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Registration to carry out tattooing, piercing, acupuncture and electrolysis


If you practice acupuncture or operate a business carrying out tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, electrolysis, or cosmetic piercing including ear piercing, you need to register with us.

Both the person carrying out the process, and the premises where the treatment is carried out need to be registered under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Part VIII. This requires that the following types of skin piercing are registered:

  • Acupuncture
  • Body Piercing
  • Ear Piercing
  • Electrolysis
  • Semi-permanent Skin Colouring 
  • Tattooing

Applicants will need to ensure that their procedures, equipment and facilities comply with local bylaws - are safe, hygienic, prevent the spread of disease, and comply with the duty of care required by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

It is illegal to conduct any of these skin piercing activities unless the premises and the person carrying out the activity are both registered with the council.

Members of the public should only use registered premises and practitioners, and ask for proof of registration before beginning a procedure. Download Icon for pdf Body Art Premises Register (PDF, 159.6kb)  to check whether a premises is registered by viewing the attached body art premises register, although please be aware the register is only periodically updated. If you are unsure if a premises is registered and wish to check, or you suspect a premises is not registered, please contact us.

Applying for registration

You will need to submit an application, including a photograph, and pay a fee in order to register.

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

Table of fees

 Fees 2017/18
Operator Registration£49.00
Premises Registration£167.00
Amendment to an Existing Registration  £15.00
Issue of a Replacement Registration£15.00

Considering your application

  • We must process your application before registration can be granted therefore tacit consent will not apply. 
  • We will visit your premises to ensure the business complies with local byelaws prior to issuing the registration certificate.
  • We hope to process your application within 28 days, however, if you have not heard from us after this time please contact us.

Duration of the registration

Once issued, registrations remain valid as long as the premises is used for the practice of acupuncture, tattooing, skin piercing or electrolysis. You must inform us of any changes to the details provided and premises are subject to periodic inspections.

In partnership with

  • EUGO
Contact us
  • Safety and Occupational Health
  • 03000 261 016
  • Our address is:
    • Durham County Council
    • Environment, Health and Consumer Protect
    • PO Box 617
    • Durham
    • County Durham
    • United Kingdom
    • DH1 9HZ
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