“What is the legal age to get a tattoo?” If you’re thinking of getting your first tattoo, you might have been looking around to try to find out the answers to this question. More often than not, people who ask this question are the younger ones who have barely reached 18, and would like to know if there is any place that allows them to get their first ink before 18 years old. Allow me to answer your burning question.
First of all, the legal age to get a tattoo is 18 years old. There’s no argument about this. In all countries and states that regulates the tattoo industry, the official legal age is 18 years old. However, does this mean that if you’re below 18 full years of age and you get a tattoo, you would be breaking the law? Not quite.
People below the age of 18 (I refrain from calling you children) are known as minors.
In some places, minors who are above 16 years old may be allowed to get a tattoo with parental consent. Where are these places?
You would have to find out for yourself if your state allows it or not. 5 states out the 50 allows you to do so, provided you bring along your REAL parent and have them sign the parental consent form. Bringing just any fellow to pass off as your parents is illegal and would definitely get you into a whole lot of trouble, so steer clear if your parents do not allow you to get one. You also cannot simply walk into a shop and tell the artist that your parents allow you to have one, because the proper procedures would have to be followed to indemnify the artists in case they get sued by your parents after that.
However, you have to bear in mind that even if your state and your parents allow you to get inked when you’re yet not of the legal age to get a tattoo, many tattoo artists would still refuse to help you simply because of the many implications of helping a minor get inked.
Moving on, the remaining 45 of the 50 states require you to be 18, with or without parental permission. To get inked, simply show your tattoo artist your government issued photo ID if you look too young.
It is interesting to note that there are some places that strictly require you to be 18 and above. Two examples are Denmark and Germany.
Now, the next question to ask is that, if it is illegal to get inked in your state if you’re a minor, but you’ve found an artist who is willing to risk his licence for a quick buck, should you do it?
Good question, and i believe you do know the answer to it is a resounding No. Why? A tattoo artist who would even dare to break the legal age for inking his customers is scary to say the least. No reputable artist would do this. Think about it. If he could even close one eye on the legal age, he probably could close two on the safety and hygiene aspects as well. If you would like to risk your safety and health by allowing a shady and unethical artist tattoo for you, then go for it. If i were below 16 again, the choice would be simple for me to make though – just wait.
Therefore, for anyone under the age of 16 who wants to get inked, i would advise you to wait until you’re older. There’s a reason why they imposed a legal age to get a tattoo and a legal age to drink alcohol and stuff, because with age comes experience and maturity, so that you know you would not be shooting yourself in the foot in the long run just because you wanted to look cool for now.