Tatoos Knox County OhioTattoo and Body Piercing establishments are regulated by Ohio Administrative Code, Section 3701-9. Statewide rules for tattoo and body piercing were adopted in 1998 and the Knox County Health Department uses these rules to issue licenses and inspect tattoo, body piercing and permanent makeup/cosmetic businesses in Knox County. The health department inspects each facility annually.

Tattooing or piercing outside the physical location of the business is prohibited unless the board of health has approved a time-limited operation.

The main focuses of this program is to prevent the spread of communicable diseases such as Hepatitis, HIV, and Staph infections.


Opening a Tattoo and/or Body Piercing Business?

If you want to open a tattoo or body piercing facility you must complete an application and a form verifying training and blood-borne pathogen certification for all tattoo artists. Submit the application and training certification form along with your building plans and equipment list. The fee is $150 for the initial license and $75 thereafter for annual renewal of the license. We accept cash, checks, money orders, debit or credit cards for payment. Make checks and money orders payable to the Knox County Health Department. Once all plans and certifications have been approved, then an inspection of the facility is required before the license will be issued.

Application for Tattoo and/or Body Piercing Business

Training and Certification Form

When we inspect a tattoo or body piercing business, here are some of the things we look at:

General Requirements


  • General cleanliness and sanitation of the business and procedure rooms
  • Minimum lighting requirements
  • Staff is trained in first aid, control of blood borne pathogens and proper aftercare


Before and during tattooing or piercing


  • Consent to tattoo or pierce need to be completed prior to tattooing or piercing
  • Tattooing or piercing of minors is not permitted without written consent and the presence of a parent or legal guardian
  • Hand washing is done before procedures
  • Clean, new disposable gloves are used
  • Tattoo areas are cleaned with anti-bacterial soap and an antiseptic
  • Piercing areas are cleaned with an antiseptic or anti-bacterial mouthwash for oral piercings
  • All Tattoo needles and the tattoo gun tubes shall be sterile
  • All Piercing needles, jewelry, clamps and instruments shall be sterile; piercing needles are single use only
  • Disposable needles, tubes and instruments shall be placed in a sharps container
  • Needles, tubes and other instruments may be cleaned and sterilized on site or pre-sterilized and disposable
  • Piercing jewelry used at the time of the piercing shall be 316 low carbon stainless steel, 14-18 karat gold, niobium, titanium, platinum or high-density/low-porosity acrylic


After tattooing or piercing


  • Written aftercare instruction shall be given to the client following the procedure
  • Any reusable equipment shall be properly cleaned, disinfected and sterilized using an on-site autoclave
  • Proper sterilization is confirmed by weekly spore testing of the autoclave
  • All procedure areas and any equipment (including the tattoo gun) shall be cleaned and disinfected
  • Records of all tattooing, piercing, sterilization and spore testing shall be kept and maintained for 2 years


For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 740-392-2200, ext. 2222.




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Public Health - Knox County Health DepartmentPublic Health is about focused community efforts to prevent disease, promote healthy lifestyles and protect the environment. It is what we do with our community partners to ensure conditions that support the health and well- being of our residents.


Contact Us

Monday-Friday   8:00 a.m. -  4:30 p.m.
Third Tuesday of every month, open until 6 p.m.

Phone: 740-392-2200    Fax: 740-392-9613

For public health emergencies during
non-business hours, call

740-397-3333, Ext.#1

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11660 Upper Gilchrist Road
Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050