Deciding to get a tattoo isn’t something you should rush out to do at too much of a young age since, for many, a tattoo is for life.
- The statutory age for receiving a tattoo in the United States is: 18 years old.
(In some circumstances, 16 years old with the consent of a parent or guardian)
- The statutory age for receiving a tattoo in the United Kingdom is: 18 years old
- The statutory period for obtaining a tattoo in Canada is: 18 years old
- The statutory period for getting a tattoo in Australia is: 18 years old
The article focuses on the laws surrounding getting a tattoo in the United States.
The Role of the Government
With the prevalence of social media, tattoos are becoming increasingly popular. Whether it’s for a bit of fun or to make a statement, more and more people are considering getting artwork on their bodies. Even so, it’s a permanent decision that carries potential health risks. It means it’s the government’s responsibility to make sure anyone who gets a tattoo understands the consequences.
No federal law exists in the United States regarding the age someone can get a tattoo. There are, however, statutory laws that regulate who can get a tattoo. A person is expected to be at least 18 years old before they can receive a tattoo. If you’re below 18 years old and need a tattoo, don’t despair. Most states will enable you to get a tattoo if you possess the consent of a parent or guardian. Seldom it can just be signed permission. In other instances, a parent or guardian must be near when the procedure takes place. Keep in mind that some states have a minimum age requirement, even with parental consent. You’ll usually have to be at least 16 years old, but this can vary. Others prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from getting a tattoo, regardless of parental consent.
What If Someone Gets a Tattoo Under 18?
If a person misrepresents their age to get a tattoo, they face being prosecuted by the state. It can range anywhere from fines to community service. In many cases, if a tattoo artist is found to have tattooed a minor, they’ll also face a penalty. Depending on the state, this can be a fine of up to $5,000. It can also mean a prison sentence of up to a year.
Reason for Age Requirement
The age requirement on tattoos is based upon the fact that a person isn’t legally classed as an adult until 18. The decision to get a tattoo isn’t something to take lightly. You have to be fully prepared and aware of your choice as there are future considerations to take into account.
Decision: Getting a tattoo is an involved process. It means it’s not as simple as just turning up to an appointment. You have to understand what you desire and research accordingly to show the artist. Larger tattoos will mean more than one visit to the tattoo parlor.
Aftercare: Properly caring for a tattoo takes time and no small amount of patience. There’ll be strict instructions to follow, which should be incorporated into your daily routine. Proper aftercare is crucial to avoid complications in the future.
Restrictions: It’s essential to be aware that there will be things you can’t do for a while after getting a tattoo. For example, it’s best to wait for approximately a month before going swimming. It means you have to plan when to get a tattoo. It’s not a good idea to get a tattoo done days before jetting off on a summer vacation.
Regret: Were you ever crazy about a celebrity when you were younger, and now you can hardly even remember what they look like? It’s natural for our interests and likes to change as we mature and become adults. It means that waiting until you’re the right age hopefully means you’ll get something you’ll be happy with for a long time.
Removal: Some people think it’s okay to get a tattoo because it’s easy to remove it if they change their minds. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Tattoo removal is a complicated procedure. It also arrives with a heavy price tag.
Job Prospects: Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s a fact that some employers have strict regulations when it comes to tattoos. They’ll usually not allow tattoos to be visible on certain parts of your body. Some of these jobs are:
- Police officer
- Healthcare professional
- Military personnel
Getting a tattoo before you’ve fully figured out what career you want could affect your future job prospects.
Expense: Tattoos aren’t cheap. You may be charged depending on the complexity and extent of the design. The price tag may go up to a few thousand dollars. How is a minor going to pay for that? Even if a 15-year-old does have the funds, we’re sure the parents would prefer the money was invested for the future if their child asks for a tattoo.
Law: There are strict age requirements when it comes to getting a tattoo. You’re usually required to be 18 or over; otherwise, you’ll need the consent of a parent or guardian. Failure to endure these laws can result in penalties for yourself and even the artist who made your tattoo.
Waiting can be frustrating, but try and see it as an opportunity to think about what you want. A tattoo is a big decision. These laws are there to protect you from doing something you might regret. When you eventually go forward with getting your dream tattoo, you must perpetually follow your tattoo artist’s aftercare directions closely and ensure to invest in a high-quality tattoo healing lotion to aid recovery.