The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 26: Professions and Occupations

Chapter 79: TATTOOISTS AND BODY PIERCERS

§ 4101. Definitions

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Anatomical reproduction" is the practice of restoring the appearance of a portion of a person's body after surgery, accident, or other trauma.

(2) "Director" means the director of the office of professional regulation.

(3) "Disciplinary action" includes any action taken by an administrative law officer against a registered tattooist or applicant premised on a finding of unprofessional conduct. Disciplinary action includes all appropriate remedies, including denial of an application for or renewal of a registration, suspension or revocation of a registration, limiting or conditioning of a registration, issuing reprimands or warnings, and adopting consent orders.

(4) "Operator" means any person who practices tattooing or body piercing.

(5) "Practice of body piercing" means the piercing of any part of the body by someone other than a licensed physician who utilizes a needle or other instrument for the purpose of inserting an object into the body for nonmedical purposes. Body piercing includes ear piercing, except when performed on the lower lobe of the ear:

(A) with an instrument approved by the director, by rule;

(B) by the individual on himself or herself;

(C) by a parent or guardian when the subject of the piercing is a minor; or

(D) by a household member when the subject of the piercing is an adult.

(6) "Practice of permanent cosmetics" means to place a specific type of tattoo that includes permanent eyeliner, permanent lip color, permanent eyebrows, anatomical reproduction, and permanent eye shadow as well as other specific procedures that may be identified by rule by the director consistent with the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals' or its successor group's guidelines.

(7) "Practice of tattooing" or "practice tattooing" means to place a permanent mark, design, or coloration of a human being by a process of pricking or ingraining an indelible pigment on or in the skin. "Practice of tattooing" or "practice tattooing" does not mean anatomical reproduction when performed under the direction of a physician.

(8) "Special panel" means a panel established pursuant to 3 V.S.A. § 129(j).

(9) "Shop" means a facility regularly used to offer or perform the practice of tattooing or body piercing. (Added 1995, No. 79 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 49(a); 1999, No. 52, § 38; 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. June 13, 2002; 2007, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 34.)

§ 4102. Prohibitions

(a) No person shall practice tattooing or body piercing unless that person is registered in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(b) No person under the age of 18 may practice tattooing or body piercing.

(c) A tattooist shall not tattoo a minor without the written consent of the parent or guardian of the minor.

(d) A person who violates any of the provisions of this section shall be subject to the penalties provided in 3 V.S.A. § 127(c). (Added 1995, No. 79 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. June 13, 2002; 2007, No. 29, § 61.)

§ 4103. Director; function; commissioner of health; rules

(a) The director shall administer the requirements of this chapter and shall:

(1) Provide general information to applicants for registration as an operator.

(2) Collect fees as provided under this chapter.

(3) Explain appeal procedures to registered operators and applicants and complaint procedures to the public.

(4) Receive applications for registration, register applicants pursuant to this chapter, renew registrations, and revoke, reinstate, or condition registrations as ordered by an administrative law officer.

(5) Refer all disciplinary matters to an administrative law officer.

(b) The director, after consultation with the commissioner of health, shall adopt rules relating to infection control procedures and public health practices to be followed in the practice of tattooing, permanent cosmetics, and body piercing in order to protect the public from communicable diseases. The commissioner shall also recommend standards of sanitation and sterilization for shops, including standards relating to separate areas and equipment for tattooing and body piercing and recommendations on the use of ear-piercing guns.

(c) The director may adopt rules necessary to perform his or her duties pursuant to this chapter.

(d) The director may inspect shops used for the practice of tattooing, permanent cosmetics, or body piercing. No fee shall be charged for initial inspections under this subsection; however, if the director determines that it is necessary to inspect the same premises under the same ownership more than once in any two-year period, a reinspection fee of $100.00 may be charged. The director may waive all or a part of the reinspection fee in accordance with criteria established by rule. (Added 1995, No. 79 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 49(a); 1999, No. 52, § 39; 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. June 13, 2002; 2007, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 35.)

§ 4104. Advisory appointees

(a)(1) The Secretary of State shall appoint:

(A) a professional in the field of public health and medicine from a list of persons provided by the Commissioner of Health; and

(B) two registered operators who have been practicing tattooing and body piercing for at least the three years immediately preceding appointment and who shall actively be engaged in the practice of tattooing and body piercing in Vermont during incumbency.

(2) The appointees shall be appointed to serve as advisors in matters relating to tattooing and body piercing. The appointees shall be appointed as set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 129b.

(b) The Director shall seek the advice of the advisor appointees in carrying out the provisions of this chapter. The advisor appointees shall be entitled to compensation and necessary expenses as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1010 for attendance at any meeting called by the Director for that purpose. (Added 1995, No. 79 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. June 13, 2002; 2007, No. 29, § 62; 2013, No. 27, § 46.)

