New York State Laser Tattoo Removal Regulations

New York’s regulations and restrictions surrounding laser tattoo removal are relatively hard to determine compared with many other states, as there are no published regulations. However, there have been several court cases and Health Board decisions that have set the standard for laser procedures. As a result of these decisions, laser tattoo removal is considered to be a practice of medicine and therefore must abide by the laws pertaining to medical procedures. This means that they must be performed in a doctor’s office, as opposed to in a laser clinic.

Who is authorized to perform a medical procedure?

As medical procedures, laser tattoo removal treatments must be performed by a licensed physician. The benefit of having a physician perform the procedure is that the physician’s medical experience will allow him or her to not only provide the most comprehensive care, but also legally administer any medication or shots to help ease the pain that comes with the treatment. Doctors also tend to have more experience with precise procedures, so it’s possible that the treatment could be less painful and more effective in removing the ink.

As with any medical procedure, prior to providing treatment, the physician will alert the patient to any standard risks associated with the procedure or any risks specific to the patient. The negative side of having the procedure performed at a doctor’s office is that it tends to be much more expensive than going to a simple laser clinic.

Registered professional nurses (RNs) can administer laser and cosmetic procedures to a patient in the state of New York if the following circumstances are true:

1) He or she is deemed competent to do so

2) An authorized provider has examined the patient and made a prescription for the treatment

Physician assistants (PAs) can also administer medical care under the supervision of a licensed physician.

Professional misconduct

Any physician performing a laser tattoo removal is subject to penalties in the case of professional misconduct. According to New York State Education statute 6530, professional misconduct encompasses a wide range of offenses, including the following:

  • Obtaining the license fraudulently
  • Practicing the profession with negligence
  • Practicing the profession under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Performing the procedure under a revoked license
  • Harassing a patient

These are only a few of the violations that qualify as professional misconduct. For a full description, visit

Who can receive laser tattoo removal treatments in New York?

As with other tattoo services and medical procedures, laser tattoo removal can only be performed on an adult 18 or older, or if a parent or guardian signs permission forms for a person under the age of 18. It is unlawful to administer treatment to a minor without consent from a parent or guardian.

Additional federal requirements

Any doctor’s office performing laser tattoo removal treatments should be sure to follow federal safety, cleanliness, and professional conduct regulations. The New York Board of Health will investigate and subsequently shut down any facilities that don’t meet FDA regulations or otherwise practice in an unsafe manner.

Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice. For legal advice regarding laser tattoo removal procedures, contact the New York medical board or call one of our reps at to discuss in further details at: 888-875-7001

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