How Old Do You Have To Be To Get a Tattoo or a Piercing (By State)?

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Getting a tattoo or a piercing is always exciting, especially when it’s the first time. However, such body and life-changing events for young adults should never be approached lightly. That is why many parents, as well as teenagers, worry about one thing; the age requirement to get a tattoo or a piercing. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the age requirement by state, and in some other parts of the world.

Age Limit For Tattooing and Body Piercing by State?

Not all, but many states do have specific requirements in regards to tattooing and body piercing for teenagers or minors. For example, ear piercing is legal for minors, but it can be only done with the parent’s consent as well as presence during the piercing process. So, for you to be as informed as possible, we’ll go through the state laws of every state and see what the current laws require for tattooing and body piercing in minors and teenagers;

Note: tattooing for medical reasons is done by licensed physicians and the reasons often include medical markings placed for radiation therapy.

Alabama

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • Minors do need to have informed, written consent of the parents or guardians, signed in the presence of the tattoo artist or service provider for body piercing.
  • Ear piercing is exempt from Alabama body art laws and rules.

Alaska

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing.
  • A parent or a guardian must give written consent and be present during the procedure.
  • Minors can be pierced with parental consent.

Arizona

  • The minimum age is not specified, but a parent or a guardian must be present during the procedure.
  • Minors can have their ears pierced with parental/guardian written or verbal consent.

Also Read: 9 Best Tattoo Shops in Phoenix Arizona (2021 Updated)

Arkansas

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing.
  • Illegal to perform any of the procedures on a minor.
  • Ear piercing rules are not specified.

California

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercing is excepted.
  • A parent or guardian needs to be present during the procedure.
  • Minors may have their ears pierced with parental consent.
  • Genital area and nipples are not allowed to be tattooed or pierced.

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Colorado

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing with written parental consent.
  • A parent or guardian needs to be present during the procedure.

Also Read: 12 Best Tattoo Shops in Denver 2021(Location, Reviews, And Services)

Connecticut

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • Permission of a parent/guardian is required.
  • Minors may have their ears pierced without parental consent.

District of Columbia

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercing is excepted.
  • Written parental/guardian consent is required.
  • Minors may have their ears pierced with parental consent.

Delaware

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing.
  • Required notarized written consent for a specific procedure.
  • Laws regarding minors and ear piercing are not specified.

Florida

  • Young adults who are 16+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing.
  • The presence of a parent/guardian, with evidence of guardianship, photo ID, and notarized consent is required.
  • Piercing for medical and dental purposes are excepted if performed by a physician or dentist.

Georgia

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercing is excepted.
  • Written parental/guardian consent is required for body piercing procedures.
  • Minors may have their ears pierced without parental consent.

Also Read: 16 Top-Rated Tattoo Shops In Atlanta: Ratings, Services, and Experience

Hawaii

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • For tattooing and body piercing procedures written parental/guardian consent is required.

Idaho

  • Young adults who are 14+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing.
  • Written, informed parental/guardian consent is required, as well as the presence of a parent/guardian during the procedure.
  • Minors can have their ears pierced without parental consent.

Illinois

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercing is excepted.
  • Written parental/guardian consent is required for body piercings.
  • Minors can get their ears pierced without parental/guardian consent.

Also Read: 12 Best Tattoo Shops In Chicago (2021 Updated)

Indiana

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • A parent or a guardian must be present during the procedure and provide written consent.
  • Minors may have their ears pierced without parental consent.

Iowa

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing.
  • Minors cannot be tattooed.
  • Minors may have their ears pierced without parental consent.

Kansas

  • Young adults who are 16+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing.
  • Parent/guardian must give written, notarized consent as well as be present during the procedure.
  • Minors may have their ears pierced without parental consent.

Kentucky

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • A parent/guardian must provide written, notarized consent.
  • Ear piercing also requires notarized, written consent.

Also Read: 9 Best Tattoo Shops in Louisville Kentucky (2021 Updated)

Louisiana

  • Young adults who are 16+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing.
  • A parent/guardian must provide written consent as well as be present during the procedure for tattoos but not body piercings.
  • Minors receiving ear piercings is not specified in terms of the age limit and parental consent.

Maine

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercing is excepted.
  • Parental/guardian legal consent is required for body piercings.
  • Minors can receive ear piercings without parental/guardian consent.

Maryland

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • Body piercing and tattoos for young adults require parental/guardian written consent which must be retained for 3 years.
  • Minors can get their ears pierced without parental consent.

Massachusetts

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing, excepting the genital area.
  • For piercing of areas other than the genital, a parent may provide identification and sign the consent document.
  • Minors can receive ear piercings without parental consent.

Michigan

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • For body piercing and tattoos, a parent/guardian must provide written, informed consent and be present during the procedure.
  • Cases of minors receiving ear piercings are not specified for age limit and parental consent.

Also Read: 12 Best Tattoo Artists In Michigan (2021 Updated)

Minnesota

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo.
  • Young adults receiving body piercings require the presence of a parent or a guardian, and consent from both.
  • Minors cannot be tattooed and pierced in the genital area or the nipples.
  • Minors are prohibited from any subdermal implantation, tongue bifurcation, or general body modification.

Missouri

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • For both tattoos and piercings, a parent/guardian must sign written consent and be present during the procedure.
  • No information for minors getting their ears pierced.

Montana

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • A parent/guardian must give ‘explicit’, ‘in-person’ consent and be present during the procedure.
  • No information for minors getting their ears pierced.

Nebraska

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • A parent/guardian must provide written consent and be present during the procedure.
  • Piercing does not include the external parts of the ear.

Also Read: 9 Best Tattoo Shops In Omaha, Nebraska (2021 Updated)

Nevada

  • Information not available.
  • Nevada state law does not regulate tattoos, piercings, and other body art. Regional health districts may regulate these practices.

New Hampshire

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercings are excepted.
  • For piercings, a parent/guardian must sign a written consent and be present during the procedure.
  • Minors cannot be tattooed or branded but can get their ears pierced without parental consent.

New Jersey

  • Young adults who are 16+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing.
  • Written parental/guardian permission is required for both procedures.
  • Minors can receive ear piercing with parental consent and presence.

New Mexico

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • Written parental/guardian consent is required, and both need to be present during the procedure.
  • Medical procedures done by licensed physicians and ear piercings are exempt.

New York

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing.
  • Minors cannot be tattooed without written and signed parental/guardian consent, and both have to be present during the procedure.
  • Minors can get their ears pierced without parental consent.

Also Read: Best Tattoo Shops In NYC: Enjoy The Best Body Art In The Restless City

North Carolina

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercings are excepted.
  • Minors cannot be tattooed even with parental/guardian consent.
  • Minors can get their ears pierced without parental consent.

Also Read: 13 Leading Tattoo Shops In Charlotte, NC: Choose The Top Artists In Town

North Dakota

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • Written parental/guardian consent is required, and both need to be present during the procedure.
  • No information for minors getting their ears pierced.

Ohio

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • Written parental/guardian consent is required, and both need to be present during the procedure.
  • Minors cannot get their ears pierced without parental/guardian consent and presence during the procedure.

Oklahoma

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercings are excepted.
  • Minors cannot be tattooed without written and signed parental/guardian consent, and both have to be present during the procedure.
  • Ear piercing is not restricted by Oklahoma law, while scleral tattooing is illegal.

Oregon

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercings are excepted.
  • For body piercings, a parent/guardian must provide written consent and proof of identity.
  • Minors can be tattooed with the authorization of a physician.

Pennsylvania

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • Minors cannot be tattooed without written and signed parental/guardian consent, and both have to be present during the procedure.
  • No information regarding minors and ear piercings.

Rhode Island

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercings are excepted.
  • Minors cannot be tattooed but can get their ears pierced in presence of a parent/guardian who has provided consent.

South Carolina

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercings are excepted.
  • Minors cannot be tattooed. They can get their ear pierced if a parent/guardian has provided written, notarized consent and is present during the procedure.
  • Head, face, and neck tattoos are illegal.

South Dakota

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • For tattoos and body piercings, a parent/guardian must provide a signed consent form.
  • No information regarding minors and ear piercings.

Tennessee

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercings are excepted.
  • For tattoos that cover an existing tattoo, or for piercings, a parent/guardian must give written consent and be present during the procedure.
  • Minors over the age of 16 may get a tattoo to cover up an existing tattoo only with parental/guardian consent.

Texas

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercings are excepted.
  • For tattoos that cover an existing tattoo, or for piercings, a parent/guardian must give written consent and be present during the procedure.
  • Ear piercing is exempt from body piercing laws and statutes.

Also Read:

Utah

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • A parent/guardian must provide written permission, proof of identity, and be present during the procedure.
  • Minors can get their ears pierced without parental/guardian consent.

Vermont

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • No further information is available.

Virginia

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • A parent/guardian must be present during the procedure.
  • Minors can get their ears pierced without parental/guardian consent or presence.

Washington

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercings are excepted.
  • Illegal to tattoo a minor.
  • No further information is available.

Also Read: Best Tattoo Shops in Seattle: Check The Top Artists’ Portfolio

West Virginia

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • A parent/guardian must provide written consent.

Wisconsin

  • Young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo, while body piercings are excepted.
  • Tattooing is not permitted for those younger than the age of 18.
  • A physician can provide tattooing/piercing in the course of their professional practice.

Wyoming

  • Minimum age is not specified.
  • A parent/guardian needs to provide verbal consent and presence during the procedure.
  • Procedures provided under the supervision of a licensed physician do not count as body art under the law of the Wyoming state.

Tattooing and Piercing – Age Limit in European Countries

If you’re interested in the state laws and regulations for tattooing and piercing in European countries, we’ve provided the essential information for you as well;

In certain countries, like Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, France, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, and the Netherlands, young adults who are 16+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing. In the majority of cases, parental written consent is required, as well as parental presence during the procedure.

In the rest of the European countries, young adults who are 18+ can get a tattoo or a body piercing. In some cases, parental permission is required, and tattoos cannot be performed on the head, neck, and hands (in Denmark, for example).

In the majority of countries that law exempts ear piercing for minors, but parental presence is required.

In Spain, specifically young adults between the age of 14 and 17 can get a tattoo or a body piercing. The age limit varies by region.

Final Words

For more information about the laws and statutes of each U.S. state make sure to check with the local legal body and tattoo/piercing community. You can also get informed in professional tattoo and piercing shops.

Beware that tattoo artists have full right to refuse to tattoo or pierce a minor and that in some states such practices are illegal for those younger than the age of 18. Tattoo artists are also allowed to refuse to perform specific artwork, which they find inappropriate or offensive. Make sure to also check for further restrictions and exceptions when it comes to age limit and tattooing/piercing services.

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