CIA Tattoo Policy for 2023 (Can CIA Agents Have Tattoos?)

Both the acceptance of tattoos and the number of people who wear body art are rising globally. According to some studies, up to 30% of American adults have at least one tattoo.

Whether they like it or not, this surge in popularity of tattoos has compelled several sectors to alter (and relax) their stance on them.

Front-line workers such as CIA agents have one of the most significant roles in the nation in terms of status and responsibility attached to the position. They must be able to uphold a high standard of professionalism and honesty at all times because they are responsible for both investigating and combatting crime and terrorism.

Since its founding in 1947, the CIA has had a stringent policy on tattoos. Agents were not permitted to have any tattoos on their bodies that could be seen, regardless of their size or location.

This rule had been in effect for a while, but as more individuals got tattoos in recent years, it started to alter.

So, in today’s world, can a CIA agent have tattoos?

CIA Tattoo Policy – All You Need to Know

CIA Tattoos - all you need to know

You’re at the perfect place if you’ve been considering joining the CIA but are hesitant because of some tattoos on your body. Everything you need to know about the CIA’s tattoo policy is included in the section below.

Currently, the CIA no longer rejects candidates because of their tattoos. You have the same chance of landing the dream job as anyone else, whether you only have a few little tattoos or a complete sleeve to show for it.

This is what CIA’s spokesperson, Nicole de Haay, had to say on the matter: “Despite what you may have heard, the CIA employs individuals with tattoos, as our workforce is as diverse as the nation that we protect.”

That does not imply, though, that the CIA approves of whatever tattoos you might have. Some limitations are still in force. Although it’s not against the official policy to get tattoos on your face or neck, it’s typically not perceived as professional and might be viewed as going too far by the CIA.

The same is true with any tattoos that can be deemed offensive. It is possible that your tattoo may be considered improper throughout the application process if it is regarded to be racist, sexist, or in any other way offensive. CIA, just like most front-line workplaces, is a diverse environment that should be respectful and inclusive of everyone.

The same applies to any tattoo that may be associated with gangs or violence. If you want to work in law enforcement, especially at an institution like the CIA, these are obviously a big no-no.

Despite all of the above, it’s worth pointing out that the current US anti-discrimination laws don’t include tattoos as a protected characteristic. So, while the CIA officially states that it does not discriminate against candidates based on their tattoos, it could theoretically still reject you (unlikely but still).

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you’re in the clear about the CIA’s tattoo policy, you might have some additional questions. Let’s go ahead and answer some of the most frequently asked ones.

Can CIA agents have tattoos?
Can CIA agents have tattoos?
  • Can I apply if I have a tattoo?

Yes, you can apply if you have tattoos. The CIA no longer rejects candidates based on their tattoos.

  • Can I get a tattoo after I join the CIA?

The CIA does not have any restrictions on getting tattoos after you join. You are free to get whatever tattoos you want, as long as they don’t violate the other rules in this article.

  • Can I have a tattoo on my face or neck?

Technically, yes. There is no rule against it, but it is typically not perceived as professional and might be viewed as going too far by the CIA.

  • Can you have tattoos as an FBI agent?

The FBI does not have a policy against tattoos, but they must be tasteful and can’t be disruptive to others. You can learn more on the subject by reading our article on FBI tattoo policy.

  • Can you be a secret agent with tattoos?

Unfortunately, the Secret Service forbids its workers from getting tattoos or any other body art on their hands, faces, necks, or fingers, amongst others.

Final Word & References

Summing up the CIA tattoo policy, the organization’s stance on tattoos has become much more lenient in recent years. You no longer have to worry about your tattoos being a hindrance to your career dreams.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can go and get any type of tattoo you want. Some limitations still apply, and you should always be mindful of the potential implications of your tattoos.

This article is based on information from official sources, such as: