With the constantly evolving norms and acceptance in our society, the question of “can a 14-year-old get a tattoo with parental consent” has become increasingly common as body art, too, gains popularity among younger individuals.
Tattooing has evolved from being perceived as a taboo to a form of self-expression. However, regulations surrounding age limits and parental consent for minors seeking tattoos remain a matter of debate.
In this article, we will delve into the legal and ethical sides of this issue, highlighting the differences in policies across all states in the US.
Stick with us to learn about the various perspectives on this topic and gain insight into whether a 14-year-old can truly obtain a tattoo with parental consent (and if they should in the first place).
Can A 14-Year Old Get A Tattoo With Parental Consent?
As far as the matter of the United States is concerned (and this will be the main focus of this article), there’s no definitive answer to this question.
This is because there is no federal law regulating the minimum age to get tattoo in the United States of America.
The said absence of a federal law regarding the minimum age for getting a tattoo creates a diverse landscape across the states. Some states have implemented strict prohibitions, completely disallowing tattooing for individuals under a certain age, while others have established specific criteria and conditions for minors seeking tattoos.
For instance, some states require the aforementioned parental consent, presence, or even written documentation before a tattoo artist can legally proceed. Additionally, specific age thresholds may vary, with some states setting the minimum age at 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18.
Understanding the intricacies of state laws is crucial in comprehending whether a 14-year-old can obtain a tattoo with parental consent within the United States.
States Allowing Tattooing a 14-Year-Old With Parental Consent
As we already mentioned, whether you be legally allowed to get inked at the age of 14 will strictly depend on where you live in the United States.
To make sure that you are abiding by the current regulations, below you’ll find the list of states that legally allow 14-year-olds to get a tattoo – as long as you provide a legit parental consent form.
Please remember that parental consent is by no means a guarantee that the tattoo artist will go ahead with the procedure. When it comes to tattooing minors, you also have to take into consideration the moral compass of the artist as well as the individual regulations of the parlor.
The minimum age to get a tattoo in Alabama is now 19 years old (an increase from the previous regulation of 18).
If you are under 19, a constant form won’t change anything.
The minimum age to get tattooed in Alaska is 18 and again, the state doesn’t have room for any exceptions for minors with a parental consent form.
Minors in Arizona (including 14-year-olds) are allowed to get a tattoo if the parent or a legal guardian is physically present during the procedure. Again, a constant form alone won’t do the job here.
If you are a 14-year-old living in the state of Arkansas, you are allowed to get a tattoo with a valid consent form.
The parent or legal guardian must provide the said form in person and present a picture ID and certify in writing that they are the person’s parent or legal guardian before giving their written approval.
Moreover, your parent or guardian needs to be present throughout the procedure.
Source: Arkansas State of Board Health
There’s no getting around if you are under the age of 18 and want to get tattooed in the state of California.
As things stand, the parietal consent form or even the presence of your parent/legal guardian won’t change a thing.
Minors under the age of 18 are allowed to get tattooed in the state of Colorado with a valid parental consent form.
No physical presence of the parent is required to legally perform the procedure.
Source: Colorado Health & Environment
If you’re a resident of Connecticut, you are allowed to get in at the age of 14 with a valid return consent form.
Your current isn’t required to be present during the procedure.
Getting a tattoo at the age of 14 is possible in Delaware with a valid constant form from your parent or legal guardian.
The set consent form needs to be notarized but your parent is not required to sit you through the procedure.
Source: Delaware General Assembly
The legal age to get a tattoo with a parental consent form in the state of Florida is 16 years old.
Additionally, your parent would have to be present at the tattoo shop throughout the session.
Source: Florida Health
Georgia’s laws on tattooing minors are one of the strictest in the country, meaning there is no way to legally get tattooed at the age of 14 – or any other age below 18.
Not even a consent form or even the presence of your parent will change that since the only allowed tattoos on minors are that performed for medical reasons.
The tattoo laws in Hawaii allow minors (including those at the age of 14) to legally get inked as long as they can provide a valid consent form.
The form itself is enough and no presence of the parent or the legal guardian is required.
Source: Hawaii Department of Health
If you are living in Idaho and are currently 14 years old, you are in luck. The state’s laws say that the minimum age to get tattooed is indeed 14.
A written consent form from your parent or a legal guardian needs to be delivered in order to legally perform the procedure.
Source: Idaho Statuses
Illinois is another state with ultra-strict laws regarding tattooing minors.
Not only can’t you get a tattoo under the age of 18 (even with a parental form) but you cannot even stay on the premises of a tattoo parlor without the presence of your parent or guardian.
Source: Illinois Department of Health
Getting a tattoo at the age of 14 in the state of Indiana is possible with both written permission from your parent, as well as his or her presence during the whole procedure.
No parental consent form, nor the presence of your parent will allow you to get tattooed at the age of 14 or any other age under 18 in the state of Iowa.
Source: Iowa Department of Public Health
14-year-olds residing in the state of Kansas are legally allowed to get in with a written and notarized consent form from their parents.
Another requirement is the parent’s presence during the tattoo session.
Kentucky is another state with more lax tattoo regulations, allowing 14-year-olds to get tattooed with notarized parental consent.
The parent isn’t required to be present during the procedure.
If you are a 14-year-old eager to get your first tattoo in the state of Louisiana, you’ll be able to do so as long as you can provide a written consent form from your parent, and the parent will sit you throughout the procedure.
Source: Louisiana Department of Health
Tattooing 14-year-olds (or anyone under 18 for that matter) in the state of Maine is prohibited and no exceptions can be made even with a consent form and/or the physical presence of the parent.
Tattooing minors under the age of 18 is prohibited at all costs in Maryland.
Source: Maryland Department of Health
Again, minors aged 14 or anywhere below 18 cannot legally get a tattoo in the state of Massachusetts.
No exceptions can be made in this case.
Source: Commonwealth of MDPH
Minors in the state of Michigan are allowed to get a tattoo with a written parental consent form, provided by the parent on the premises of the parlor.
It’s illegal to tattoo a minor under the age of 18 in Minnesota, regardless of the parental consent form or even the presence of the parent.
Source: Minnesota Department of Health
A parental consent form won’t be of any use in the state of Mississippi since it prohibits minors under the age of 18 to get a tattoo in any case.
The legal age to get a tattoo in Missouri is 18 years but if you are a minor, even one that is just 14, you’re allowed to get inked with a valid written consent form provided by your parent or legal guardian.
Getting inked at the age of 14 is allowed in the state of Montana as long as the parent delivers a written consent form in person.
A written parental consent form should be enough to get you your first tattoo in the state of Nebraska.
Nevada is the only state in the US that doesn’t have specific regulations regarding the minimum age required to get a tattoo.
Whether or not you can get inked with a parental consent form will depend on the individual policies of parlors.
New Hampshire ❌
As things stand, there are no allowed exceptions to tattooing minors in the state of New Hampshire.
Source: New Hampshire DHHS
New Jersey ✅
To get tattooed as a 14-year-old in the state of New Jersey, on top of the consent form, your parent will also have to be present during the procedure as well as show a valid ID.
Source: New Jersey Department of Health
New Mexico ✅
14-year-olds can legally get tattooed in New Mexico under certain conditions.
Apart from the written consent requirement, the set form needs to be notarized and delivered to the premises of the parlor by the parent prior to the procedure.
Source: New Mexico Department of Health
New York ❌
The state of New York has pretty strict tattoo industry laws and no exceptions can be made when it comes to tattooing minors.
North Carolina ❌
Tattooing a minor under the age of 18 is prohibited in any case. No exceptions can be made on the territory of North Carolina.
Source: North Carolina DHHS
North Dakota ✅
As a 14-year-old who wants to get a tattoo in North Dakota, you have to have your parent with you during the procedure and it’s also the parent who needs to hand in the consent form.
Getting a tattoo at 14 is legally allowed in Ohio but consent is required in writing and in person at the tattoo shop.
Source: Ohio Department of Health
14-year-olds can get a tattoo in Oklahoma as long as the written consent form is delivered by the parent in person, and the parent is present during the whole procedure.
The only instance in which a 14-year-old (or anyone under the age of 18 for that matter) can get a tattoo in Oregon, is when it’s authorized by a physician.
In other words, the tattoo has to be done for medical reasons.
Source: Oregon Health Authority
A written consent form delivered by your parent, as well as the parent’s presence during the procedure, makes the tattooing process completely legal in Pennsylvania.
Rhode Island ✅
Miners aged between 14-17 can get a tattoo in the state of Rhode Island, as long as the written consent form is delivered in person by the parent, and the parent is present on the premises of the tattoo shop during the procedure.
South Carolina ✅
The legal age to get a tattoo in South Carolina is 21, and the parental consent form can be useful only in situations when you are at least 18 years old.
South Dakota ✅
A signed consent form from your parent should be enough to let you get your tattoo in South Dakota.
The minimum age to get a tattoo in Tennessee with a parental consent form is 16.
Source: Tennessee Department of Health
Getting a tattoo at 14 is possible in Texas as long as the written consent form is delivered.
But only if a parent or guardian feels that it is in the best interest of the child to enable the minor to have a tattoo in order to hide an existing offensive or obscene tattoo.
A written consent form from your parents should be enough to legally get a tattoo in Utah.
Source: Utah Department of Health
14-year-olds can legally obtain a tattoo in Vermont with written parental consent.
Source: Vermont Department of Health
When it comes to Virginia, no parental consent forms are accepted. Instead, the parent or the legal guardian needs to be present during the procedure.
Source: Virginia Department of Health
Minors under the age of 18 can’t legally get tattooed in the state of Washington. There are no exceptions to the rule.
West Virginia ✅
Minors, including those aged 14, can legally get inked in the state of West Virginia as long as they provide a written consent form from their parents or a legal guardian.
Source: West Virginia DHHR
Tattooing minors under the age of 18, unless for medical reasons and done so by a medical professional, is prohibited in Wisconsin. There are no other exceptions to the rule.
To get a tattoo as a minor in Wyoming, presenting a written consent form alone won’t be enough. The parent also needs to be present during the whole procedure.
Source: Wyoming Department of Health
Understanding the parental consent
Parental consent refers to the legal authorization given by a parent or legal guardian for a minor to engage in a particular activity or make a decision.
In the context of getting a tattoo as a minor, parental consent means that the parent or guardian has provided explicit permission for their child to undergo the tattooing process. This consent is typically required by law in jurisdictions where minors are allowed to get tattoos under certain circumstances.
The specifics of parental consent can vary depending on the location and applicable laws. In general, it involves the parent or guardian signing a consent form provided by the tattoo studio or artist.
This form confirms that they are aware of their child’s intention to get a tattoo and are giving their consent for the procedure to take place. The form may also outline any relevant restrictions or requirements, such as proof of the parent’s identity or presence during the tattooing process.
Parental consent serves as a safeguard to ensure that the minor’s decision to get a tattoo is made with the involvement and approval of a responsible adult. It acknowledges that the parent or guardian has considered the potential risks, benefits, and implications of the tattoo for their child’s well-being.
Should a 14-year-old be getting a tattoo?
Being legally allowed to get a tattoo at 14 is one thing, but should a 14-year-old actually be getting a tattoo?
This question sparks an ongoing debate among parents, professionals, and society at large. While there are arguments both for and against allowing teenagers to get inked at such a young age, it is essential to consider the potential consequences and benefits before making a judgment.
On the positive side, allowing 14-year-olds to get tattoos could be seen as a form of personal expression. Adolescence is a time when individuals begin to explore their identities, and getting a tattoo can be a way for them to display their individuality and uniqueness.
It may provide a sense of empowerment and self-confidence, allowing teenagers to express their beliefs, interests, or personal experiences through art on their bodies. In some cases, tattoos can also serve as a symbolic reminder of significant milestones or events in their lives.
However, there are also valid concerns about allowing 14-year-olds to get tattoos.
Firstly, there is the issue of long-term consequences. Teenagers’ tastes and interests often change as they grow and mature, and a tattoo that seems appealing at 14 may become an unwanted burden later in life. The permanence of tattoos raises questions about the ability of young individuals to make informed decisions about their bodies when considering the potential regret or impact on their future personal or professional lives.
It is crucial to recognize that young people may not fully understand or appreciate these risks, and the responsibility falls on parents, guardians, and tattoo artists to prioritize the safety and well-being of the minors involved.