Body Art Establishments

  1. General Information
  2. Licensing
  3. Info for Artists/Piercers

A person's arm with a flower tattoo on it

Description automatically generated with low confidenceBody art establishments are licensed through the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).   In Cascade County, plan review of new establishments and annual inspections are performed by a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) from CCHD Environmental Health Division (EH).   Anyone performing tattooing and/or piercing procedures must do so in a licensed body art establishment according to the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) for Tattooing and Piercing Establishments.    

What is tattooing?

Tattooing is defined as making permanent marks on the skin by puncturing the skin and inserting indelible colors.  Traditional tattoos, permanent makeup, and microblading are all forms of tattooing and require the same license. 

What is body piercing?

Body piercing is defined as penetrating the skin to make a hole, mark, or scar that is generally permanent in nature. Piercing of any part of the body requires licensure. 

What about other forms of body art?

Other forms of “body modification” are restricted unless performed by a medical professional with the proper training and licensure.  Tongue-splitting, cutting or drilling into bone, dental modification (e.g., shaping or jewelry adhesion), implants (i.e., anything inserted beneath the skin), saline injection, vacuum pumping, branding, scarification, and other procedures that pose a substantial health risk are not allowed under the Tattooing and Piercing ARM.  

A picture containing tattoo

Description automatically generatedMontana does not have a licensing board that sets quality or training standards for individual tattoo artists or piercers.  Body art rules focus on sanitation and training that prevents infection and the transmission of bloodborne pathogens.   The quality, technique and esthetics of these procedures are not regulated.  Do your research before you commit to a tattoo or piercing.  


FDA_Think Before You Ink