Have you ever wondered what the deal is with getting a tattoo when you’re under 18 in the United States and at what age can you get a tattoo with parental consent? Well, you’re in the right place because we’re about to break it down for you in simple terms.
You see, in the US, there are rules and regulations that vary from state to state when it comes to getting inked before you hit the big 1-8.
In this post, we’re going to explore the ever-changing world of tattoo laws in the US. We’ll demystify the age requirements, the role of parental consent, and what you should know before you even think about stepping into a tattoo parlor with your parent or guardian.
Whether you’re a young adult itching to express yourself through body art or a teenager just curious about the rules, we’ve got the answers you’re looking for. By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a clear picture of when and how you can get that awesome tattoo you’ve been dreaming of. Stay tuned!
Legal Age to Get Tattoos With Parental Consent Across the US
When it comes to the United States, there isn’t a clear-cut answer to this question.
The reason is that there isn’t a federal law that lays down the minimum age for getting a tattoo across the entire United States.
This absence of a federal law means that the rules differ from state to state, creating a diverse landscape of regulations.
In some states, they have strict rules that completely forbid tattooing for individuals under the age of 18, while others have put in place certain criteria and conditions for minors who want tattoos.
For example, in some states, they require parental consent, the physical presence of a parent or guardian, or even written documentation before a tattoo artist can legally give you a tattoo.
Moreover, the age at which you can get a tattoo with parental consent varies; it could be 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18, depending on the state.
To answer the question “at what age can you get a tattoo with parental consent in the United States”, it’s essential to delve into the specifics of each state’s laws.
Getting Inked With Parental Consent – State-by-State Guide
If you’ve been wondering at what age can you get a tattoo with a parental consent form, please check the regulations for the state you are currently residing in.
In Alabama, the minimum age to get a tattoo is now 19 years old, increased from the previous age of 18.
There are no exceptions to the rule and parental consent, either written or verbal, won’t allow a minor to get legally inked.
Read more about Alabama’s tattoo laws.
In Alaska, you must be at least 18 years old to get a tattoo, and the state does not grant any exceptions for kids who have their parents’ permission.
Read more about Alaska’s tattoo laws.
Minors in Arizona are allowed to get a tattoo only if the parent or legal guardian is physically present during the procedure. A consent form alone will not suffice.
Read more about Arizona’s tattoo laws.
With a signed consent document, minors in Arkansas who are 14 to 17 years old are allowed to have tattoos. Before giving formal consent, the parent or legal guardian must submit the form in person, show a photo ID, and offer written proof of their position as a parent or legal guardian.
Additionally, a parent or guardian must be present at all times during the operation.
Read more about Arkansas’ tattoo laws.
There are no exceptions if you want to get a tattoo in California and are under the age of 18. You are not allowed to acquire a tattoo even in the presence of your parent or legal guardian or with a signed parental authorization document.
Read more about California’s tattoo laws.
Minors under the age of 18 (14-17) can get a tattoo in Colorado with a valid parental consent form. The physical presence of the parent is not required for the procedure to be performed legally.
Read more about Colorado’s tattoo laws.
Residents of Connecticut can get a tattoo from the age of 14 with a valid parental consent form. The parent’s presence during the procedure is not required.
With a signed consent letter from your parent or legal guardian, you can get a tattoo in Delaware if you’re between the ages of 14 and 17. Your parent does not have to be present for the procedure, but the consent paperwork must be notarized.
The minimum age in Florida to get a tattoo with parental permission is 16, according to state law. Additionally, your parent has to be there with you the entire time at the tattoo parlor.
Georgia has severe rules against tattooing children, making it illegal for anybody under the age of 18 to receive a tattoo.
Tattoos on children are only permitted for medical purposes, thus neither a consent document nor the presence of your parent will change this.
In Hawaii, kids who are at least 14 years old and who have a valid consent document are permitted to acquire tattoos. It is not necessary for the parent or legal guardian to be present.
According to state legislation, a person must be 14 years old before getting a tattoo. For the procedure to be lawfully performed, your parent or legal guardian must sign a formal consent form.
Tattooing children is strictly prohibited in Illinois. Even with a signed parental consent form, anyone under the age of 18 is not allowed to receive a tattoo, and they are not allowed to be on the tattoo parlor’s property unaccompanied.
In Indiana, if your parent gives you written permission and is there the entire time, you can get a tattoo when you’re 14 to 17 years old.
In Iowa, you cannot get tattooed under the age of 18, with no exceptions.
Minors aged 14-17 in Kansas are legally permitted to acquire a tattoo with their parents’ written and notarized approval. Another need is the attendance of the parent throughout the tattoo procedure.
Kentucky has somewhat lax tattoo laws, allowing minors as young as 14 to obtain tattoos with a signed parental agreement. The parent is not necessary to be present during the session.
In Louisiana, minors aged 14-17 can receive tattoos if they have a documented consent letter from their parent and the parent is present throughout the session.
Tattooing minors is strictly prohibited in Maine. No exceptions are made, even with a consent form or the presence of the parent.
Tattooing minors under 18 is strictly prohibited in Maryland.
Minors under the age of 18 are not legally allowed to get a tattoo in Massachusetts.
In Michigan, minors aged 14-17 can receive a tattoo with a documented parental consent form submitted by the parent at the tattoo parlor.
Tattooing a kid under the age of 18 is banned in Minnesota, regardless of parental agreement or parental presence.
Minors under the age of 18 are not permitted to have tattoos in Mississippi, even with parental authorization.
The legal age to obtain a tattoo in Missouri is 18. Minors aged 14-17, on the other hand, can have a tattoo with a valid signed authorization form from their parent or legal guardian.
In Montana, minors aged 14-17 can legally get a tattoo if their parent delivers a written consent form in person.
In Nebraska, a written parental consent form is sufficient for minors aged 14-17 to get a tattoo.
Nevada has no particular laws governing the minimum age for tattoos. Individual tattoo parlor standards govern whether a youngster can receive a tattoo with parental approval.
New Hampshire ❌
Tattooing minors is not allowed in New Hampshire under any circumstances.
New Jersey ✅
To get tattooed as a minor in New Jersey, you have to be between 14-17. As for requirements, you will need a written consent form from the parent and the parent’s presence during the procedure, along with a valid ID.
New Mexico ✅
Minors between the ages of 14 and 17 in New Mexico can lawfully get tattooed under specific conditions. Prior to the tattoo session, the parent must notarize the written consent form and deliver it to the tattoo parlor in person.
New York ❌
In New York, laws prohibit tattooing minors, and no exceptions are made.
North Carolina ❌
Tattooing a minor under the age of 18 is legally forbidden in North Carolina, with no exceptions.
North Dakota ✅
Minors aged 14-17 in North Dakota can receive tattoos provided their parent is present during the process and signs the consent form.
Getting a tattoo from the age of 14 is lawful in Ohio if written authorization is presented in person at the tattoo studio.
Minors from the age of 14 can have tattoos in Oklahoma provided the written consent form is given in person by the parent and the parent is present throughout the procedure.
In Oregon, tattooing a minor is only authorized by a physician for medical reasons.
Tattooing is authorized for kids aged 14-17 in Pennsylvania with a documented consent form from the parent and their presence during the operation.
Rhode Island ✅
Minors between the ages of 14 and 17 can receive tattoos in Rhode Island provided their parents sign the written consent form in person and are present at the tattoo parlor throughout the procedure.
South Carolina ❌
The legal age to get a tattoo in South Carolina is 21. Parental consent is only applicable when the individual is at least 18 years old.
South Dakota ✅
In South Dakota, a signed consent form from the parent is enough for minors aged 14 and older to get a tattoo.
In Tennessee, the minimum age to get a tattoo with parental consent is 16.
Minors aged 14-17 can have tattoos in Texas if a formal consent document is provided. However, this is only permitted if a parent or guardian considers that covering an existing offensive or obscene tattoo is in the best interests of the kid.
In Utah, a written consent form from the parents is enough for minors to legally get a tattoo (no minimum age specified).
Minors aged 14 and older can get a tattoo in Vermont with written parental consent.
Parental permission forms are not recognized in Virginia. During the process, the parent or legal guardian must be present.
Minors under the age of 18 are not permitted to receive tattoos in Washington under any circumstances.
West Virginia ✅
Minors as young as 14 can lawfully get a tattoo in West Virginia if their parents or legal guardians sign a written consent form.
Tattooing kids under the age of 18 is illegal in Wisconsin, unless done by a medical expert for medical reasons.
In Wyoming, a signed consent letter is not sufficient to obtain a tattoo as a minor. The parent must be present throughout the process. The minimum age is 14.
State’s Tattoo Age Laws vs. Parlor’s
While state laws regarding the minimum age for getting a tattoo with parental consent provide a general framework, it’s essential to understand that individual tattoo parlors may have their own policies and discretion in serving minors.
This complex interplay between state regulations and parlor policies can sometimes lead to confusion for both prospective clients and tattoo artists.
The minimum age requirement for minors to get a tattoo with parental consent varies from state to state in the United States, with most states setting the age at 16 or 17. Some states, however, may allow tattoos for minors as young as 14 with parental consent. It is crucial for individuals to familiarize themselves with the specific laws in their state before considering getting a tattoo.
While state laws establish a baseline, individual tattoo parlors often have the final say in whether they will provide services to minors. Many parlors have their policies, which can include stricter age requirements than state laws mandate. This is primarily due to concerns related to maturity, consent authenticity, and the potential for future regret.
Tattoo Artist Discretion
Tattoo artists also have a role to play in this scenario. Even if state laws allow tattooing minors with parental consent, many tattoo artists may exercise their professional discretion. They may refuse to tattoo a minor if they feel it’s not in the individual’s best interest or if they doubt the validity of the consent provided.
Understanding the Dilemma
It’s essential for both minors and parents to understand that while state laws set the legal foundation, they don’t guarantee access to tattoo services. Prospective clients should research and communicate with tattoo parlors to ensure they are aligned with the parlor’s policies and the tattoo artist’s willingness to proceed. In cases where a parlor refuses service to a minor despite state law permitting it, it is within the parlor’s right to do so.
Should Minors Get Tattooed?
Getting inked as a minor can be a tempting idea. You’ve probably seen your favorite celebs and cool people on social media rocking some seriously rad tattoos.
But before you rush to the nearest tattoo parlor, let’s chat about whether it’s a good idea for minors to get tattooed.
1. Think About the Long Haul: Tattoos are, well, pretty permanent. What might seem like an awesome idea today might not feel the same way in a few years. Trends change, and so do your tastes. That cool tribal design might not be so rad when you’re older. Be sure you’re getting something you won’t regret down the line.
2. Body Changes: Your body is still growing when you’re a minor. Those biceps you’re so proud of might bulk up even more, or maybe you’ll sprout a bit taller. Tattoos can stretch and warp with your body, so think about how that might affect your ink’s appearance.
3. Legal Stuff: State laws are a thing for a reason. They set a minimum age for tattoos to protect you. Being a minor means you’re still figuring out life, and some decisions should wait until you’re older and wiser. You’ve got plenty of time for tattoos when you’re a legal adult.
4. Parental Consent: If you’re super set on getting inked as a minor, remember that parental consent is usually a must. Talk to your folks about it, and make sure they’re on board. It’s a big decision, and their guidance can be invaluable.
5. Tattoo Quality: Tattoo artists might be hesitant to ink minors because they want to create quality work. Tattoos should be done by professionals who care about their craft. If they’re wary, it’s because they want to do right by you.
In the end, it’s a personal choice, but remember that tattoos are a big deal. They can be awesome forms of self-expression, but they come with responsibilities and considerations.
Take your time, think it through, and when you’re ready, make sure to choose a reputable artist and parlor. And hey, if you decide to wait until you’re a bit older, that’s cool too!