Tattooing and body piercing, or also known as body modification, has become increasingly popular in recent years.  These activities present a minimal risk if the tattooing or piercings are done by a trained individual following the proper precautions. The Vanderburgh County Health Department has implemented Chapter 5.45 of the City of Evansville Municipal Code and Chapter 5.06 of the Vanderburgh County Code that govern body modification. These statutes require licensure of tattoo artists, body piercers and associated establishments and also set operational requirements for tattoo and body piercing establishments.

Permit Information:

To be permitted in the city or county an artist/establishment must:

  • Be in compliance with local ordinances Chapter 5.45 of the City of Evansville Municipal Code & Chapter 5.06 of the Vanderburgh County Code
  • Provide a certificate of professional liability insurance in the amount of $500,000
  • Provide Certificate of annual Blood Borne Pathogen Training
  • Provide Certificate of CPR/First Aid Training
  • Obtain a Health Department Tattoo & Body Piercing Permit for the establishment (includes one artist license) $300.00
  • Obtain a Health Department Tattoo & Body Piercing for each additional artist $100.00
  • Permits are valid from January 1 to December 31.
  • Contact the Vanderburgh County Health Department with questions or concerns @ (812) 435-5695 or health@vanderburghcounty.in.gov

Underground / Unlicensed Shops:

Never have any type of body modification done at an unlicensed shop or by an unlicensed artist, sometimes called “scratchers.”  Often working out of homes, garages, bars or other facilities, “scratchers” do not follow the same precautions as a legitimate artist.  Any unlicensed body modification increases the chances you will:

  • Contract an infectious disease such as Hepatitis C, Strep or HIV
  • Have allergic reactions
  • Experience scaring
  • Have MRI Complications

Unlicensed artist are subject to a fine of $100.00 per day and/or per violation.  Report any unlicensed body modification to the Vanderburgh County Health Department at (812) 435-5695.  Reports can be made anonymously.

Tattoo & Body Piercing Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the risks of getting a tattoo?

While a tattoo may only take a few minutes to acquire, it is permanent. Tattooing involves breaking the skin, one of your body’s main protective barriers. This means you can be more susceptible to skin and blood infections. Specific risks include:

  • Blood-borne diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C could be contracted if equipment used for you tattoo is contaminated with blood of an infected person.
  • Unsterile tattooing equipment or re-used ink can cause symptoms of minor skin infections, from redness, swelling, or pus-like drainage, to potentially serious antibiotic- resistant skin infections.
  • Granulomas, or bumps, may form around the site of the tattoo as a reaction to the ink.
  • Tattooing can cause keloids, or raised areas of excessive scaring, if you are prone to them.
  • Inks may cause allergic reactions, such as itchy rash, at the tattoo site.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams may cause swelling or burning of tattooed areas.

 

Who should I contact if I want to open a tattoo/body piercing establishment?

Call the Environmental Division at (812) 435-5695

 

What documents are required to obtain a tattoo/body piercing permit?

To be permitted in the city or county an artist/establishment must:

  • Be in compliance with local ordinances Chapter 5.45 of the City of Evansville Municipal Code & Chapter 5.06 of the Vanderburgh County Code
  • Provide a certificate of professional liability insurance in the amount of $500,000
  • Provide Certificate of annual Blood Borne Pathogen Training
  • Provide Certificate of CPR/First Aid Training
  • Obtain a Health Department Tattoo & Body Piercing Permit for the establishment (includes one artist license) $300.00
  • Obtain a Health Department Tattoo & Body Piercing for each additional artist $100.00
  • Permits are valid from January 1 to December 31.
  • Contact the Vanderburgh County Health Department with questions or concerns @ (812) 435-5695 or health@vanderburghcounty.in.gov

 

Who do I report tattoo & body piercing complaints to?

Contact the Vanderburgh County Health Department with questions or concerns @ (812) 435-5695 or health@vanderburghcounty.in.gov

 

*Click Here for the Indiana State Department of Health’s FAQ sheet on tattoos and piercings*

 

Tattoo & Body Piercing Establishment Forms:

Written policy to comply with OSHA blood-borne pathogen guidelines fill-in form

Patrons Rights Form