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What Age Can You Get a Tattoo or Physique Piercing?

Within the U.S., teenagers should be 18 years previous to get a tattoo or physique piercing. However in some states, mother and father can provide consent for youthful teenagers who need both physique ink or a piercing someplace apart from their ear. Every state establishes its personal guidelines about physique artwork and the kind of consent that is acceptable. 

Some states will not enable a teen to get a tattoo or a physique piercing no matter parental consent, whereas just a few states haven’t any guidelines. Meaning your teen might be able to stroll right into a salon and get a tattoo or piercing with out your information. So it is essential to speak about these procedures to maintain your teen protected.


What You Have to Know

Some states have particular guidelines about kinds of piercings. So whereas ear piercing could also be authorized for a minor (anybody underneath 18), a tongue piercing could require parental consent. Typically a father or mother needs to be current together with giving consent, however not at all times.

Sadly, not all tattoo artists or physique piercers observe the legislation. A few of them could also be prepared to tattoo your teen or give them a nostril ring with out your consent. In the event that they do that, although, they may face fines and even lose their license.

State Legal guidelines

Legal guidelines change usually, so it is essential to teach your self in regards to the newest laws in your state. Listed below are the present state legal guidelines:

Alabama

  • Minors want the written consent of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Alaska

  • Minors could not obtain tattoos.
  • Written parental permission is required for physique piercing and a father or mother or authorized guardian should be current in the course of the process.

Arizona

  • A father or mother or authorized guardian should be current for a minor to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Arkansas

  • Minors want the written consent of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo, and a father or mother or guardian should be current.

California

  • It’s unlawful to tattoo a minor.
  • The presence or notarized consent of a father or mother or authorized guardian is required to obtain a piercing apart from an ear piercing.

Colorado

  • Minors want written consent from a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Connecticut

  • Minors want the written consent of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a tattoo (the division of public well being doesn’t regulate physique piercing).

Delaware

  • Minors want written consent from a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Florida

  • Minors want the written, notarized consent of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Georgia

  • Tattooing of a minor should be finished by a licensed osteopath or technician performing underneath the direct supervision of a licensed doctor or osteopath.
  • For a piercing, a minor will need to have written knowledgeable consent from a father or mother or authorized guardian.

Hawaii

  • Minors want the written consent of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a tattoo.
  • No present age limits on piercings.

Idaho

  • No tattooing, branding, or physique piercing of minors underneath the age of 14.
  • For minors aged 14 to 18 to get a piercing or tattoo, a father or mother or authorized guardian should be current and provides written consent.

Illinois

  • Minors is probably not at a tattoo store with out a father or mother or authorized guardian. Minors could not obtain a tattoo.

Indiana

  • Minors want written consent to obtain a piercing or tattoo, and a father or mother or authorized guardian should be current.

Iowa

  • It’s unlawful to tattoo a minor.
  • There are not any legal guidelines on physique piercing.

Kansas

  • Minors want written, notarized consent and the presence of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Kentucky

  • Minors want written, notarized consent from a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Louisiana

  • A father or mother or authorized guardian should be current for a minor to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Maine

  • It’s unlawful to tattoo a minor.
  • Minors want the written consent of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing.

Maryland

  • There are at present no legal guidelines concerning age limits for tattoos or physique piercing.

Massachusetts

  • There are at present no legal guidelines concerning age limits for tattoos or physique piercing.

Michigan

  • Minors want written knowledgeable consent from a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing.
  • Consent should be given in individual.

Minnesota

  • It’s unlawful to tattoo a minor.
  • A minor wants witnessed written consent from a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing. No genital or nipple piercings, branding, scarification, suspension, subdermal implantation, microdermal, or tongue bifurcation is allowed on minors.

Mississippi

  • It’s unlawful to tattoo or physique pierce a minor.

Missouri

  • Minors want the written consent of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.
  • The consent should be given in individual.

Montana

  • Minors want the written consent of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.
  • The consent should be given in individual.

Nebraska

  • A minor wants the written consent of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Nevada

  • There are at present no legal guidelines on age limits for tattoos or physique piercing.
  • The state doesn’t regulate tattoo or piercing retailers.

New Hampshire

  • Minors want the written consent and presence of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing.

New Jersey

  • Tattoos require written permission from a minor’s father or mother or authorized guardian.

New Mexico

  • Minors want written consent and a father or mother or guardian current throughout a tattoo or piercing.

New York

  • It’s unlawful to tattoo a minor.
  • Written parental consent is required for piercings.

North Carolina

  • It’s unlawful to tattoo or physique pierce a minor.

