Health District

Invasive Body Decoration Program

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Program Description

The Washoe County Health District has regulations to ensure that all Invasive Body Decorations (covers body piercings, tattoos and permanent makeup) are performed in a safe and sanitary manner to prevent the potential for spreading blood-borne diseases and establishes specific requirements for all facilities and artists.

Any facility that performs tattoo, tattoo removal, piercing, and permanent make-up procedures is required to perform these procedures in an approved facility and have a valid health permit and will be inspected by an Environmental Health Specialist from the Washoe County Health District.

Any person wishing to open a permitted facility should complete the Application and make an appointment with one of our staff to go through the application and specific requirements for their facility location.

Construction Information

A plan review of the facility must be submitted with the completed application. A consultation fee may be paid to have an initial inspection of any facility prior to submittal of the plan review or layout of the facility. All plans must have the following at a minimum:

  • One (1) free standing hand sink for every four (4) work stations
  • Bathroom sinks do not count as a hand sink
  • All finishes must be smooth and cleanable
  • Smooth and cleanable flooring (no carpet)
  • Ability to provide for privacy for all persons
  • Clearly identify all work stations on the plan
  • Clearly label the bathroom
  • Identify a Bioroom if you have an autoclave
    • A Bioroom requires a separate 2-basin sink

If you have questions regarding the above requirements or have other general questions on how to set up a shop and get a permit, please contact our office to set up a time to meet and go over your questions and concerns.

Convention Information

Tattoo and Piercing shows are becoming more commonplace and provide artists the ability to showcase their work in new locations and expand their clientele. These type of shows also require specific permits and all permit applications must be provided by the Promoter of the event. This ensures that only those artists invited by the Promoter will be submitting an application to operate in Washoe County.

Our permitting requires that any artist who is not permanently employed at the shop or business identified on the permit application must submit a separate permit application and fees. Multiple artists may work in the same booth, however our permits are based on the business identified on the application and not issued per artist. Please contact our office if you have any questions when submitting an application, our staff will make sure your application is complete and accurate.

Promoter Information

Any person or group wishing to organize a convention must contact our department a minimum of 90 days prior to the event. There is a Promoter Application that is required to be completed that will designate an onsite contact for any issues at the convention and there are specific requirements that all promoters must meet in order to operate. Some of these requirements are:

  • Provide smooth and cleanable floors
  • Provide hot water hand wash stations
  • Provide daily trash service (at a minimum)
  • Provide sharps containers for each booth (at a minimum)
  • Provide for sharps disposal from the event (no sharps may leave the event)
  • Provide for a scrub sink, autoclave, and separate area if there will be any metal tools

If you are a promoter, please contact our office to go over the requirements and application process to ensure your proposed event meets all of our requirements. The promoter is responsible for providing forms to all artists invited to the convention. These applications must be submitted with the artist’s fees a minimum of 14 days prior to the event.

Resources for Operators

Contact the Program

Nick Florey, Senior Environmental Health Specialist


Front Desk

Last modified on 09/26/2018

Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »