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How old you do have to be to get pierced? Can minors get piercings? Body piercing and tattoos are awesome, but having them done requires following certain laws. We've put together an updated list for 2020, state-by-state, of the laws and regulations surrounding body piercing and tattooing.

The best way to know if you can get a piercing or tattoo?

Call a shop and ask them. Professional piercers and tattoo artists will follow all state guidelines and provide you with well informed, educated answers to your questions. We (BodyCandy.com) are not professional piercers. We're here to guide you in the right direction towards making informed decisions about your body piercing journey.

Always, always, ALWAYS have your tattoos and piercings done by a professional. If someone is willing to bend the law to perform a tattoo or piercing, they are putting themselves and YOU at risk. 

To see a list of APP (Association of Professional Piercers) approved artists in your area, please visit: 
https://www.safepiercing.org/get-involved/locate-a-member/

 body piercing laws and age limits

* By definition, a minor is anyone under the age of 18 in the US.

* These are laws put in place by the state. Each tattoo/piercing shop reserves the right to enforce their own guidelines, including refusal to tattoo or pierce minors under a certain age, even with parental or legal guardian consent.

* Legal guardianship MUST be documented and proven. For emancipated minors, legal documentation of emancipated status is required.

* Notarized consent means your parent or legal guardian MUST be able to provide proof of signature to give their consent. (ie. Coming to the shop and signing, NO FORGERY.) 

 piercing and tattoo laws by state

Alabama

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos.

Alaska

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing, PLUS a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure.

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

Arizona

- Parent or legal guardian must be present for body piercing and tattoos.

Arkansas

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos, PLUS a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure.

California

- Written/notarized from parent or legal guardian for body piercing, OR a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

Colorado

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos.

Connecticut

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for piercings and tattoos.

Delaware

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos.

District of Colombia

- NO PIERCINGS OR TATTOOS FOR MINORS (does not apply to ear piercings)

Florida

- Written/notarized consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos.

Georgia

- Written/notarized consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing.

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

Hawaii

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for tattoos and body piercings.

Idaho

- Minors aged 14-18: Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing, PLUS a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure.

- NO TATTOOS OR BODY PIERCING FOR MINORS UNDER 14.

Illinois

- Parent or legal guardian must be present with minors when in a tattoo/piercing shop AT ALL TIMES.

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

Indiana

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos, PLUS a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure.

Iowa

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

- No known laws for body piercing. Each individual piercing establishment must set their own rules regarding the piercing of minors.

Kansas

- Written/notarized consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos, PLUS a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure.

Kentucky

- Written/notarized consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos.

Louisiana

- Parent or legal guardian must be present for body piercing and tattoos.

Maine

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing.

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

Maryland

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing PLUS the parent must give consent in the presence of the piercer.

Massachusetts

- Parent or legal guardian must be present for body piercing.

- No known laws for body piercing. Each individual piercing establishment must set their own rules regarding the piercing of minors.

Michigan

- Written/notarized consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing, PLUS must give consent in the presence of the piercer.

- For tattoos, parent/guardian must give written and informed consent at the tattoo shop 

Minnesota

- Written/notarized consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing MUST be witnessed by the piercer. (That means your parent or legal guardian has to be in the shop while signing.)

- No genital or nipple piercings, branding, scarification, suspension, subdermal implantation, microdermal, or tongue bifurcation is allowed on minors.

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

Mississippi

- NO TATTOOS OR BODY PIERCING FOR MINORS (except earlobe piercings).

Missouri

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing or tattoos MUST be witnessed by the piercer (that means your parent or legal guardian has to be in the shop while signing).

Montana

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing or tattoos MUST be witnessed by the piercer (that means your parent or legal guardian has to be in the shop while signing).

Nebraska

- Written/notarized consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos, PLUS a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure.

Nevada

- No known laws for body piercing or tattoos. State does not regulate tattoo/piercing shops.

