Tattoo and Body Piercing

The Health Department regularly inspects all tattoo studios, body piercing studios, ear piercing studios and facilities providing permanent makeup in Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton Counties.

Certified facilities

The main purpose of these inspections is to reduce the risk of disease transmission, as these procedures often involve a break in the skin which could lead to exposure to disease such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV, among other infections.

Inspections are typically done at least once per year.

Inspectors look for a variety of items, including:

  • Is the facility clean?
  • Is equipment sterilized properly?
  • Are needles only used once, and then properly disposed of?
  • Do staff follow proper hygienic practices, such as washing hands as needed and wearing gloves when required?
  • Has staff taken the required blood-borne pathogen training?
  • Does the facility require written consent for procedures done on individuals under 18?

Blood-borne pathogen training

Blood-borne pathogen education is required for all licensed tattoo and body piercing artists in Northern Kentucky. Artists are required to attend classes, or document that they’ve attended and passed an approved class. The Health Department offer classes regularly. For information on upcoming classes, please call 859-341-4151. Download the application for the Health Department’s class.

Frequently asked questions

I received services at a Northern Kentucky tattoo studio, body piercing studio, ear piercing studio or facility providing permanent makeup in Northern Kentucky and I have a health concern related to this. What should I do?
The Health Department investigates complaints about sanitation and safety issues in tattoo studios, body piercing studios, ear piercing studios or facilities providing permanent makeup. Complaints can be submitted online or by calling 859-341-4151. Please note that it may be a few days before your complaint will be investigated.

I already have a permit for this year. How do I renew it for next year?
Permits are good for the calendar year. Existing facilities should automatically get a renewal application, typically in the fall.

I’m opening my establishment late in the year. Is the permit fee pro-rated?
Unfortunately permit fees are not pro-rated.

An emergency has impacted an establishment. What should they do?
When emergency situations occur that affect the ability to operate, such as fire, extended power outages and water service interruptions, the establishment should suspend its operations and notify the Health Department.

More information

Copies of inspection reports are available to the public upon written request. Please call 859-341-4151 for more details.