Tattooing and Body Piercing

Tattooist at work  

Visit a licensed premises

If you are thinking about getting a tattoo or piercing, Council advises you to visit licensed premises. Licensed premises and operators have been assessed by City of Launceston Environmental Health Officers to ensure they have clean and well maintained facilities, safe practices and knowledge of infection control requirements. They are issued with licences that permit them to operate. 

A registered operator will ask you to read through and sign a consent form before any procedures are performed. This allows a check for any health conditions that may impact on you. The operator will also provide after-care advice for you to look after your tattoo or piercing to minimise the risk of infection and help protect the quality of the artwork. 

These businesses are regulated under legislation for a very good reason. Tattooing and piercing are public health risk activities as they may result in the transmission of infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C, as well as skin infections like Staphylococcus aureus.

Backyard operators are illegal

People who perform tattoos or body piercing as a "backyard operation" without the required licences are operating illegally.

It is also illegal for an operator to come to your home to conduct a tattoo or piercing.

While you may think that you are saving money by going to a backyard operator for a tattoo or piercing, you may also be putting your health at risk.

Age Restrictions

It is an offence under Section 35A of the Police Offences Act 1935 to:

  • conduct tattoos on a person that is less than 18 years of age;
  • do intimate piercings, (for example genitalia, nipples), on a person that is less than 18 years of age; and
  • perform any other body piercing (other than intimate piercings) without the youth's guardian being present when the body piercing is being done, unless the person is aged at least 16 years.

 Further information on these restrictions is available from Tasmania Police.

Reporting a tattooing or piercing issue

City of Launceston Environmental Health Officers regulate tattooing and ear and body piercers in our municipality to ensure they have practices in place to protect the health of their clients and themselves. 

If you suspect a health risk issue connected with a licensed tattooing or ear and body piercing establishment, please notify us to ensure we are aware of the problem. 

If you become aware of an illegal operator conducting ear and body piercing or tattooing, please also notify us. 

You will need to provide your name and contact information as well as details about the premises and operator in question. 

An Environmental Health Officer will investigate your concern and take action as required to protect public health. 

We will not act on your behalf for a refund, compensation or damages. 

If you are concerned about your health following a piercing or tattoo, please contact your GP. 

If you wish to report an offence under the Police Offences Act regarding the tattooing or piercing of minors, please contact Tasmania Police on 131 444.

Further information

Please contact us or refer to our information on Ear and Body Piercing or Tattooing for advice on the requirements for performing these health risk activities.