To help prevent injury and skin cancer caused or promoted by ultraviolet radiation emitted by tanning devices, the State of Wisconsin (through the Department of Health Services [DHS]) regulates tanning devices. All persons who possess or operate devices available to the public for the purposes of artificial light skin tanning must obtain a permit from DHS. This includes devices in hotels, motels, fitness centers, and apartment or condominium complexes. Permits are not required by individual home owners or phototherapy units in medical offices. Tanning Device Permits obtained by DHS expire annually on June 30. All permit holders are required to inform the department of any change of the information given on the application form, and no permit issued is transferable.
Wisconsin Tanning Device/Facility Statute and Administrative Code:
- ss. 255.08 - Wisconsin Tanning Statute (once on this page, scroll down to the specific 255.08 section on Tanning Facilities)
- DHS 161 - Administrative Rules. www.legis.wisconsin.gov (PDF, 20 KB)
- DHS 161 Appendix A : This is a table of skin types which is to be used by the operator to determine the appropriate tanning times for each client. www.legis.wisconsin.gov (PDF, 5 KB)
Instructions for Registering Tanning Devices:
To register tanning devices: Fill out the Application for Registration of Tanning Beds - F-47337 (PDF, 16 KB) and return with the $10.00 permit fee to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Tanning Device Registration, Room B157, P.O. Box 2659, Madison, WI 53701-2659.
To assist with speedier service, we now have a group email at DHSXrayTanning@dhs.wisconsin.gov. Please feel free to send us any questions, technical or administrative.
- Medications and Other Agents That Increase Sensitivity to Light - This includes over-the-counter supplements which may cause increased sensitivity. It is the operators' responsibility, under the law, to determine whether a client is taking medicine or supplements which may require alteration of the tanning times.
- Management of Waste Fluorescent Lamps and Incandescent Bulbs - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the US EPA require that lamps used in tanning beds, which may contain mercury, are disposed of in an approved manner.
- Warning Sign (PDF, 6 KB) - Wisconsin Statutes require that a warning sign appear in each area where each tanning device is used and readable by the customer. The copy provided here in a PDF file may be downloaded and printed. Tanning device operators may copy and use this sign to meet that requirement. Do not reduce the size of this sign beyond the regular 8 1/2 x 11" size.
- There is a new 10% federal excise tax on indoor Tanning services contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590). See the IRS website for details. (exit DHS) Taxes on Form 720 are to be sent to: Dept of the Treasury, IRS, Cincinnati, OH 45999-0009.
William Balke, Tanning Supervisor
Sandra Anible, Tanning Program Assoc.