Home Page Council News Room Site Map Ask a question Website - information and help Listening and Learning: Compliments, comments and complaints Access Keys

Tattooists, piercing and electrolysis registration

Anyone carrying out skin piercing (acupuncture, tattooing, skin piercing and electrolysis) must be registered with the council under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

The aim of registering skin piercing activities is to protect members of the public from the transmission of blood borne viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and other infections. The council has approved byelaws that set out the standards for the hygienic operation of skin piercing premises. Persons carrying out skin piercing must comply with these byelaws.


View the regulations relating to skin piercing

Registration consists of two elements: the person and the place where the skin piercing takes place. A separate fee is required for registration of the person and of the premises. This is a one-off payment as there is no annual renewal process. 

A person registered to carry out acupuncture, tattooing, skin piercing or electrolysis must display at the premises a copy of any certificates issued by the council, and a copy of the byelaws.

To summarise the procedure for registration, upon receipt, applications will be forwarded for consultation to the Environmental Health covering the area, who will carry out an inspection.  Following receipt a report from Environmental Health in respect of approval to registration, the appropriate Certificate will be issued. 


Please view the current licensing fees and charges to find out how much you will need to pay.

Tacit consent

It takes 28 days to process a skin piercing application, and tacit authorisation does not apply to these applications in the interests of public safety.  This means you must wait until the application has been determined before any skin piercing, tattooing, accupuncture, electrolysis activities can take place.

Application for registration can be made online or by downloading the form by clicking on the link below:

Apply online for a skin piercing registration (for both personal and premises)

Apply to change a registration

Cornwall Council has adopted byelaws which regulate the provision of skin piercing activities.  You can view the skin piercing byelaws via this link.

Redress for failed applications and licence holders

Please contact Licensing Services if you wish to discuss an application, decision or consent.

Public Register

Please contact us via email or by telephone to discuss your requirements.

Consumer Complaints

Please contact Licensing Services if you wish to make a complaint about someone carrying out skin piercing activities.  You should also contact us if you suspect someone is carrying out skin piercing without the appropriate registrations.

Useful links


0300 1234 212