Mississippi is greatly appreciated by people privileged to live there and the tourists alike.
And there are quite a few reasons behind this.
There is the natural beauty, of course. The landscape is stunning, from the forests to the beaches. It’s a great place to hike, camp, fish, and generally commune with nature.
The state is steeped in history and culture. This is the birthplace of the blues, and there are still many active blues clubs and festivals.
Last but not least, Mississippi is a known hotspot of many extremely talented tattoo artists and parlors that won’t necessarily break the bank.
So if you’re planning on getting inked while visiting the state, or even if you’re a resident looking for a new shop, what do you need to know about Mississippi tattoo laws?
Mississippi Tattoo Laws & Regulations
Apart from Maryland, all states in the US have some regulations when it comes to tattoos – both for the clients and the artists.
Now, let’s take a look at both.
Laws for Customers
For the most part, the tattoo laws for clients relate to the minimum age requirement.
In this aspect, the state of Mississippi has one of the toughest policies around.
The minimum age for getting a tattoo in Mississippi is 18.
But, can you get a tattoo at 17 in Mississippi?
Unfortunately, unlike many other states who allow minors to get inked with written parental consent or/and the presence of a legal guardian (eg. Arizona, Arkansas or Colorado), there are no exceptions to this rule in Mississippi.
However, there is a workaround that some people choose to take advantage of.
If you cross the state line into Louisiana, which allows minors aged 16-17 to get inked with parental consent, you can technically get your tattoo there – even if you’re a Mississippi resident.
Now, this isn’t exactly the most ethical way to go about it, but it is an option for those who are desperate to get inked before they turn 18.
As of now, there are no specified rules on the allowed placement of tattoos – meaning you can get the ink in anywhere you like (as long as your artist sits fine with it!).
Laws for Artists
In case the client’s law is breached and a minor is indeed tattooed, the whole blame will fall on the artist.
The punishment for this misdemeanor is a fine of at least $100 and no bigger than $500.
The same penalty applies to tattoo artists who perform the art without a valid license. To get this license, the artist must pass a written test on sterilization, sanitation, and general safety procedures – administered by the Department of Health.
Additionally, the license can get suspended or even revoked if the artist is found to be in breach of any sanitary regulations or the age limit law.
Mississippi also imposes quite a few requirements on the parlors themselves.
The shop must be registered with the Department of Health, and it must also pass regular inspections in order to maintain a valid license. Sterilization requirements for parlors include:
- the use of sterile, single-use needles
- the use of disposable razors for shaving the skin before tattooing
- the use of gloves when handling clients’ blood
- the proper disposal of all needles, gloves, and other contaminated
Tattooing from an unlicensed shop is punishable by a fine of at least $500 but not more than $1000.
As for artists’ rights, they can decline a tattoo on some grounds. For example:
- if the tattoo placement is inappropriate for the artist
- if the client appears to be intoxicated
- if the design is racist, sexist, or homophobic
The bottom line is – if you want to get a tattoo while in Mississippi, make sure you’re of age and that the artist is licensed.
Other than that, follow your usual precautions, such as checking out the shop’s sterilization methods and aftercare instructions, and you should be good to go!
For your information, this article is citing the tattoo laws in Mississippi from official sources: