Body art is all the rage among youngsters today, especially getting permanent tattoos. Many young people are getting tattoos to express their thoughts, ideas, individuality, freedom of choice, and autonomy of bodies.
Tattoos are often a way for people to embrace what they love. Although the art of tattoos has existed for centuries in certain cultures, more and more teenagers are getting attracted towards it as they want to take risks and do something that brings a thrill to their lives.
Since youth is now more inclined towards body art, it tends to interfere with the rules and regulations set up by certain places. Here it becomes even more important to know the legal requirements around the minimum age limit.
Are you wondering how old one has to be in order to get a tattoo done? Do you want to know the legal age of tattoos all across the globe? Dive right into this article to learn everything about the age limit for your first tattoo.
How Old Should You Be to Get Tattooed?
Getting a tattoo is a life-long and life-altering decision as it will not be permanent but might also affect various aspects of your life, like employment. This is why people believe that young adults must be careful while getting it.
Like many things concerning teenagers, the most commonly accepted legal age for getting tattoos is 18 years. If you are an adult legally, you can be allowed to get a tattoo done in most places around the world.
However, the legal age can differ with countries and regions. Keep reading to know at what age teens can get tattoos.
What Are The Age Restrictions For Tattoos Around The Globe?
Most countries have set up strict rules and regulations around the legal age to get tattoos. If you or anyone around you is planning to get a tattoo, it is imperative to ensure the age limit is met.
Here are the age restrictions set up by different countries around the globe:
1. The United States of America
|Alabama||Minors must get the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian|
|Alaska||Minors cannot get a tattoo|
|Arizona||Minors must need the presence of a parent or guardian|
|Arkansas||Minors must get the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian|
|California||Minors cannot get a tattoo|
|Colorado||Minors must get the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian|
|Connecticut||Minors must get the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian|
|DC||Minors cannot get a tattoo|
|Delaware||Minors must get the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian|
|Florida||Minors must have written as well as notarized consent from a parent or guardian|
|Georgia||Only a licensed physician can do a tattoo on a minor with parental consent|
|Hawaii||Minors must get the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian|
|Idaho||Minors must get the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian|
|Illinois||Only a licensed physician can do a tattoo on a minor with parental consent|
|Indiana||Minors must have the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian, and they must also be present there|
|Iowa||Minors can’t get tattoos unless they are married|
|Kansas||Minors must have written consent from either a parent or a legal guardian|
|Kentucky||Minors must get the consent of a parent or even a legal guardian|
|Louisiana||Minors must get the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian|
|Maine||The state prohibits minors from getting tattoos|
|Maryland||The state doesn’t have any law prohibiting minors from getting tattoos|
|Massachusettes||Only a licensed physician can do a tattoo on a minor, provided they have parental consent|
|Michigan||A minor must get parental or legal guardian consent|
|Minnesota||A minor must get parental or legal guardian consent|
|Mississippi||Minors cannot get tattoos|
|Missouri||Minors must have the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian, and they must also be present there|
|Montana||A minor must get parental or legal guardian consent|
|Nebraska||The state doesn’t have any age limit|
|New Hampshire||Minors must have the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian, and they must also be present there|
|New Jersey||Minors must get written consent from either a parent or a legal guardian|
|New Mexico||A minor must have the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian, and they must also be present|
|New York||Minors can’t get tattoos|
|North Carolina||Minors can’t get tattoos|
|North Dakota||A minor must have the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian, and they must also be present|
|Ohio||A minor must have the written consent of either a parent or a legal guardian, and they must also be present|
|Oklahoma||Minors can’t get tattoos|
|Oregon||Only a licensed physician can do a tattoo on a minor with parental consent|
|South Carolina||Minors must get written consent from either a parent or a legal guardian|
|South Dakota||Minors must get written consent from either a parent or a legal guardian|
|Tennessee||A minor under 16 must have written consent from a legal guardian or parent|
|Texas||Minors must have written consent from a parent or a legal guardian, and if it is an offensive design, they must be present|
|Utah||Minors must get written consent from either a parent or a legal guardian|
|Vermont||Minors must get written consent from either a parent or a legal guardian|
|Virginia||Minors need written consent from either a legal guardian or a parent unless a licensed physician performs the tattoo|
|Washington||Minors can’t get tattoos|
|West Virginia||Minors must have written consent from either a parent or a legal guardian|
|Wisconsin||Only a licensed physician can do a tattoo on a minor with parental consent|
The USA is among the countries where tattoo art is the most popular. Owing to it, the country also has numerous legal restrictions governing body art and tattooing in specific.
When it comes to the USA, the states govern the age restrictions on tattoos, and the minimum age limit might vary depending upon the area.
|Ontario||A minor requires parental consent in writing.|
|Quebec||No minimum age limit, but a majority of shops don’t allow kids who are under 17-18 years.|
|Nova Scotia||Doesn’t have a minimum age limit, but tattoo shops set a minimum age limit.|
|Alberta||Guidelines recommend 18 as the minimum age limit, but there is no rigid law.|
|British Columbia||The Ministry of Health gives a recommendation to tattoo shops to obtain parental consent for kids younger than 19, but there is no law.|
|Saskatchewan||No minimum age limit, but it recommends shops not tattoo a teenager under 18.|
Much like America, Canada also doesn’t follow a country-wide minimum age limit for getting tattoos. They leave this decision to the provinces, and here are the tattooing laws of Canada’s largest provinces:
Many European countries such as Cyprus, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Ireland, France, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, and even the Netherlands allow young adults over the age of 16 to get a body piercing or tattoo.
However, they have to give written parental consent and even have the parents present during the entire procedure in a majority of cases.
In many other countries across this continent, the minimum age limit is 18 years. In a few cases, they might still need parental permission, and they prohibit tattoos on the neck, head, and hands, like in Denmark.
In Spain, young adults aged 14 to 17 can get inked, but the age limit can vary as per the region.
A majority of Australia as well as Tasmania has set a legal age limit for tattoo set at 18 years.
Many shops tend to ask for a valid ID to verify age. When it comes to a minor, it is illegal for them to get a tattoo, even with parental consent.
In the case of Western Australia, if someone is over 16 years and has parental consent, they can legally get a tattoo. The bottom line is that Australia doesn’t allow a minor who is under 16 to get tattooed, even if they have a guardian’s consent.
5. United Kingdom
The UK doesn’t allow anyone who is a minor and less than 18 years of age to get a tattoo. Unlike other EU countries, the UK is the only one that prohibits teenagers under 18 from getting tattooed, even if they have parental consent.
Moreover, they can fine and prosecute anyone who inks a minor. Due to this, a majority of tattoo shops ask for proof to verify age before starting a tattoo.
Tattooing anyone under the age of 18 at home is also legally punishable.
6. In Other Places
In places like Costa Rica, a child as old as 12 can get a tattoo. Several countries, such as El Salvador and Cuba, don’t have established tattoo laws; however, Peru has set the legal age to get tattooed at 16 years.
In countries that practice Islam (Sharia), getting a tattoo is strictly forbidden. Despite that, an increasing number of people from such places are now opting for tattoos either to keep up with the trends or to rebel against the norms.
When it comes to Asia, tattoos have deep-rooted cultural significance, especially in certain parts like Thailand and the Southeastern parts of the continent.
Even though several Asian countries have considered body art or tattooing to be sacred and a part of their culture, many of them still consider it taboo. Hence there is no set age limit, but you can wait until you turn 18 to get a tattoo here.
Why is There an Age Restriction on Tattoos?
It is natural to wonder why countries set up strict rules and regulations on the minimum age for tattoos. Here are some reasons why countries impose these age requirements:
1. Life Long Implications
Many countries impose age restrictions for tattoos as they believe young adults are still physically and mentally growing. If someone gets a tattoo at 15 years, they might not understand the long-term implications of it. Moreover, objectionable tattoos and placements might also hamper their chances of getting a job in the future.
2. Tattoo Might Change With Age
As humans age, their skin tends to stretch and even dry up. A tattoo done at a young age might not remain the same and lose its aesthetic value as the teen ages.
3. Requires a Lot of Preparation
Moreover, a tattoo requires one to be mentally prepared for the procedure, the design, and the placement of the tattoo they pick to ensure everything turns out right. A young adult might not be able to handle all of it at the tender age.
Getting a tattoo can be a thrilling experience, but it also comes with serious responsibility. It is an important decision that will continue to impact your life for a longer time, and hence there are age limits imposed by many countries.
Make sure you adhere to the minimum age limits set by the country as well as the state you are living in before you decide to get inked!