Licences for tattooing, piercing, electrolysis and acupuncture

Tattoo licence

Anyone carrying out any procedure that pierces the skin (including acupuncture, tattooing, ear piercing, cosmetic piercing, semi-permanent skin colouring and electrolysis) must be registered with the council.

Registration protects the public from blood borne viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and other infections. The council has approved byelaws that set out the standards for the hygienic operation of skin piercing premises.

Persons carrying out skin piercing must comply with these byelaws.

How to register

Registration is for the place where the skin piercing takes place. We charge a fee to register the premises. This is a one-off payment as there is no annual renewal process. 

Once we receive your application, the local Licensing Officer will carry out an inspection. If the premises are approved, we’ll issue the licence certificate.

If you haven’t heard from us within 14 calendar days, please contact us using the contact details on this page.

Consumer complaints

If you want to complain about a business operating under this registration please contact your local office using the details on this page.

Application forms

Apply online using the links below.  The links take you to another government website.

Apply for a licence to carry out acupuncture, tattooing, piercing and/or electrolysis

Change a tattooists, piercing and electrolysis licence

You can also get application forms from us using the contact details on this page.  Please complete the form and return it with the fee to the area licensing office.

You will be charged a fee for this licence.

Licence fees and charges


Call charges