Skip to main content Homepage

Body Art Tool Kit: Resources for body piercing and tattooing requirements

Standard Body Piercing

Administrative rule has defined standard body piercing to mean all body piercings, including cheek and single-point piercings. The definition of standard body piercing does not include any genital piercings, and Oregon prohibits the piercing of testes, deep shaft (corpus cavernosa), uvula, eyelids, or sub-clavicle.

Single-Point Piercing vs. Dermal Implanting

Microdermals: Allowed

Single-point piercing by definition is a standard body piercing procedure. Single-point piercing is NOT prohibited in Oregon. Administrative rule defines a single-point piercing as an anchor or microdermal, which means a single-point perforation of any body part for the purpose of inserting an anchor with a step either protruding or flush with the skin.

Dermal Implants: Prohibited

Because the name for a single-point piercing varies from microdermal to anchor piercing in the industry, it is often confused with a dermal implant. Oregon Revised Statute defines a dermal implant to mean the insertion of an object under the skin of a live human being for ornamentation or decoration. Dermal implanting is currently prohibited in Oregon.

Specialty Level 1 & 2 (Genital Piercing)

New applicants seeking a specialty level 1 and 2 genital piercing license must obtain HLO-prescribed training under an approved supervisor. There is no pathway to licensure through reciprocity from another state for a specialty level 1 and 2 genital piercing license.

To pierce genitals in Oregon, an individual must hold a specialty level 1 or 2 genital license. Specialty level 1 and 2 genital piercing are both defined in administrative rule and encompass all genital piercings.

Oregon prohibits the piercing of testes, deep shaft (corpus cavernosa), uvula, eyelids, or sub-clavicle, even with a specialty authorization.

Self-Inspection Checklist

The self-inspection checklist is a tool designed to help facilities and licensees maintain compliance between inspections. The checklist contains valuable tools to help maintain public safety including standards for servicing clients and sterilization requirements for instruments.

Indicator Strips and Integrators

Vapor Line indicator strips

Administrative rule requires that each non-sterilized or reusable instrument including jewelry be individually packaged in sterilization pouches, including the use of an indicator strip to assure sufficient temperature during each sterilization cycle has been reached.

Individual packages with indicator strips must be dated with the date the sterilization took place. All instruments including jewelry that have been sterilized can be stored for up to one year; after one year the instrument including jewelry must be sterilized again.

Sterilization Log

Administrative rules require that results from each sterilization cycle be recorded in a log book. An example sterilization log has been created to help licensees keep a record of sterilization cycles; however licensees may choose to create a different format for their sterilization log.

Internally Threaded Jewelry

Internally threaded
jewelry required

Administrative rule requires internally threaded jewelry be used for initial piercings. Use of externally threaded jewelry for an initial piercing is prohibited in Oregon.

Required Mill Certifications for Metal Jewelry

Oregon requires metal jewelry used for initial piercings to be made from specific grades on metal. "Mill Test Certificates" are required for all metal jewelry on the facility premises.

The Mill Test Certificate must provide evidence of a specific grade of metal with a code designation from the American Society for Testing and Materials or the International Organization for Standardization.

The HLO may approve and accept other documentation that proves the specific grade of metal used to produce the jewelry is safe to be used for initial piercings.

"Double Bagging" Requirement Revised

After January 15, 2013, the term "double bagging" was eliminated from administrative rule for body piercing and tattooing. The new language requires all garbage or waste be disposed of in a covered container with a garbage liner. This includes garbage within administrative areas of the facility.

The new language also requires all waste that contains blood or other potentially infectious materials be enclosed and secured in a glove or bag, then disposed of in a covered container with a garbage liner immediately after the service, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As of January 15, 2013, the practice of having two garbage liners in a trash can is not an acceptable method of disposing of waste that contains blood or other potentially infectious materials.

In addition to the new language, all facilities will be required to have biohazard labels or red biohazard bags available on the facility premises to ensure that waste is labeled in accordance with OSHA standards. Current OSHA standards are available on their website at:

Body Piercing Video

HLO produced a video tutorial for body piercers regarding the new regulations. The video tutorial was created to assist licensees with complying with the implementation of new practice standards. The video has useful information on proper hand washing and gloving techniques, informed consent and sterilization requirements.

Client Record, Informed Consent and Aftercare Documentation

Many changes have been made related to client records and informed consent. A combined client record, informed consent and aftercare document has been generated for licensees to use for each client if they choose. It is important to note that this document only contains information required by administrative rule. The client record, informed consent and aftercare document is available on our forms page.

Required Informed Consent Documentation

Administrative rule requires specific informed consent prescribed by the HLO be provided to clients regarding standard body piercing services and genital piercing services. Informed consent information for all standard body piercing services is available in one document and informed consent information related to all genital piercing services is available in one document. The informed consent documents are available on our forms page.


If you have questions about the administrative rules in general, you can email Samie Patnode at or call 503-373-1917. For questions specific to the written and practical examinations, email Cerynthia Kingsley at or call 503-373-1816.

Your browser is out-of-date! It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how