|TEXT OF LAW|
SECTION 16-17-700. Tattooing.
It is unlawful for a person to tattoo any part of the body of another person. It is not unlawful for a licensed physician or surgeon to tattoo part of a patient's body if in his
medical opinion it is necessary when performing cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and,
upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
AS PASSED BY THE SENATE
April 21, 1999
Introduced by Senator Mescher
S. Printed 4/21/99--S.
Read the first time January 12, 1999.
A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 16-17-700, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO TATTOOING, SO AS TO PERMIT TATTOOING
OF PERSONS OVER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE PURSUANT TO RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PREVENTING TRANSMISSION OF INFECTION AND GUIDELINES
FOR PREVENTION OF TRANSMISSION OF HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS AND HEPATITIS B VIRUS PROMULGATED BY THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE
CONTROL, OR EQUIVALENT GUIDELINES DEVELOPED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL, TO REQUIRE NOTICE TO
PATRONS INFORMING THEM OF ANY DISQUALIFICATION WHICH TATTOOING MAY CONFER UPON A PROSPECTIVE BLOOD DONOR, AND TO INCLUDE THIS
NOTICE IN ANY INFORMED CONSENT OR RELEASE FORM, TO REQUIRE PROOF OF AGE FROM A PROSPECTIVE TATTOO RECIPIENT, TO PROVIDE
PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION, AND TO PROVIDE THAT REASONABLE RELIANCE OF PROOF OF AGE IS A DEFENSE TO AN ACTION BROUGHT
UNDER THIS SECTION; AND TO AMEND CHAPTER 17, TITLE 16, RELATING TO OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC POLICY, BY ADDING SECTION 16-17-705 SO AS TO
PROVIDE THAT A PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF TWENTY-ONE WHO IS TATTOOED IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 16-17-700(A)(1) MAY BRING AN ACTION AGAINST
THE PERSON CONVICTED OF THE VIOLATION TO RECOVER ACTUAL AND PUNITIVE DAMAGES PLUS COSTS AND ATTORNEY'S FEES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 16-17-700 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
(A) It is unlawful for a person to tattoo:
(1) any part of the body of another person under the age of twenty one without express written consent of the parent or guardian of the person
and unless the original written consent is kept on file, for a period of two years from the date of the tattoo, at the establishment performing the
(2) any part of the head, face, or neck of another person;
(3) another person without first applying for and obtaining a permit issued by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental
Control. The department shall issue this permit, renewable annually, to a person upon the submission of:
(a) a certificate of the applicant's successful completion of a course in infection control as approved by the department;
(b) payment of a three hundred dollar permit fee; and
(c) a favorable recommendation of the local governing body where the business will be located. In making its recommendation, the
local governing body shall consider the criminal background of the applicant as provided by the sheriff of the county where the
applicant resides. If the background check is favorable, the local governing body must submit a favorable recommendation of the
applicant. It However, it is not unlawful for a licensed physician or surgeon to tattoo part of a patient's the body of a person of any
age if in his the physician's or surgeon's medical opinion it is necessary when performing cosmetic or reconstructive surgery.
A person who violates the provisions of this section for a first offense is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be
fined in the discretion of the court not less than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. For a second
or subsequent offense, a person must be fined not less than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not less than one year, or both.
(B) A tattoo artist conspicuously shall display:
(1) a clearly legible notice to patrons informing them of any disqualification which tattooing may confer upon a prospective blood donor
according to the current and subsequent amendments to standards of the American Association of Blood Banks. This notice must also appear
in any informed consent or release form which a tattoo artist uses;
(2) the certificate of successful completion of a course in infection control as approved by the department; and
(3) the permit issued by the department pursuant to subsection (A).
(C) A tattoo artist, in order to comply with department infection control precautions, must:
(1) wash his hands with soap and water before and after each recipient's procedure;
(2) use single-use disposable sterile or surgical style gloves when performing tattoo procedures on recipients. These gloves must never be
washed or reused in any manner and must be immediately discarded and replaced upon notice of a tear or other defect;
(3) use sterilized or disposable razors on individuals who must undergo shaving of hair;
(4) clean the recipient's skin with a germicidal solution approved by the department;
(5) use on each recipient either (a) sterile, disposable needles and injection equipment which is designated and sterilely packaged as
single-use only or (b) reusable needles and injection equipment only if properly sterilized by autoclave or chemical germicide used in
accordance with them manufacturer's directions;
(6) dispose of the used needles and injection equipment in safety puncture-proof containers as approved by the department and must dispose of
the used needle containers in a manner prescribed by the department; and
(7) allow and cooperate with on-site inspections as considered necessary by the department.
(D) A tattoo artist must not:
(1) use stencils to transfer designs to skin or containers of ink or dye unless separate, disposable single-use stencils or containers are used on
(2) use alum or styptic pencils considered necessary to control bleeding unless a separate, disposable single-use item is used on each
(E) A person engaged in tattooing shall verify by means of a picture identification that a recipient is at least twenty-one years of age. For purposes of this
section, 'picture identification' means (a) a valid South Carolina driver's license; or (b) an official photographic identification card issued by the South Carolina
Department of Revenue, a federal or state law enforcement agency, an agency of the United States Department of Defense, or United States Department of
State. Proof that the defendant demanded, was shown, and reasonably relied upon proof of age is a defense to an action brought pursuant to this section.
(F) The department may revoke a permit or deny an application for a new or renewed permit for violations of the provisions of this section. The revocation or
denial may be appealed as a contested case pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act. A person engaged in tattooing whose permit has been revoked
or denied may not reapply for a period of one year from the date of revocation or denial.
SECTION 2. Chapter 17, Title 16 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
A person who is tattooed while under the age of eighteen twenty-one in violation of Section 16-17-700(A)(1) may bring an action in the circuit court
against the person convicted of the violation to recover actual damages and punitive damages plus costs of the action and attorney's fees, subject to Section 15-3-40.
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.