Some, but not all, professions regulated by the Department of Safety and Professional Services received license renewal extensions during the COVID-19 public health emergency under 2019 Act 185. Tattoo and body piercing practitioners did not receive an extension. Licenses not renewed will expire on June 30, 2020.
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.
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
https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines, prior to submitting
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
3173||Application For Tattooing/Body Piercer|
|3217||Application for Fee Reduction (This form
must accompany the application for the credential)|
3207||Tattooist/Body Piercer Renewal Form|
3071||Fax Payment Form|