement: PDF
Fee Schedule: PDF
Starting a Body Art Business Booklet: PDF
Body Art Plan Check Guide: PDF
Mobile Body Art Plan Check Guide: CURRENTLY UPDATING
Body Art Plan Check Checklist - Submitting Plans: PDF
Plan Check Application: PDF
Infection Prevention Control Plan Template: PDF
Body Art Sterilization Log: PDF
Microblading Fact Sheet: PDF
Sterile Water Use in Tattooing: PDF


Temporary Event Sponsor Packet Application PDF
For Ear Piercing Facilities: Mechanical Stud and Clasp Ear Piercing Notification Form PDF
Bloodborne Pathogen Trainer Application: PDF
Tattoos Permanent Make-Up (FDA guidance): PDF


Safe Body Art Act Law: PDF
San Diego County Code: PDF



Massage Facility Plan Check Checklist: PDF


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