There is a frequent misunderstanding that all you need to open a tattoo shop in Victoria, TX is the ability to draw and a studio space. The reality is much different. Tattoo artists must follow rules stated in the Texas Health and Safety Code and earn proper licensing. The following information covers the legal requirements for tattoo shops that intend to protect you as the consumer.
The Tattoo and Certain Body Piercing Studio Act starts off with restrictions. Tattoo artists are not allowed to work on consumers under age 18 unless there is parental consent. Even if that consent is confirmed, the only tattoos allowed for that age group are those that hide or cover an existing tattoo. It is the artist’s responsibility to check ID to confirm the age of the customer.
Studios may not operate from an artist’s home and are required to occupy a separate business address. Mobile trailers are permissible but each one has to be licensed as a separate studio. To perform business, artists must apply and receive a Tattoo Studio License, and if piercing is also performed, that is another license to secure.
Required safety protocol ensures the health of consumers who use the studio. The area must be clean and sterilized to prevent blood-borne diseases. Artists must follow proper antibacterial and germicidal hand washing protocol and use single-use disposable gloves, much like medical professionals. If equipment is not sterilized, it will need to be limited to single-use.
Record keeping is also part of these requirements. Any diseases, infections or allergic reactions must be reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Customers are also tracked through a shop log that contains identifying information, the date of the work and the type of tattoo or piercing performed. Routine investigations determine whether the shop complies with these requirements.
Artists cannot work on anyone appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This judgment is based on reasonable belief, and if a dispute arises, every complaint is determined on a case-by-case basis. For many artists, this is a “when in doubt, don’t” area that is never risked.
Artists who fail to meet these requirements face criminal and civil fines. In matters involving minors or intoxicated individuals, criminal penalties can rise to a Class A misdemeanor, making prison sentences possible. If state licensing and safety regulations are left ignored, health services will likely revoke that shop’s license.
Many states developed scenarios like this after publicity about tattoo infection in the late 1990s. The tattoo community self-regulated at first in order to build consumer confidence and the industry’s reputation. As a result, artists are now better educated on sterilization procedure, and you can rest assured that you are unlikely to catch an infection with the measures currently in place.
In The Skin Tattoo and Piercing Studio is a licensed tattoo shop in Victoria, TX. If you want to receive your tattoo in a clean and knowledgeable environment, call or visit to ask questions or make arrangements.