- Exception: In Clark County, a parent/guardian must be present for any piercing procedure performed on a minor

New Hampshire

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing, PLUS a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure.

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

New Jersey

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for piercings and tattoos.

New Mexico

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos, PLUS a parent or legal guardian must hand-delivery the consent or be present during the procedure.

New York

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing or tattoos MUST be witnessed by the piercer (that means your parent or legal guardian has to be in the shop while signing).

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

North Carolina

- Parent or legal guardian must be present to give consent for body piercing.

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

North Dakota

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos, PLUS a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure.

Ohio

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing, PLUS a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure.

Oklahoma

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing, PLUS a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure.

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

Oregon

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing, PLUS present proof of identity to the piercer.

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

Pennsylvania

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos, PLUS a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure.

Rhode Island

- Parent or legal guardian must be present to give consent for body piercing.

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

South Carolina

- NO PIERCINGS OR TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

South Dakota

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos.

Tennessee

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing, OR a parent or legal guardian must be present during the procedure.

- Minors over the age of 16 may get a tattoo ONLY to cover up an existing tattoo with parent or legal guardian present, PLUS present proof of their identity to the piercer.

Texas

- Parent or legal guardian must be present during a piercing procedure.

- Minors need written consent PLUS the presence of the parent or legal guardian to receive a tattoo.

- Tattoo can only be performed if it is to cover an undesirable/offensive tattoo and only if the parent/guardian believes it to be in the best interest for the minor

Utah

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos.

Vermont

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for body piercing and tattoos.

Virginia

- Parent or legal guardian must be present to give consent for body piercing and tattoos (with the exception of ear piercings).

Washington

- No known laws for body piercing. (Please let us know if you have legal information to prove otherwise.)

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

West Virginia

- No known laws for body piercing. (Please let us know if you have legal information to prove otherwise.)

- Written consent from parent or legal guardian for tattoos.

Wisconsin

- No one under the age of 16 may be pierced.

- Anyone age 16-17 may only be pierced with written consent from parent or legal guardian and consent MUST be witnessed by the piercer (that means your parent or legal guardian has to be in the shop while signing).

- NO TATTOOS FOR MINORS.

Wyoming

- Parent or legal guardian must be present to give verbal consent for body piercing and tattoos.

  • A

    Hi Sage,

    In Ohio, you’ll need both 1.) parental consent and 2.) parental supervision during the appointment in order to get any piercing as a minor.

    If you want to make sure, call a piercing studio in your area and ask if there are any age limits. They’ll be happy to let you know their policies/procedures!

    Alley (Body Candy Team) on

  • A

    Hi Jerik,

    You don’t mention which state you’re in, so I can’t answer this one specifically.

    A lot of piercing shops won’t perform certain piercings on minors younger than 16. It could come down to developmental growth, or it might just be a policy/procedure that the piercing studio has set for themselves.

    If you’re a minor looking to get pierced, odds are your parent will need to accompany you and provide consent. If you’re still wondering whether or not you’re eligible by age, find a piercing shop you’re interested in and give them a call beforehand. They’ll let you know all of their policies and the laws according to your state.

    Alley (Body Candy Team) on

  • A

    Hi Gena,

    In Oregon, parents need to give consent to have their minor pierced, plus you’ll need to present proof of identity for yourself.

    I’m not sure how the different last names will affect your experience, but you’re not the only mother/daughter duo who have different last names! If you’re worried, find a shop you/your daughter are interested in and give them a call beforehand. They’ll let you know what they need in order to perform the piercing on your daughter.

    Alley (Body Candy Team) on

  • A

    Hi Lanie,

    It depends on the state you’re in! Most states require parental supervision and/or written consent to get a piercing for a minor.

    Since you didn’t mention what state you’re in, check out the list above to see the rules/regulations for where you live. Don’t be afraid to find a reputable piercing studio in your area and give them a call beforehand!

    Alley (Body Candy Team) on

  • S

    my 11 year old sibling wants there septum piercing, are they allowed too? we live in ohio

    Sage on


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