24 Hour Wait for Tattoo - Washington D.C. USA


Regulatory Action - Washington D.C.

Publication Details

Published: 16/09/2013

Abstract: Regulators in Washington D.C. are proposing new restriction on Tattoo Parlours that include a 24 hour wait before tattooing the customer.

by Editorial Team

City Health Department Regulators in Washington D.C. USA have released a 66 page document of draft regulations relating to the body art industry. The proposed new regulations would introduce some of the most restrictive regulations relating to body art tattooing in the USA and perhaps even internationally.

Proposed Restrictions include;

  • 24 Hour waiting period (from the time of the initial request for tattooing)

  • No Walk Ins

  • No binding a customer to committing to obtaining a tattoo

  • Mandatory biohazard training for tattoo artists


Washington DC Health Department spokeswoman Najma Roberts is reported to have told the Washington Post;

"We’re making sure when that decision is made that you’re in the right frame of mind, and you don’t wake up in the morning . . . saying, Oh my God, what happened?".

Previously Washington D.C. was one of the few location in the USA without comprehensive health regulations covering tattooing, in fact before the Washington D.C. Council passed the body art legislation last year tattooists and piercing salons were not subject to special regulations, the proposed new regulations seek to further address that situation.

On the surface the proposed regulations appear to be a reasonable attempt to address concerns such as health risks and the risk of tattoo regret, however some industry members have reacted angrily to the proposals believing that they will adversely affect their businesses. Other criticisms of the proposed regulations by some customers of the body artists is that the regulations are a step towards creating a nanny-state due to being over protective, however some parents disagree.

ABC News Covered The Story


The proposed regulations would also cover piercing, the public has 30 days to comment on the draft regulations and it is not uncommon for regulations to be toned down as a result.

Pedro Ribeiro, a spokesman for Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), is reported to have said Mayor Gray has; "serious doubts about the regulations as proposed" and "will consider the comments received before issuing final regulations".


See Draft Regulations Below