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

It’s no wonder Kentucky is a popular state to move or travel to – the list of its strong points is really long.

Firstly, there’s the stunning natural scenery. The state is full of mountains, forests and rivers, waiting to be explored.

And if you’re a fan of outdoor activities, you’ll find plenty to do here too – from hiking and camping to fishing and kayaking.

Then there’s the food. Kentucky is famous for its BBQ and southern cooking, and you’ll find plenty of restaurants serving up delicious dishes.

And last but not least, Kentucky is a popular destination for people in love with tattoos. The state is home to some of the best tattoo artists in the country, and you’ll find plenty of shops to choose from – many of which are ultra-affordable.

With that said, not everyone is eligible to get inked in Kansas because the state, like any other in the US, has some regulative guidelines in place for those who want to get tattooed.

If you’ve been contemplating your next session, stick with us for a couple of minutes as we discuss the latest tattoo laws in Kentucky.

Kentucky Tattoo Laws & Regulations

The regulations on tattoos apply both to clients and artists. Let’s have a look at each.

Tattoo Laws for Customers

In all states, the majority of the restrictions for clients are based on their age, with a few rare exceptions.

Now you might be wondering: can you get a tattoo at 18 in Kentucky?

Well, no one under the age of 18 is permitted to get inked in Kentucky according to the state’s tattoo age rules.

However, if you’re underage and desperate to get a tattoo done, not all hope is lost. There’s a way around this.

The Kentucky tattoo laws for minors also state that you can go ahead with the tattoo if you can provide written authorization from a parent or legal guardian. Additionally, the consent must be notarized.

However, unlike in some stricter states (eg. Arkansas or Kansas), the said caretaker doesn’t have to be present during the tattoo session. There are even more extreme states such as Illinois or Iowa that completely forbid the tattooing of a minor. Hence, if you’re underage and in Kentucky, consider yourself lucky.

As of now, there are no regulations on the placement of the tattoo, meaning you’re fine to pick any spot – as long as the artist is fine with it.

It’s important to note that only a tattoo artist will be held accountable for exceeding the age restriction. There will be no consequences of any kind for the youngster.

Tattoo Laws for Artists

Continuing from the last sentence, if an artist chooses to tattoo a minor without a notarized parental consent, they will be responsible for dealing with any legal repercussions. In Kentucky, breaking this law is punishable by a fine and/or a short prison sentence.

Additionally, a tattoo artist must possess a current tattoo license in order to lawfully practice in the state of Kentucky. A violation in this area is likewise a punishable offense.

The only place in which the tattooing procedure may take place in Kentucky is a licensed tattoo parlor. Any other venues (eg. home) are a no-no.

In order for a business to function lawfully, certain cleanliness and sterilization requirements must be fulfilled. For instance, the tattooers must always wear gloves and all needles must be disposable.

Naturally, a tattoo artist has the right to decline a job if it conflicts with his moral principles (eg. offensive designs or unsuitable body parts).

The takeaway from this is that getting a tattoo in Kentucky is totally safe and legal as long as you follow the rules. As always, do your research before choosing a parlor and artist to make sure it fits your style.


All the information on the Kentucky tattoo laws collected above is based on official sources: