Hawaii Tattoo Laws in 2023 (Age, Fines & More)

There are so many incentives to move or travel to Hawaii that we could spend a day or two discussing them all.

Firstly, there’s the weather. It’s warm year-round, with an average temperature in the low to mid-80s. There are also very few natural disasters to speak of. While the islands are located in an area that is susceptible to hurricanes, they are far enough from the mainland that these storms usually dissipate before reaching them.

Another huge incentive is the lifestyle. Hawaii is a very laid-back place, and the people are generally friendly and welcoming.

Lastly, Hawaii is home to some of the most talented tattoo artists, making it the perfect place to get inked!

Like all other states in the US, there are tattoo laws in Hawaii that need to be followed. If you’ve been contemplating getting your next (or first) tattoo in Hawaii, stick with us for a few minutes to learn if you’re eligible to do so.

Hawaii Tattoo Laws & Regulations

The state of Hawaii has laws that apply to both the clients and the artists.

Client’s Tattoo Regulations

The only regulation for the clients applies to their age.

Hawaii’s tattoo age laws are pretty relaxed. The Hawaii tattoo laws for minors are as follows: the state prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from getting a tattoo – unless the client is between the age of 16-17 and can provide written parental consent. Consent from a legal guardian is also acceptable.

Unlike many other regions of the country, Hawaii doesn’t require the legal caretaker to be present throughout the tattoo process. With that said, the tattoo artist might (and should) ask for the IDs of both the client and the parent/legal guardian, just to make sure everything is on the up and up.

In case a minor get a tattoo without the above conditions being met, he’s exempt from persecution. The whole blame always lies with the artists (unless the client provided legit-looking but fake documents).

Artist’s Tattoo Regulations

Since we touched on the subject of the laws for artists, it’s the perfect time to mention that in case the minor law is broken, the artist is subject to a fine of up to $500 and/or a jail sentence of up to 1 year (this is really rare, however).

To be able to legally perform the procedure of tattooing in the state of Hawaii, the tattoo artist needs to have a valid license, as well as work from a licensed studio.

The artist also needs to follow certain guidelines regarding the operation of their business. For example, they need to:

  • Keep their work area clean and free of hazards
  • Use new, sterile needles for each client
  • Use new, sterile gloves for each client
  • Use new, sterile razors for each client
  • Use new, sterile cotton swabs for each client

In other words, the place needs to be as sterile as humanly possible to avoid any health hazards. Tattooing from home or any other non-licensed facility is strictly prohibited and can result in the same fines mentioned above.

Naturally, the artist also has some rights when it comes to declining a client.

If they feel that the client is too intoxicated, or if they believe that the tattoo will be placed on an area of the body that he isn’t comfortable with tattooing, they can refuse to provide their services. The same applies to tattoo designs they find offensive (eg. tattoos involving racial slurs or hate speech).

Tattoo Laws in Hawaii: References

In short, Hawaii has some pretty relaxed tattoo laws, which makes it a great place to get inked! Just make sure you do your research and find a reputable artist to avoid any problems.

The above information on the rules & regulations for tattoos in Hawaii is based on trusted sources, such as: