How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Tattoos

At What Age Can You Get a Tattoo?

You’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo for a while since this body art impresses you. However, it made you wonder if there is a legal age to get a tattoo. The law depends on the state and country, but most locations have a minimum age requirement for getting tattoos.

If you are an adult, you can get any tattoo or body piercing legally. As an adult, you can decide for yourself. Going with body art options only depends on you. If you are ready for it, the United States' laws won’t stop you.

According to US laws, you become an adult at 18 years old. If you are wondering at what age can you get a tattoo without anyone’s consent, that would be the answer. The actual regulations depend on the state. Under certain conditions, you could get a tattoo if you are less than 18 years old.

Can You Get a Tattoo with Parental Consent?

The following states prohibit tattooing minors – Alaska, Arkansas, California, District of Columbia, Maine, Mississippi, New York, Rhode Island, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Most other states allow minors to get tattoos if they get parental consent. Depending on the law, a guardian or parent might also need to be present in the studio during the tattooing process.

The regulations might have safety mechanisms to prevent forging consent. That means a parent or guardian needs to write the consent with as many details as possible. It includes which tattoo to get and on what body part. After writing the consent, it needs to be notarized to prove the validity.

Most stylists will refuse to tattoo minors under the age of 15. Even if they have legal consent, artists refuse to proceed for these reasons:

  • You aren’t ready for a big decision. Tattoos are permanent, and nobody wants you to be sorry at 25 for something you did at 15.
  • The post-tattooing process is tedious. You need to stick to aftercare instructions carefully to avoid infections and other issues. Some artists don’t think you can understand the importance of it until you reach a certain age.
  • You will grow soon. The tattoo might stretch and deform as you grow.

Age Limit for Tattooing in the Different States

It’s interesting to discuss different state requirements on how old you have to be to get tattoos. So, at what age can you get a tattoo in your state? Check out the list below and find the legal status of tattooing state by state.

The chart refers to the law as of April, 2022; additional legal updates are not depicted below.

 

State

Law

Alabama

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Alaska

18

Arizona

Parent or guardian present for minors

Arkansas

18

California

18

Colorado

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Connecticut

Parent or guardian consent for minors

District of Columbia

18

Delaware

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Florida

16 - Parent or guardian consent or presence until 18 years old

Georgia

18

Hawaii

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Idaho

14 - Parent or guardian consent for minors until 18 years old

Illinois

18

Indiana

Parent or guardian consent and presence for minors

Iowa

18

Kansas

Parent or guardian present for minors

Kentucky

16 - Parent or guardian consent for minors until 18 years old

Louisiana

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Maine

18

Maryland

18

Massachusetts

18

Michigan

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Minnesota

18

Mississippi

18

Missouri

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Montana

Parent or guardian in-person consent for minors

Nebraska

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Nevada

14 - Parent or guardian consent and presence for minors

New Hampshire

18

New Jersey

Parent or guardian consent for minors

New Mexico

Parent or guardian consent for minors

New York

18

North Carolina

18

North Dakota

Parent or guardian present for minors

Ohio

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Oklahoma

Parent or guardian present for minors

Oregon

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Pennsylvania

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Rhode Island

18

South Carolina

18

South Dakota

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Tennessee

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Texas

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Utah

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Vermont

Parent or guardian consent for minors

Virginia

Parent or guardian present for minors

Washington

18

West Virginia

16 - Parent or guardian consent and presence for minors

Wisconsin

18

Wyoming

Parent or guardian present for minors

 

Here are some notable facts about age requirements and tattooing in the world:

  • You become an adult at 16 in Austria, Scotland, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
  • The Communist Party needs to approve your tattoo in North Korea before you get one.
  • You can’t get a religious or right-wing tattoo in Cuba or China.
  • Nazi and fascist-related symbols are illegal for tattooing in France and Germany (and highly not recommended in most other countries).
  • The Japanese connect tattoos with the Yakuza tradition, so they might think you are in the mafia.
  • Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Iran consider tattoos unlawful. Pakistan and Malaysia consider Prophet Muhammad and Allah tattoos illegal.

Always Stick to a Legal and Reliable Tattoo Artists

If you don’t have a legal age to get a tattoo, don’t go around looking for a stylist ready to give you one. There’s a good reason why those laws are in place. Think about the safety issues before making a decision. If an artist agrees to do a tattoo at an illegal age, don’t do the procedure. Working with shady stylists brings a high risk of infections and other health problems for using unsanitized equipment.

Those who decide to go through with a tattoo should stick to reliable tattoo artists. Check their websites and social media profiles and discuss using clean equipment. That includes clean needles, sanitary surfaces, and ink that meet the guidelines.

 


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