New Mexico Tattoo Laws in 2023 (Ages, Fines & More)

New Mexico has plenty in store for pretty much everyone.

The state is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, and there is an endless amount of things to do.

Whether you’re into hiking, biking, or simply just want to take in the sights, New Mexico has something for you.

And, of course, let’s not forget about all of the ridiculously talented tattoo artists the state has to offer, as well as plenty of budget-friendly tattoo parlors.

Whether you’re thinking about getting a tattoo in New Mexico or starting a career as a tattoo artist, there are a few things you should know before doing so.

The Land of Enchantment, as its commonly known, is similar to many other states in the US in the sense that it has its own rules and regulations when it comes to tattoos.

In this article, we’ll be discussing New Mexico tattoo laws and age requirements, as well as what you need to do to become a tattoo artist in the state.

Without further ado, let’s go.

New Mexico Tattoo Laws & Regulations

The said regulations are divided into two —the first one is for the clients and the second one is for the tattoo artists.

Let’s look into both now.

Customer’s Tattoo Laws

In New Mexico, the only law that applies to customers is the minimum age requirement.

So, how old do you gotta be to get a tattoo in New Mexico?

You must be 18 years of age or older to get a tattoo in the state of New Mexico. This is the standard age requirement for getting a tattoo in most states across the US.

But what if you’re still minor and desperate to get inked. By now you might be wondering; can I get a tattoo at 16 in New Mexico?

Well, you can! New Mexico is one of many states that allow minors aged 16-17 to get a tattoo with parental consent.

So, if you’re a minor and reading this, make sure to bring your parent or guardian with you to the parlor to get the paperwork done.

As of now, the state has no limits regarding the placement of tattoos. This means that there are no laws stating which body parts you can and cannot get tattooed, unlike in some other states such as Georgia where it’s impossible to tattoo within an inch of the eye socket.

Tattoo Artist’s Laws

Now that we’ve talked about the customer’s side of things, let’s move on to the artist’s side of the equation.

It’s only fair to start by stating that in case the law is breached, the artist will be held accountable and not the customer.

In other words, if you go to a parlor and get inked by an artist who doesn’t follow the state’s regulations, it’s their neck on the line, not yours. The potential repercussion could be anything from getting your license suspended to being slapped with a hefty fine or even a short jail term.

Obviously, in order to legally perform tattooing in New Mexico, you need to obtain a license from the state.

Also, the tattoo parlors in New Mexico should be registered with the Department of Health, which is where you’ll be getting your license from. Tattooing from unlicensed or unregistered parlors is illegal in New Mexico and can lead to some pretty serious consequences, as we mentioned before.

Licensed tattoo shops, as well as artists, need to stick to some pretty sanitary regulations, some of which we’re listing below:

  • all artists must wear gloves while working
  • the needles being used must be sterile and only used once before being disposed of
  • the workstation, as well as the surrounding area, must be clean at all times

Some of the artists’ rights that are worth mentioning are the right to refuse service to anyone and the right to ask for identification if they have any doubts about the person’s age.

Also, if the artist feels offended by the tattoo design in any way or isn’t comfortable with tattooing a particular body part, he can also refuse the service.


That’s pretty much all you need to know about New Mexico tattoo laws.

Just remember that the age limit is 18 (16 with parental consent), you need a license to perform tattooing, and both the shop and the artist must be registered with the Department of Health. Other than that, there are no restrictions on tattoo placement in the state.

If you have any more questions or would like to share your experience, feel free to leave a comment below!

The article’s information is based on official sources that include: