Mutual Recognition of a Tattooist Licence - Queensland


In response to the spread of COVID-19, the Prime Minister has announced the National Cabinet has placed a ban on conducting all tattooing procedures in Australia until further notice.

This ban means tattooists and operators, including those with a mutual recognition from another state or territory, cannot perform any tattooing anywhere in Australia including their own home, until the government relaxes the restrictions. There is no estimated time as to when this will occur.

As a result, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is not issuing new licences for tattoo operators or tattooists and cannot grant mutual recognition in Queensland for a person holding an occupational licence or registration from another state or territory. 

Mutual Recognition Description

In general terms mutual recognition means that any person holding an occupational licence or registration in a state/territory is entitled to a comparable licence or registration in another state/territory, where available, on lodgement of the proper notification and payment of the required fee.  In relation to the Tattoo Industry Act 2013, this means that if you're licensed in another State or Territory, you can apply for mutual recognition to perform body art tattooing in Queensland.

Applicants under mutual recognition are licensed in Queensland:

Applicants can then perform body art tattooing services in Queensland until the licence is either granted or refused - providing the interstate licence remains current. 

Email the OFT if you would like to request mutual recognition.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

Must Have

To apply:

  • be 18 years or older
  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • not be subject to a relevant control order or registered corresponding control order that restricts you from carrying on a business, engaging in an occupation, or performing an activity that requires a licence
  • not be convicted of a prescribed offence under the Act where a conviction was recorded within the last 10 years
  • undertake a criminal history check with Queensland Police Service
  • give us proof of your previous, current or upcoming employment (this includes as an apprentice).


Please note it may take some time to process your application. We will process licence applications as quickly as possible but, as other government agencies are involved in the approval process, applications may take some time to progress.


Application process

You must lodge your application with the Office of Fair Trading, we will check it and if there is an issue, we will contact you for clarification. 

By law, the police need to take your finger and palm prints. We will contact you after you lodge your application form to explain what you need to do.

You can lodge your application with the Office of Fair Trading at the address below,  or at a Queensland Government service centre.

Applications will be assessed by the Office of Fair Trading, upon completeness of applications. Please note it may take some time to process the application. Once the application has been approved the applicant will receive a letter and licence.

If your application fails, we will send you a letter to explain the reason/s for the decision.

If you disagree, you may apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a review.

Additional information

A current certificate for Maintain Infection Prevention for Skin Penetration Treatments must be held.

Administering agency

Department of Justice and Attorney-General

Office of Fair Trading

Industry Licensing Unit

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Please use these contact details for help or more information:

Industry Licensing Unit

Office of Fair Trading

Department of Justice and Attorney-General

Operating address: Upper Plaza Terrace
33 Charlotte Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Mailing address: GPO Box 3111
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Phone: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
Website: Office of Fair Trading (Opens in new window)