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New Jersey Laser Tattoo Removal Regulations

In the state of New Jersey, laser tattoo removal is considered to be a “minor surgery.” This means that it is a medical procedure, and it must be performed by or under the supervision of a licensed medical practitioner. Before opening your doors for business in New Jersey, it’s important to know the public health rules regarding laser services for tattoo removal. It doesn’t matter what type of laser technology you use, from the Cynosure PicoSure Laser, the Quanta Q plus C skin care laser or the Cynosure Revile, be sure that you’ve got the hand-on training and laser safety training required in  your state.

Physician requirements

Any physician or laser technician that wants to practice laser tattoo removal surgery should submit an application to New Jersey’s State Board of Medical Examiners. This application for laser procedures should include any certifications or paperwork that proves the applicant has the following qualifications:

  • Successfully completed an accredited training program that focuses on the proper use and care of laser devices
  • Successfully completed an accredited residency training program that focuses on laser use

In some cases, the Board might require additional materials or information in order to make an educated decision, including:

  • An interview with the applying physician
  • A sample of the physician’s patient records
  • An inspection of the office and laser treatments area
  • Any additional materials that might clarify the physician’s qualifications to the Board

The Board will review all materials and either grant some or all requested privileges, grant conditional approval (upon completion of an additional tattoo removal training program or a period of observation), or deny some or all requested privileges.

Delegation of laser tattoo removal procedures

A licensed medical practitioner is permitted to delegate laser tattoo removal procedures to approved personnel, such as certified medical assistants (CMAs). In order to be a CMA, a person must complete an accredited program that includes at least 600 hours of laser removal training and laser safety, and provides instruction in all relevant medical techniques. Prior to delegating laser tattoo removal treatments to a CMA, the supervising physician must be sure that the following conditions are met:

  • The CMA is certified, is competent and qualified, and fully understands the procedure
  • The physician has already examined the patient and determined a treatment plan that includes the specific laser scanning equipment to be used and the dosage of any medicine
  • Information for both the CMA and the supervising physician should be readily supplied to the patient
  • The physician must be on-site at the tattoo removal center or private office at all times while laser tattoo removal treatments are being performed and readily available to provide advice and to assist with any complications

The CMA is not permitted to provide any diagnoses, treatment plans, or prescription drugs to the patient.

Professional misconduct

As with any medical procedure, violation of state or federal laws is considered to be professional misconduct and is subject to punishment. Some examples of professional misconduct include:

  • Operating with a fraudulent, expired, or revoked license
  • Engaging in malpractice, negligence, or morally reprehensible practices
  • Practicing medicine under the use of drugs or alcohol
  • Allowing unapproved personnel to operate laser equipment

Anyone engaging in professional misconduct while delivering laser services in the State of New Jersey is subject to a number of penalties depending on the severity and frequency of the violation. These penalties can range from steep fines to license revocation.

Prior to receiving laser tattoo removal services, a patient must be examined by a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. This examination must include a physical check-up and a patient history evaluation that covers any pre-existing conditions. As with any other medical procedure, the physician will go over any potential risks or side effects of the treatment. If a patient is under the age of 18, he or she must have consent from a parent or guardian.

Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice. For legal advice regarding laser tattoo removal procedures, contact the New Jersey medical board or call one of our reps at to discuss. Direct Regulations Consulting Line: 888-685-3081

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