Is It Illegal to Get a Tattoo At 13? (as of 2023)

How people perceive tattoos is so different from how it was a few decades ago.

It is now more socially acceptable and even considered trendy to have a tattoo. However, there are still some people who see tattoos as taboo and inappropriate, especially when it comes to young people.

The age at which people get their first tattoo is also becoming younger and younger. It’s not uncommon to see people in their teens with tattoos, or even younger.

But is it legal to get a tattoo at 13?

To establish that, we have to look into the current tattoo laws in the United States.

Note: This article focuses on people living in the US only. If you’re a citizen of another country, please consult your local laws and regulations.

Is It Illegal to Get a Tattoo at 13?

There’s no federal law in the United States that prohibits anyone from getting a tattoo, regardless of their age. That means that it’s up to each individual state to decide what its own laws and regulations are when it comes to tattoos.

What connects all the states is the minimum age requirement, which is 18 years old. In order to get a tattoo in any US state, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid form of identification that proves it.

What differentiates the states, however, is their approach to minors who want to get tattoos.

Some states allow minors to get tattoos with parental consent, while others require that the minor be accompanied by a legal guardian. And then there are states that outright ban minors from getting tattoos, regardless of whether they have parental consent or not.

13 Might Be Too Young

Looking at the laws and regulations across the US, the very minimum age requirement to get a tattoo in most states is 14 years old. Getting inked at this age is, of course, only legal with parental consent and/or the presence of the parent/legal guardian – depending on each state’s requirements. With that said, some states don’t specify the minimum age at which you can get tattooed with parental consent.

Examples of states that don’t specify the minimum age requirement in case of parental approval are Alabama, Colorado, Florida, and Kansas.

However, many tattoo artists and parlors will refuse to do the tattoo if they believe that the person is too young. This is because tattoos are a permanent body modification and require a certain level of maturity to make sure that the person knows what they’re doing.

It’s not unusual for people who get tattoos at a young age tend to regret it later on in life. This is why many tattoo artists will refuse to do a tattoo on someone who they believe is too young and might end up regretting it.

The bottom line is that, while technically it might be legal for a 13-year-old to get a tattoo in some states, it’s generally not a good idea. We would recommend waiting until you’re at least 18 years old before making the decision to get inked.

Artist Face Troubles, not Minors

Assuming that your parents are on board with you getting a tattoo at 13 years old, the next step would be to find a tattoo artist that’s willing to do the tattoo.

As we mentioned before, many tattoo artists will refuse to do tattoos on minors, regardless of parental consent. This is because they can face serious legal trouble if anything goes wrong.

For example, if the tattoo artist doesn’t properly sterilize their equipment and the minor gets an infection, the parents could sue the artist.

So while it might be technically legal for a 13-year-old to get a tattoo in some states, it’s important to remember that it can be very difficult to find an artist that’s willing to do the tattoo.