§ 4105. Registration; apprenticeship requirements

(a) A person who intends to engage in the practice of tattooing, permanent cosmetics, or body piercing in this state shall register with the office of professional regulation and shall pay the required fee. Registration shall be in the form required by the director and shall include such information as the director may require concerning the location of the registrant's practice, the registrant's qualification, and the nature of the services offered.

(b) As a prerequisite to registration, a tattooist or body piercer applicant shall provide proof of an apprenticeship of at least 1,000 hours of experience obtained within two calendar years working under the direction and supervision of a body piercer or tattooist registered and in good standing with this state or the state in which he or she is regulated, and who has been in practice a minimum of three years. Such proof may be in the form of a sworn affidavit from the supervising tattooist or body piercer, including information as the director may reasonably require on forms provided by the director. Apprenticeships shall include successful completion of a three-hour course in universal precautions and infectious diseases. Apprentices shall contact the office for the appropriate forms prior to beginning the apprenticeship. For the purposes of this section, "good standing" shall mean that the tattooist or body piercer supervisor holds a current, unrestricted license. A tattooist or body piercer who holds a restricted license may petition the director for permission to be a tattooist or body piercer supervisor, which may be granted by the director for good cause shown.

(c) As a prerequisite to registration for the practice of permanent cosmetics, an applicant shall provide proof of a course of approved study lasting at least 60 hours. In addition, the applicant shall obtain at least 40 hours of practical experience, within two calendar years preceding the application, working under the direct supervision of a registered tattooist or permanent cosmetologist in good standing in Vermont or the state where regulated, and who has been in practice a minimum of three years. Proof may be in the form of a sworn affidavit from the supervising permanent cosmetologist or tattooist, including information in a form as the director may reasonably require. Training shall include successful completion of a three-hour course in universal precautions and infectious diseases. Prior to training and obtaining practical experience, applicants shall contact the office and submit the appropriate forms. For the purposes of this section, "in good standing" shall mean that the permanent cosmetologist or tattooist supervisor holds a current, unrestricted license. A permanent cosmetologist or tattooist who holds a restricted license may petition the director for permission to be a supervisor, which the director may grant for good cause shown.

(d) No shop shall operate in this state without first registering with the office of professional regulation and paying a fee of $100.00. Registration shall be in the form required by the director.

(1) No shop shall be granted registration unless the shop complies with this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter.

(2) All shops shall designate a person, who is licensed pursuant to this chapter in the practice of tattooing or body piercing, who shall be responsible for overall cleanliness and sanitation of the shop.

(3) The practice of tattooing or body piercing shall be permitted only in registered shops.

(4) The practice of permanent cosmetics may be performed anywhere the practice of tattooing is licensed, on the premises of a health care professional licensed pursuant to this title, or on premises meeting the sanitation requirements of this chapter as determined by the director or as set forth by rule.

(e) [Repealed.]  (Added 1995, No. 79 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1999, No. 52, § 40; 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. June 13, 2002; 2003, No. 60, § 21; 2005, No. 27, § 100; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 43; 2007, No. 29, § 63; 2007, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 36, 45.)

§ 4106. Renewals

(a) Registrations shall be renewed every two years upon payment of the required fee.

(b) Biennially, the director shall forward a renewal form to each registered operator. Upon receipt of the completed form and the renewal fee, the director shall issue a registration.

(c) As a condition of renewal, a registrant shall submit to the director proof of at least three hours of continuing education in the area of universal precautions and infectious diseases. (Added 1995, No. 79 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. June 13, 2002; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 44.)

§ 4107. Repealed. 1997, No. 59, § 65(12), eff. June 30, 1997.

§ 4108. Unprofessional conduct

(a) A registered operator or applicant shall not engage in unprofessional conduct.

(b) Unprofessional conduct means the following conduct and conduct set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 129a:

(1) Using dishonest or misleading advertising.

(2) Addiction to narcotics, habitual drunkenness, or rendering professional services to a client if the operator is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

(3) Sexual harassment of a client.

(4) Tattooing or body piercing a minor in violation of the provisions of section 4102 of this title.

(c) After hearing and upon a finding of unprofessional conduct, an administrative law officer may take disciplinary action against a registered tattooist or applicant. (Added 1995, No. 79 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 49(a); 1997, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 62; 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. June 13, 2002.)

§ 4109. Disclosure information

The director shall adopt rules requiring registered operators to disclose to each new client before the first treatment, the operator's professional qualifications and experience, the infection control procedures and public health practices to be followed to protect the public from communicable diseases, the actions that constitute unprofessional conduct, the method for filing a complaint or making a consumer inquiry, and provisions relating to the manner in which the information shall be displayed and signed by both the operator and the client. (Added 1995, No. 79 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. June 13, 2002.)