New Jersey Tattoo Laws in 2023 (Age, Fines & More)

The list of things New Jersey is renowned for is incredibly long. Hence, it’s no wonder it’s a much-loved state both for the people who live there and travelers alike.

For once, the Garden State doesn’t get its nickname from an abundance of flowers (although there are plenty). New Jersey is actually one of the most densely populated states in the US and is known for having some of the best beaches on the East Coast.

New Jersey is also known to be a popular destination for tattoo enthusiasts.

And why is that?

Well, for starters, New Jersey is home to some of the best tattoo artists in the country. Many of these artists have years of experience and are incredibly talented. They’re also able to create custom designs that are truly unique.

Furthermore, the state has a number of great tattoo shops that are clean and professional.

And, like the vast majority of states in the US, New Jersey has some rules that regulate the industry.

If you’ve been considering getting inked or starting your work as an artist, stick with us for a moment as we dive into the latest tattoo laws in New Jersey.

New Jersey Tattoo Laws & Regulations

Of all the 50 states in the country, only two – Maryland and Nevada – have zero regulations when it comes to tattoos.

The rest of the states, including New Jersey, have some form of restriction or another – both for the customers and artists alike.

Let’s look into them now.

Laws for Customers

When it comes to rules for clients, most states focus on the minimum age requirement.

There are some that also regulate the allowed placement of the tattoo (eg. in Georgia you can’t get tattooed within an inch of the eye socket). However, New Jersey has neither of those regulations.

So you might be already wondering; can I get a tattoo at 18 in New Jersey?


The only rule that the state imposes on customers is that they must be at least 18 years old to get a tattoo.

But what if you haven’t hit that magic number “eighteen” yet and are desperate to get inked and wondering; can I get inked at 16 in NJ?

Well, there is some good news in this aspect.

If you’re 16 or 17 years old, you can get tattooed in New Jersey – but only with the consent of a parent or guardian.

And, as you may have guessed, this parental/guardian consent must be given in person.

So if you’re thinking about getting a tattoo and are underage, make sure to bring along a parent or guardian to sign off on the paperwork.

Now that we’ve looked into the regulations for customers, let’s move on to the rules for tattoo artists in New Jersey.

Laws for Tattoo Artists

It’s important to begin discussing the regulations for artists by stressing that – in case the law is breached and a minor is tattooed – it’s the artist who will be held responsible, not the client, his parents, or a guardian.

Tattooing a person under 18 is considered a disorderly person offense and can result in a fine or suspension of the license. And that brings us to another of the requirements – the necessity to own a tattoo license in order to work as an artist in New Jersey.

Furthermore, all shops that offer tattooing services must be registered and licensed by the state. Tattooing from homes, as well as in any unlicensed and unregistered premises, is strictly prohibited by law.

The premises must be clean and meet all health and safety regulations.

  • there’s an obvious need for tattoo artists to use single-use needles only
  • all other equipment must be sterilized properly between uses
  • the artists need to wear gloves at all times when tattooing

What’s worth noting, the artist is entitled to decline a tattoo if they believe the client is intoxicated or he has requested an offensive design (eg. sexist or racist). It’s also absolutely fine for the artist to decline tattooing particular body parts if he doesn’t feel comfortable with it.


As you can see, getting a tattoo in New Jersey is relatively easy – as long as you’re of age.

There are some basic regulations that artists and customers alike need to follow but, all in all, the tattoo industry is pretty much free to operate.

So if you live in New Jersey or are planning to visit soon and want to get inked, don’t hesitate to go ahead and do it. Just make sure you choose a reputable artist and shop to avoid any potential problems.

The information collected in this article is based on official sources, such as: