How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Tattoos?

Are you considering getting your initial tattoo but also are unsure of how old do you have to be to get tattoos? You will expect a tattoo to last a century, so we won’t recommend rushing into it and having anything illegally acquired, especially if you’re a child.

This is indeed one concern we get a lot.

We’ll walk through several legislation and requirements that regulate the threshold to get tattoos.

This article will also discuss the minimum age limit for getting a tattoo, reasons for tattoo age restrictions, U.S. tattoo laws, and much more.

So, without any further ado, let’s jump right into it!

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Tattoos?

In the United States, there is no national age restriction for getting a tattoo. Nevertheless, state laws demand that you need to be 18 years of age before receiving one. For example, a juvenile may get a tattoo with their families’ or caretakers’ approval. At the same time, some jurisdictions forbid tattooing below the age of eighteen years, irrespective of parental agreement.

To get tattooed outside your guardians’ approval, you should be at least 18 years old.

Minors can get tattoos in some states, provided they have formal parental approval or if their guardians are onsite.

However, with even parental approval, certain states restrict children from obtaining tattoos, and several tattooists will not ink someone below the age of 15 or 16, even if they have their parents’ permission.

What Is the Youngest Age to Get a Tattoo?

What Is the Youngest Age to Get a Tattoo?
What Is the Youngest Age to Get a Tattoo?

You must be 18 years old to acquire a tattoo in the U.S. At such a status, you won’t require to obtain your elders’ permission or present any further verification paperwork. Also, you won’t need to have your age checked or be anxious about breaking any provincial restrictions.

Every region has its own set of regulations forbidding adolescents from getting body modifications or manipulating their anatomy. However, in some instances, additional local limitations apply.

There seems to be no limit to how quickly somebody can get tattooed when it comes to age.

Tattooing on children is legal in 38 states with versed parents’ agreement or with the guardian’s presence. Nevertheless, this doesn’t imply that a newborn may walk inside and acquire a tattoo.

What Are the Reasons for Tattoo Age Restrictions?

What Are the Reasons for Tattoo Age Restrictions?
What Are the Reasons for Tattoo Age Restrictions?

Tattooing has several risks; that’s why there are age limitations. Tattoos penetrate the skin, which invites skin disease and other problems, such as:

Allergic Reactions

Tattoo pigments, especially those from red, colored, yellow, and blue, can cause allergic skin reactions, such as an itching rash at the tattoo location. This can even happen years after getting the tattoo.

Other Skin Problems

Around tattoo ink, a granuloma, or inflamed zone, can form. Keloids, which are elevated areas produced by scar tissue production, can also be induced by tattooing.

Bloodborne Diseases

If infectious materials infiltrate the painting apparatus, infections like hepatitis C, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and hepatitis B, can arise.


People link tattooing to Hepatitis B, especially in youths who engage in other risky activities. They also link tattooing to an increased risk of hepatitis C. HIV transmission has been linked to sharing tattoo needles or reusing tattoo ink.

The American Association of Blood Banks prescribes a one-year delay between having a tattoo and giving blood due to the danger of infection. Infections are less likely to arise after tattooing in regulated parlors than when tattooed by illegal tattoo artists.

Allergic reactions

The pigments often used in dyes are not controlled by the government. Although allergy symptoms to tattoo pigments are uncommon, they can be exceptionally bothersome since the stains could be challenging to remove. For example, people who have had tattoos for many years may occasionally have an allergic response.


These are nodules that shape round the material which the body sees as abroad, like tattoo pigment particles.

Keloid Formation

People prone to keloid development (fibrous tissue or scar enlargement) are more likely to acquire keloid from a tattoo. In addition, keloids can occur whenever skin is wounded or traumatized, but tattoo removal is the most prevalent cause.

Too much redness, tenderness all around the tattooing spot, prolonged bleeding, or a change in skin color around the tattooed area all indicate infection. Call your pediatrician if that’s the case or if there are any other issues, like excessive swelling or bleeding. Depending on your symptoms, they could refer you to a pediatric dermatologist or advise you to seek emergency medical attention.


Lawmakers are typically senior and far more stereotypical, and piercings or tattoos are frequently frowned upon. Consequently, they utilize their power and influence to make getting tattooed highly challenging, if not impossible, and to render it far more stressful for businesses to operate legally.

In 2006, Oklahoma had become the final territory to authorize tattoos.

Can a 14 Year Old Get a Tattoo?

No, a tattoo is indeed not suitable for a 14-year-old. The skin will almost certainly stretch as a result of growth.

Although parental approval is permitted, the youngster should be sixteen years old. If you find a way around this, the police may arrest the artist’s parent(s) alongside them (either arrested or lose their business license). And this is why few artists would consider it).

Is Written Parental Support Required to Get a Tattoo?

Is Written Parental Support Required to Get a Tattoo?
Is Written Parental Support Required to Get a Tattoo?

Some states require written parental consent, whereas some states don’t. However, we have discussed some of the regulations in different states in the U.S.

Rules And Regulations in the Different States

The lowest age in the U.S. is 18, meaning that someone beyond the age of eighteen could undergo a tattoo even without the approval of their parents.

On either side, procuring a tattoo like a juvenile is governmentally determined. Anyone under the age of 18 is considered a juvenile.

Well, before you make preparations for your ink, acquaint yourself with the rules of the area where you plan to get touched up:

  • In Illinois, minors require parental permission, and only a physician may tattoo them.
  • In Indiana, minors must have a guardian present and have written authorization to be tattooed.
  • In Iowa, minors are not allowed to have tattoos unless married.
  • Minors in Alabama must have parental permission to get a tattoo.
  • Minors in Alaska are not permitted to have tattoos.
  • Tattooing children in Arizona requires the company of a parent.
  • In Arkansas, minors must have a parent’s signature before they may get tattooed.
  • In California, the state doesn’t permit children to have tattoos, and tattooing children under age is a misdemeanor.
  • Minors in Colorado must have parental permission to get a tattoo.
  • In Connecticut, minors must have parental approval as well as a physician or registered nurse has to be there during tattooing
  • In D.C., laws don’t permit minors to have tattoos.
  • Minors in Delaware must have parental permission to get a tattoo.
  • Minors in Florida must have parental permission to get a tattoo.
  • Minors in Georgia may be tattooed only by a registered physician or even under supervision.
  • Hawaii Minors require parental approval; consent papers are stored discreetly for two years.
  • You can ink minors 14-18 in Idaho, but they must agree with you in the presence of a tattoo artist.
  • Minors in Kansas require written parental consent.
  • Minors in Kentucky require parental consent.
  • Minors in Louisiana require parental approval.
  • In Maine, tattooing a juvenile is against the law. A permitted medic may only tattoo juveniles.
  • Minors in Michigan must have parental consent.
  • Minors in Minnesota must have parental permission.
  • The government has not authorized tattoos on minors in Mississippi.
  • Missouri minors require parental consent. Thus both parents have to be present.
  • Minors in Montana must have parental permission.
  • In Nebraska, minors require parental consent.
  • Tattooing is not regulated by the state, except in Nevada.
  • In Las Vegas, parents must accompany minors and have written permission.
  • Minors in New Jersey require parental approval.
  • License requirements in New Mexico must be satisfied.
  • In New York City, tattooing children is illegal and punished by a class B misdemeanor.
  • Tattooing children is illegal in North Carolina.
  • In North Dakota (N.D.), juvenile tattooing requires parental permission and attendance.
  • In Ohio, tattooing a juvenile requires parental consent and attendance.
  • In Oklahoma, tattooists in Oregon must take authorization from the State Department of Public Health.
  • In Pennsylvania, parental approval and attendance are necessary to tattoo a juvenile in Rhode Island. The standards for sterilization and sanitation must be satisfied.
  • The governments in South Carolina for people under the age of 18.
  • In Dakota State, you require signed parental permission to tattoo any minor
  • In Tennessee, minors aged 16 and above can have tattoos with valid parental consent. In
  • In Texas, tattooing children is illegal UNLESS it is to cover up an existing tattoo or harmful tattoo. Parental permission is necessary.
  • Utah minors must have documented parental approval before getting tattoos.
  • In Vermont, tattooing a minor requires parental permission.
  • In Virginia, whether done by a physician, tattooing a minor requires consent.
  • In Washington, minor tattooing is unlawful and forbidden.
  • In West Virginia, minors must provide written consent.
  • In Wisconsin, only doctors can tattoo minors.
  • In Wyoming, minors must have parental permission and be aware at the moment of tattooing. I.D. is required to verify age.

What Are the Tattoo Laws in the U.S.?

What Are the Tattoo Laws in the U.S.?
What Are the Tattoo Laws in the U.S.?

Federal laws in the United States do not govern tattooing. Therefore, according to statutory provisions, tattoo applicants have to be 18 years old throughout all U.S. States. This partially depends on the constitutional premise that a minor can enter into a legally enforceable agreement or agree to practice in writing.

Most jurisdictions allow minors below 18 to have piercings with a family’s or court guardian’s authorization. However, other jurisdictions outright prohibit tattoos, aside from medical reasons.

Independent tattooers may choose to establish further restrictions in all nations according to their personal moral beliefs, like refusing tattooing for anyone under the age of 18 without a legal written agreement or limiting the kind or position of tattooing.

They may also decline to execute certain artwork, including objectionable art, or refuse to trade with a customer they think is under the influence of alcohol. In addition, tattooists may falsely declare that limits on one’s private life are permissible to avoid confrontations with clients.

Can a 13 Year Old Get a Tattoo?

Minors must be tattooed by or under the supervision of a competent physician in several states.

A 13-year-old may legally get a tattoo in 22 states with a verifiable parental agreement. In addition to completing an informed consent document, kids must have a parent or guardian available while they get a tattoo.

This is for the minor’s and the tattoo artist’s protection.

But, just because state laws allow it, this does not guarantee that a tattooist will consent to tattoo a 13-year-old.

Most professionals will deny anyone below the limit of 15 nonconsensual.

In some areas, marking a child, albeit with adult supervision, is a misdemeanor.

Tattooing is a long-term commitment, and so many people consider that children aren’t adequate to make well-informed judgments.

Can Parents Sign Consent for Minors to Get A Tattoo?

Can Parents Sign Consent for Minors to Get A Tattoo?
Can Parents Sign Consent for Minors to Get A Tattoo?

Parents can offer their underage children formal permission to have a tattoo in several areas. For example, they may be required to sign a permission document in the tattoo shop and may even be required to be there during the procedure.

You may be required to produce identification and evidence of guardianship from your parent or guardian.

It’s usually a good idea to inform the tattooist or facility what documentation you’ll need to bring.

How to Give Consent

State regulations mandate the notarization of permission documents to confirm that the parents or guardians are signing them. Fill out a consent form and allow your child to get a tattoo. You can find consent forms in any court.

It is essential to contact your tattoo artist ahead of time to see what type of permission they would accept. For example, some will want that you go to the tattoo parlor to sign the documentation in the presence. In contrast, others may insist that you remain for the entire operation.

If you provide written permission, you may be required to record what you agree to. For example, parents may need to specify which tattoos their adolescent is permitted to get wherever the artist will paint the tattoo.

What States Can You Get a Tattoo at 14?

You can only obtain tattoos at the age of 14 with parental authorization within the following states:

Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Vermont, and Wyoming.

Please remember that formal permission from their parents or legal guardians is required. In certain areas, parents must be present when minors get a tattoo. Both the parent and the minor must show a picture identification and may ask that the written consent be notarized or completed in the presence of your tattoo artist.

Are Hand and Neck Tattoos Illegal on Minors?

Are Hand and Neck Tattoos Illegal on Minors?
Are Hand and Neck Tattoos Illegal on Minors?

The government prohibits tattoos on the skull, mouth, arms, and collar in several nations and jurisdictions, including Danish and Carolina.

Even if permitted, it is doubtful you’d discover a professional tattooist willing to ink a teen’s skull, mouth, arm, or throat.

You’re unlikely to gain parental consent, so you’ll have to wait till you’re 18 and constitutionally able to decide whether or not such facial tattooing is a wise decision.

Consider that you’ll have to cope with this for the rest of your life, and then you might never be able to get a facial tattoo in the future if you desire one.

Final Words

There are numerous factors why getting a tattoo or body piercing without a parent’s permission is only permissible if you are 18 years old. There are also additional prohibitions on ear piercing shops, body piercings, and body art procedures. Some states require a notarized consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Tattoos are costly, usually lasting a lifetime, and may be agonizing, so don’t hurry into getting your initial one.

Give it your best shot at determining something you truly desire. Focus on saving sufficient funds to employ a fantastic artist. Visit tattoo or piercing shops to get more informed on tattoos.

When acquiring a tattoo, do a tremendous amount of investigation available on the internet and chat with tattooists.

Preferably hire a reliable artist that will provide you with outstanding efforts and observe all precautionary measures. You would like to be willing to savor your tattoo for the rest of your life without it fading, and you would not want to incur diseases.

This was a comprehensive guide on how old you must be to get a Tattoo!