Tattoo, piercing and electrolysis licence

Anyone carrying out skin piercing activities (acupuncture, tattooing, electrolysis, cosmetic piercing or semi-permanent skin colouring) must be registered with the council under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 as amended by the Local Government Act 2003.

The aim of registering these skin piercing activities is to protect members of the public from the transmission of blood borne viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and other infections.

We have approved bylaws that set out the standards for the hygienic operation of skin piercing premises. Persons carrying out skin piercing must comply with these bylaws.

Bylaws - Acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin-colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis (PDF)

Conditions of licence

A person registered to carry out these skins piercing activities must display at the premises a copy of any certificate issued by us, and a copy of the byelaws if appropriate.


Registration consists of two elements:

  • the person carrying out the skin piercing
  • the premises where the skin piercing takes place

Full list of licence fees

How to apply

Application forms and details of the application process are available to download below:

If you submit your application by post or in person, completed forms should be delivered or posted to the Licensing Authority.

Apply online

You can apply for your personal licence online via GOV.UK using the link below.

Application for a licence to carry out acupuncture, tattooing, piercing and/or electrolysis (*Please include Room Plan with your application)

Public Health (Wales) Act 2017 Special Procedures

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