What is the Legal Age to Get a Tattoo Across The World? | Freehand

What is the Legal Age to Get a Tattoo Across The World?

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The most common legal age of getting a tattoo across the world is 18. In other words, you can get a tattoo if you are an adult. But, there are several countries where the legal age differs with the region. The prerequisites are different as well. So, keep reading to know the legal age in your particular country. 
What is the legal age of being tattooed? Does the legal age vary in different countries? What about the United States of America? Does the legal age vary in different states? Well, it is natural to have such questions before you enter a tattoo salon. Therefore, we wanted to post a standalone piece of content clarifying the legal age of getting tattooed across the world. We have divided the post into three parts - 1) the United States of America, 2) Europe, and 3) the rest of the world. So, scroll down to whichever part of the world you’re from to get the required information. Let’s get started!

Tattoo Legal Age in The United States of America

The United States of America is one of the most tattoo-enthusiast countries in the world. Consequently, there are many legal restrictions on tattooing and body modification. The most important thing to note here is that most of the legal restrictions are governed by States. Let’s discuss these restrictions in detail, shall we?

Minimum age

Most of the states in the USA allow individuals over 18 years of age to get a tattoo or body piercing. Several states like Arizona, Alabama, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, and others have not specified the legal age of getting a tattoo. At the same time, there are a few states that have a legal age lower than the states mentioned above. For instance, Louisiana, Kansas, New Jersey, and Florida have a legal age of 16. Several states have not specified the legal age to get a tattoo. However, tattooing a minor is a criminal offense across the country and can invite a maximum fine of $2500 and imprisonment.

Guardian consent

Guardian consent is a big thing across the USA when it comes to tattoo-related legal restrictions. Most of the states have made this mandatory to get written consent from parents and tattoo artists before getting on with the procedure. Not just that, there are several states like Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, and others that have made it compulsory for guardians/parents to be present during the procedure.

Tattoo intoxicated/impaired individuals

States like Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia do not allow tattoo artists to entertain intoxicated or impaired individuals. Other states in the country, however, have no such restrictions in place.


Tattoo Legal Age in Europe

European countries, too, have varying legislation when it comes to deciding the legal age of getting a tattoo. You will often find countries where there is no legislation at all. This is one of the reasons why European countries have set a minimum age for getting a tattoo.

Basic Minimum Age

Countries like Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Slovakia, allow people to get a tattoo when they are 16 years of age. The legal age for getting a tattoo in countries like Denmark, Finland, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Romania, and the United Kingdom is 18. Other countries like Sweden, Slovenia, Hungary, Finland, and Belgium don’t have any specific restrictions involving tattoos and body piercing. However, Spain has allowed its citizens to get a tattoo with an age restriction varying by region. The minimum age in some regions is 14, while in others, it is 17.

A Few Curious Cases
  • Greece has established strict tattoo laws. Although the minimum age of getting tattooed is 18, persons under the minimum age can get a tattoo in the presence of parents or a guardian. However, the person is required to get written consent.
  • In Denmark, it is illegal to tattoo someone on the head, neck, and hands. Ireland and Hungary still have no tattoo legislation. 
  • The Netherlands might have a legal age for getting tattooed. But, the age limit doesn’t pertain to earlobe piercings. If the person getting a tattoo is under the legal age, the tattoo artist must telephone the person’s parents and get consent. Moreover, the tattoo artist must get a signed consent form and lock it in the studio for ten years!
  • There are no age restrictions in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Hungary. Party hard!
  • The United Kingdom is the only country in Europe to not force parental consent to get a tattoo, even for teenagers!


Tattoo Legal Age in The Rest of The World

What about countries like Canada, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and others? Do they have a minimum legal age for getting tattooed? Yes, they do.
In Costa Rica, you can get a tattoo even if you are 12 years old! There are several countries like Cuba and El Salvador where there are no established tattoo laws. However, the legal age to get a tattoo in countries like Canada and Peru is 16 years.
In other countries like Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay, the legal minimum age to get tattooed is 18.
African countries don’t have a legal age to get tattoos. Although minors are rejected in tattoo studios across South Africa, we don’t have much information for the rest of the African subcontinent.
In countries practicing Islam (Sharia), people are forbidden to get a tattoo. However, people are breaking the taboo and getting tattooed.
What about Asia? Well, the tattoo culture is not embraced in Asian countries.
Although it is still taboo, you will find many reputable tattoo artists and studios across Asia. If they allow tattoos in an Asian country, you can comfortably get the procedure done if you are an adult. However, the legal age for being an adult might vary in different countries. So, do the due diligence.

Keep reading!
There you have it. Who knew you needed to know about the legal consequences of getting a tattoo! Well, every country has different tattoo legislation, and we highly recommend you do your due diligence before entering a tattoo salon. Get in touch with a reputable tattoo artist and get clarity over the legal restrictions. After all, you don’t want to end up paying fines and face the legal consequences.

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