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Tattoo piercing and electrolysis

Anyone who wishes to carry out ear piercing, tattooing, acupuncture or electrolysis with Bedford Borough must be registered with Bedford Borough Council. This registration is required by the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. The only exemption to this requirement to register is where the skin piercing is carried out by, or under the supervision of a medical practitioner.

Registration is required for the premises and for each person carrying out skin piercing at the premises. The purpose of the registration is to ensure that basic standards of health and safety are met, both at the premises and by the person performing the piercing.

Registration and payment process

You can apply to register by downloading and completing the appropriate form below and returning it to the Borough Council with the appropriate fee:

Tattoo piercing and electrolysis licence

Registration depends on your compliance with the byelaws for the appropriate procedure. Copies of the byelaws can be downloaded below:

Once the application form is received an officer will contact you to arrange a visit. This visit is to ensure that you are complying with the byelaws prior to your registration being granted.

We aim to process your registration within 28 days of the receipt of your application and payment.

Body piercing 

At present the Council does not operate a registration scheme for the piercing of any part of the body other than the ears. The Council would expect any body piercing to be carried out in the same manner as any other skin piercing.

Micropigmentation 

At present the Council does not operate a registration scheme for micropigmentation. The Council would expect any micropigmentation to be carried out in the same manner as any other skin piercing.

Further information 

Guidance documents can be downloaded using the links below:

Further information is also available from the British Acupuncture Council.

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