North Dakota

  • Minors want the written consent and presence of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Ohio

  • The father or mother or guardian should signal a consent type and seem in individual on the time a process is carried out.

Oklahoma

  • It’s unlawful to tattoo a minor.
  • A minor wants the presence and written consent of the father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a physique piercing.

Oregon

  • A father or mother or guardian should give written consent and current proof of id.
  • Minors can solely be tattooed with the authorization of a doctor.

Pennsylvania

  • Minors want the written consent and presence of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Rhode Island

  • Minors want the presence of the father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing.
  • Minors can’t be tattooed.

South Carolina

  • Minors underneath the age of 18 could not get a tattoo with out parental consent.
  • A father or mother or guardian should both give written, notarized consent for a physique piercing or be current in the course of the process.

South Dakota

  • Minors want written consent from a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Tennessee

  • A minor older than 16 could get a tattoo to cowl an present tattoo. Their father or mother or authorized guardian should be current.
  • Minors want written consent and the presence of the father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing.

Texas

  • Minors want written consent and the presence of the father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a tattoo. The grownup should consider it’s “in one of the best curiosity” of the minor and tattoos can solely be finished to cowl an “obscene or offensive” present tattoo.

Utah

  • Minors want the consent of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Vermont

  • Minors want the written consent of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo.

Virginia

  • Minors want the presence of the father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo (excludes ear piercing).

Washington

  • It’s unlawful to tattoo a minor.
  • At present, there are not any legal guidelines on age limits for physique piercing.

West Virginia

  • Minors want the written consent of a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a tattoo.
  • At present, there are not any legal guidelines on age limits for physique piercing.

Wisconsin

  • It’s unlawful to tattoo a minor, except for a doctor in the midst of their skilled follow.
  • No present legal guidelines on age limits for physique piercing.

Wyoming

  • Minors want verbal consent from a father or mother or authorized guardian to obtain a piercing or tattoo and the father or mother or guardian should be current.

How one can Give Consent

States that require written consent for physique artwork have safeguards in place to stop forgeries. If you’re giving written consent, chances are you’ll have to doc precisely what you’re consenting to. For instance, chances are you’ll have to say what tattoo you consent your teen to get and the place will probably be. For piercings, chances are you’ll have to doc the sort and placement of the piercing.

Some states require consent kinds to be notarized to make sure that the authorized guardians are those really finishing the paperwork. 

Contact the institution forward of time to debate what your teen might want to get a tattoo or piercing in case you are not going to be current. 

Security

Tattoo and physique piercing retailers are regulated by the federal government. Nevertheless, that does not imply all retailers are created the identical. It is essential to ensure an institution is following correct procedures.

Examine to see if the store appears clear. Ask in regards to the skilled’s license, coaching, and expertise. Do not be shy about asking questions earlier than making any selections. You additionally would possibly ask to look at what goes on within the store when another person will get a piercing or tattoo.

For a tattoo:

  • Ask how tools and surfaces are sanitized.
  • Ask the place the enterprise will get their ink to make sure that their provider follows FDA pointers.
  • Be sure that clear needles are getting used.
  • See if the tattoo artist wears clear gloves.

For a piercing:

  • Ask about the kind of jewellery used for piercings and how one can belief that it is sanitary.
  • Learn how tools is sterilized.
  • Be sure that sterile needles are used and disposed of after every piercing.

Discuss to Your Teen

If you happen to assume your teen could also be tempted to get some physique artwork or physique modification, speak about it. Quite than merely forbidding it, be taught why your teen is thinking about a tattoo or particular piercing.

Be prepared to hearken to your teen’s opinions and concepts, even if you happen to do not agree with them. After they’ve acknowledged their case, you may share your opinion. 

Educate your self in regards to the potential dangers and speak to your teen in regards to the risks, equivalent to an infection, in addition to the social penalties. A facial piercing could have an effect on their means to get a job or a tattoo could restrict employment alternatives.

A Phrase From Verywell

If you happen to aren’t snug with the concept of your teen getting a tattoo or piercing, you would possibly have the ability to decide on an alternate possibility, like a henna tattoo or an additional ear piercing. However if you cannot discover a compromise and you are not prepared to provide in, be certain your teen is knowledgeable.

With details about the out there choices and the professionals and cons of every, your baby could make an informed resolution. Whether or not or not you agree with their alternative, you’ll relaxation assured that you just did your job as a father or mother by offering steering to your teen.


By Amy Morin, LCSW

Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Thoughts. She’s additionally a psychotherapist, a global bestselling creator of books on psychological energy and host of The Verywell Thoughts Podcast. She delivered one of the crucial common TEDx talks of all time.

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