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2023 State Legislation on Body Art

January 9, 2024

A total of 60 pieces of legislation related to body art were introduced in 19 states and Puerto Rico during the 2023 legislative sessions. Of these 60, 9 were enacted in California, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Tennessee. and Puerto Rico.

Massachusetts had the most bills on body art with 13, none of which were enacted. The New York legislature introduced 7 bills, none which were enacted either. In both states, however, these bills can be carried over into 2024.

Bills on body art introduced in 2023 ranged from educational requirements to perform tattooing to consideration of the use of acupuncture, as well as licensure of body art practitioners to insurance coverage for cosmetic surgeries. The practice of body art is growing rapidly and policymakers are working to ensure that it remains safe for the public.

Acupuncture was the foremost topic in body art with 25 bills. California enacted A 1264 (Chap. No. 582-2023) and HR 48 (2023), which both relate to the practice. A 1264 authorizes the state acupuncture board to inspect facilities after a complaint and requires facility records open to inspection by the board during an investigation. HR 48 (2023) proclaims July 12 as California Acupuncture Day.

The Iowa legislature enacted S 219 (Chap. No. 102 2023), the Educational Requirements for Permit to Tattoo Act. This law addresses the educational requirements for a person to receive a permit to perform tattooing.

In Kansas the legislature enacted H 2125 (Chap. No. 40 2023), the Cosmetology and Charitable Events Act. This bill relates to the practice of cosmetology and barbering, the duties of the board of cosmetology, and requires administrative functions be in-line with the state’s Administrative Procedures Act. The law also provides for charitable event permits and demonstration permits to provide tattooing, cosmetic tattooing, or body piercing services.

Maine enacted S 75, the Electrologists Tattoo Artists and Public Pools and Spas Act (Public Law No. 113 2023). This law clarifies the assessment of penalties for tattoo artists, body piercers, electrologists, and micropigmentation practitioners. It provides that a person who fails to be licensed; violates the sterilization, sanitation, or safety standards; or performs a tattoo on a minor is subject to administrative penalties.

The legislature in New Hampshire enacted two laws regarding body art, both related to the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification (OPLC). HB 409 (Chap. No. 235 2023) provides for a penalty assessed by the Board of Barbering, Cosmetology, and Esthetics for shops operating without a license. HB 655 (Chap. No. 112 2023) consolidates the administrative authority for OPLC, provides that the purpose of the office is to promote efficiency and economy in the administration of business processing, recordkeeping, and other administrative requirements for boards under this office.

In Puerto Rico, the legislature enacted SR 14, the Acupuncture Practice Study Act. This bill orders the Senate Health Committee to conduct an investigation on the practice of acupuncture in Puerto Rico; the professions certified to practice it; and the criteria, requirements, and preparations to practice acupuncture on the island.

Tennessee’s SB 450 (Chap. No. 90 2023) prohibits the sale or distribution of tattoo and body piercing paraphernalia to minors.

This chart includes a list and status of all legislation related to body art in 2023.

For more information, contact Government Affairs Director Doug Farquhar.