Oklahoma is quite an excellent state to live or travel in.
The cost of living is low. The people are friendly and welcoming, and there are plenty of things to do.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the tattoo industry in the Sooner State, as its commonly known, is also on the rise.
Just like anywhere else in the world, getting a tattoo in Oklahoma can be a great experience or a complete disaster, depending on where you go. This is why it’s important to do your research before selecting an artist or shop.
What’s equally important is being up to date with all the latest tattoo laws in Oklahoma, as these can change at any time.
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about getting a tattoo in Oklahoma or starting your work as an artist.
Without further ado, let’s go.
Oklahoma Tattoo Laws & Regulations
Oklahoma is very similar to the vast majority of states in the US in that it regulates the body art industry both for the clients and artists alike.
Only in the states of Maryland and Nevada are there no state-level regulations.
If you’ve been a resident of Oklahoma for some time, you might be wondering…
Are tattoos in Oklahoma still illegal?
As a “fun” fact, the state was the last of all 50 states to legalize tattooing back in 2006.
So, it’s been less than 15 years since citizens of Oklahoma could get their ink done without having to worry about the law.
The answer to the question is no, then, tattoos are not illegal in Oklahoma. However, the state still has one of the strictest tattoo laws around.
Let’s look into them now.
Laws for Customers
When it comes to regulations for customers, most of these relate to age.
In Oklahoma, the legal age for getting a tattoo is 18 years old.
If you still haven’t hit that magic number “18” yet, you might be wondering; can I get a tattoo at 16 in Oklahoma?
Well, unfortunately, no (at least not legally).
Unlike a lion’s share of US states, there are no exceptions to this rule in Oklahoma, so if you’re not yet 18, you’ll have to wait a little longer or find another state with lower age requirements.
There are no rules on the allowed placement of tattoos in Oklahoma, so you’re free to get one pretty much anywhere on your body that you want.
Laws for Artists
Continuing from there, we now move on to the laws and regulations for those working in the industry – tattoo artists.
Much like customers, there are a few regulations for artists to follow in Oklahoma.
It’s only fair to begin by stating that it’s the artist who will face charges and fines if any of the age rules are broken, not the customer. Committing a misdemeanor can result in a $500 fine and/or a short prison sentence.
The first regulation we’ll mention is that all tattoo artists in Oklahoma must have a license from the state in order to practice.
To obtain this license, artists must first complete an approved training course that covers topics such as sterilization, cross-contamination, blood-borne pathogens, and more.
After that, they must pass a written exam administered by the state.
The second regulation for tattoo artists in Oklahoma relates to their working environment – the shop in which they work must be licensed as well.
The rules and regulations for shops are similar to those for artists, in that they must complete an approved training course on topics such as sterilization.
Naturally, all licensed shops need to follow strict rules on cleanliness and sanitation to protect both their employees and customers. These include:
- the use of sterilized needles and single-use products
- the disposable of all sharp objects
- the use of gloves when coming into contact with blood
Tattoo shops in Oklahoma are subject to surprise inspections by the state at any time, and if found to not be following the rules, they can be fined or shut down.
Any shop or artist is fully permitted to refuse service to any customer for any reason – as long as it’s not discriminatory.
Possible causes of refusal could be:
- not meeting the age requirements
- appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- refusal to sign a legal waiver
- offensive tattoo design
- inappropriate placement
So, there you have it – everything you need to know about Oklahoma’s tattoo laws.
While Oklahoma’s tattoo laws for minors are pretty strict, there are a few more regulations in place for artists and shops.
Remember, if you’re planning on getting a tattoo in Oklahoma (or anywhere else), be sure to do your research first and only visit a reputable, licensed artist or shop.
The article is based on the latest information from official sources, such as: