Ohio considering new regulations on tattoo artists and body piercers

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – If Governor DeWine’s two-year budget plan is passed, tattoo artists and body piercers could see new regulations. 

Right now, tattoo parlors report to their local health departments. The new proposal would add state oversight. 

Tattoo parlors like Gem City Tattoo Club in the Oregon District say they are well-aware that more regulations could be heading their way. Most shops 2 NEWS checked with said they are in favor of the additional regulations. 

If approved, every professional tattoo artist or body-piercer would have to register with the state and pay a $250 license fee. 

The state, in turn, makes sure each artist is up-to-date on training, with the eventual goal of developing an online database that the public can access before getting any work done. 

“People should know who they are dealing with,” said Jim Collins, the owner of Gem City Tattoo Club. 

Collins says he’s not worried about additional fees but he can see how it impacts smaller shops. 

“The fee is fine. It might seem like a lot for people. My health inspector comes in here and says he’s dealing with probably pushing 100 shops,” said Collins. 

The state estimates roughly 700 body art shops operate in Ohio and employ more than 2,000 people, meaning the fee could generate more than $500,000 for the state. 

“There’s going to be good and bad. I think this is something Ohio needs in this business,” said Collins. 
“The thing I don’t want to see is a bunch of ridiculous codes being written by people who don’t really know what they are doing.” 

Ideally, the state wants to show more than just license information. They want to show a report card of sorts. If a artist has recklessly violated state law, they could face a fourth degree misdemeanor. 

Governor DeWine’s 69-million dollar two-year budget is under review and will be finalized by June 30. 

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