Tattooist and Body Piercer

License Information

Per Wis. Admin. Code § SPS 221.04, all tattooing and body piercing activities must occur in a licensed establishment.  In addition, all tattooists and body piercers must also hold a practitioner's license.

Temporary Body Art Establishments - please view Tattooing and Body Piercing at Festivals and Other Events for important information.

What Counts as Tattooing or Body Piercing?

  • Tattoo means to insert pigment under the surface of the skin of a person, by pricking with a needle or otherwise, to produce an indelible mark or figure through the skin.
  • Body Piercing means perforating any human body part or tissue, except an ear, and to place a foreign object in the perforation to prevent the perforation from closing.
  • Ear Piercing is exempt from the licensing requirements.  All parts of the ear are included in this exception.

A License is required for a person who applies a tattoo to another person, and/or a person who performs body piercing.

Each license issued by the Department expires June 30th of each year.

If a license is granted after April 1 of a license year, that license will extend to June 30 of the following year.

Fee Reduction

Pursuant to 2017 Wisconsin Act 319, beginning August 1, 2018, an applicant for an initial credential may apply for a reduction of the initial credential fee that is equal to 10% of the initial fee.  Qualification is based on the federal adjusted gross income being at or below 180% of the federal poverty guideline prescribed for the applicant's family household size by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. To determine eligibility please visit the United States Department of Health and Human Services website at, prior to submitting Form 3217.

Variance Request

If you are requesting a variance, please complete this form, Body Art Variance Petition Application (Form # 1000-IS), and return it to either your local Health Department or DSPS as applicable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tattooing and Body Piercing Frequently Asked Questions

Body Art ​Agent Map

Application for Licensure

3173Application For Tattooing/Body Piercer
3217​Application for Fee Reduction (If applying for a fee reduction, this form must accompany Form#3173.)
​3207​Tattooist/Body Piercer Renewal Form
3071​Fax Payment Form

Renewal Information


  • FEE (See Renewal Dates and Fees)

Important Notice: Please check the DSPS Tattooing and Body Piercing Rules and Statutes for the latest changes. 

Renewal Methods

​​3207​Tattooist/Body Piercer Renewal Form
RDAF​Renewal Dates and Fees