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Tattoo and Body Piercing Studios

Texas Executive Orders & Public Health Disaster Declaration

On May 18, 2020 Gov. Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-23, relating to the expanded opening of Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster, and lists tattoo and body piercing studios as a “covered service” that may re-open starting immediately for all Texas counties except Deaf Smith, El Paso, Moore, Potter and Randall counties. Tattoo and body piercing studios in those counties may not open until May 29, 2020. Opening of tattoo and body piercing studios under Executive Order GA-23 requires all people either providing or obtaining a “covered service” to use good-faith efforts and available resources to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Please refer to the protocols outlined in the State of Texas’ Minimum Standard Health Protocols Checklists for Massage and Other Personal-Care and Beauty Services and Customers. The checklists can be found at the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas. Please review both lists thoroughly to ensure the safety of your employees and customers. These protocols, in addition to the Laws and Rules required to operate tattoo and body piercing studios, must be followed. Additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 may be taken in your studio based on your best judgement to maintain the safety of your employees and customers from COVID-19.

The Drugs and Medical Devices Group is responsible for ensuring tattoo and body piercing studios, including temporary locations, comply with minimum licensing standards established to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Texas. To accomplish this objective, inspections of studios and temporary locations are conducted. If voluntary compliance with the licensing standards cannot be achieved, the Group recommends regulatory actions when necessary. In addition, the Group provides technical assistance to its licensees, answers inquiries from consumers and investigates complaints involving possible violations of the state requirements for operating tattoo and body piercing studios.


We require any business engaged in tattooing (for example, the practice of producing an indelible mark or figure on the human body by scarring or inserting pigments under the skin using needles, scalpels or other related equipment) or body piercing (for example, the practice of creating an opening in a person's body, other than the earlobe, to insert jewelry or another decoration) to be licensed with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). In addition, we require temporary locations at which tattooing or body piercing is performed for not more than seven days in conjunction with a single event or celebration to be licensed with the Department. To learn more on how to become licensed, visit the licensing requirements webpage.

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Contact Information

For General Program Assistance

Email: Drugs and Medical Devices Group
Phone: 512-834-6755
Fax: 512-834-6759

For Licensing Assistance

Email: Drugs and Food Safety Licensing Group
Phone: 512-834-6727
Fax: 512-834-6741

Mailing addresses may be found on the contact page.

Last updated February 25, 2021