How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Piercing?

A beautiful young lady get peircing at small piercing shop

Published Aug 8, 2021

Many parents — as well as adolescents — are curious about the right age for piercings. 

Depending on your state of residence, a minor—a person under 18—may be permitted to obtain a body piercing or tattoo without their parent’s approval. Each state creates its own guidelines regarding body art, so you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the local laws. 

Certain states prohibit minors from getting tongue piercings or tattoos without parental authorization, while others have no such restrictions. This implies that you may be able to walk into a salon without your parent’s knowledge and have a piercing or tattoo. So, really, how old do you have to be to get a piercing or tattoo?

Things to Know Before Making a Choice

Certain states have enacted rules prohibiting certain types of piercings. While ear piercing is generally permissible for minors, a tongue piercing may require parental consent. 

Regrettably, not all tattoo artists and body piercers adhere to the law. Several of them may be willing to pierce or tattoo you without proper parental consent. Anyone who violates the law will almost certainly face a fine and the possibility of losing their license to practice.

State Laws Regarding Body Piercing and Tattooing 

Because laws change frequently, it is critical to educate oneself on the most up-to-date requirements in your state. The following are the current state laws you must be aware of:

Alabama

  • Written consent of a parent or legal guardian must be provided before a minor can receive a piercing or tattoo.

Alaska

  • Minors are not permitted to receive tattoos. 
  • Body piercing requires written parental consent and the presence of a parent or legal guardian throughout the procedure.

Arizona

  • To receive a piercing or tattoo, a minor must have the physical presence of a parent or legal guardian.

California

  • It is prohibited to tattoo a minor. 
  • To receive a piercing other than an ear-piercing, you must have either the presence or notarized written consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Colorado

  • A minor can have a piercing or tattoo only if he or she has written permission from a parent or legal guardian.

Connecticut

  • Minors must have their parent’s or guardians ’ written authorization before receiving a tattoo.

Delaware

  • To have a piercing or tattoo done, a minor must first obtain written consent from a parent or legal guardian.

Florida

  • To have a piercing or tattoo, minors require the parent or legal guardian’s written notarized approval.

Georgia

  • Only a licensed osteopath or technician who is supervised by a licensed physician or osteopath may tattoo a minor. 
  • Written informed consent from a parent or legal guardian is required for piercing.

Hawaii

  • Minors must have their parent’s written authorization before receiving a tattoo. 
  • There are no age limits for piercings right now.

Idaho

  • Teenagers under the age of 14 are not permitted to get tattoos, brandings, or piercings. 
  • Teenagers 14 to 18 must get their parent’s or legal guardians ‘ written before getting a piercing or tattoo.

Illinois

  • Minors under 18 must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian when entering a tattoo parlor. Also, children are not allowed to get a tattoo.

Indiana

  • To obtain a piercing or tattoo, a minor must have written consent and the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

Iowa

  • Tattooing a minor is considered illegal. 
  • No laws exist regarding body piercing.

Kansas

  • Minors must have the presence and notarized consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Kentucky

  • To have a piercing or tattoo, minors require the parent or legal guardian’s written notarized consent.
needles for piercing scatters on the violet table

Louisiana

  • A minor can’t receive a piercing or tattoo unless a parent or legal guardian is present.

Maine

  • Tattooing a minor is considered illegal. 
  • To get a piercing, a minor must have written parental or guardian consent.

Maryland

  • There are currently no age limits on body piercing or tattoos.

Massachusets

  • There are currently no age limits on body piercing or tattoos.

Michigan

  • Minors who wish to have a piercing must obtain written informed consent from a parent or legal guardian. 
  • Consent must be given personally.

Minnesota

  • Tattooing a minor is considered illegal. 
  • To have a piercing, a minor must obtain witnessed written authorization from a parent or legal guardian. Minors are not permitted to have genital or nipple piercings, scarification, branding, suspension, microdermal, subdermal implantation, or tongue bifurcation.

Mississippi

  • Body piercing or tattooing a minor is considered illegal. 

Missouri

  • Minors who wish to have a piercing or tattoo must obtain written consent from a parent or legal guardian. 
  • Consent must be given personally.

Montana

  • Minors who wish to have a piercing or tattoo must obtain written consent from a parent or legal guardian. 
  • Consent must be given personally.

Nebraska

  • To acquire a piercing or tattoo, a minor must obtain written authorization from a parent or legal guardian.

Nevada

  • There are currently no age limits on body piercing or tattoos.
  • The state does not regulate tattoo parlors or body piercing establishments.

New Hampshire

  • Minors who wish to have a piercing must obtain written consent from their parent or legal guardian and be in the presence of their parent or legal guardian.

New Jersey

  • Tattoos are permitted only with the written consent of a minor’s parent or legal guardian.

New Mexico

  • Minors must provide written consent and be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the tattooing or piercing process.

New York

  • Tattooing a minor is considered illegal.
  • Piercings require written parental consent.

North Carolina

  • Body piercing or tattooing a minor is considered illegal. 

North Dakota

  • Minors must provide written consent and be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the tattooing or piercing process.

Ohio

  • The parent or guardian must sign a consent form and be present throughout the procedure.

Oklahoma

  • Tattooing a minor is considered illegal.
  • Minors must provide written consent and be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the piercing process.

Oregon

  • A parent or guardian must approve in writing and present identification. 
  • Minors may be tattooed only with a physician’s authorization.

Pennsylvania

  • Minors must provide written consent and be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the tattooing or piercing process.

Rhode Island

  • Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when receiving a piercing. 
  • Minors are not permitted to be tattooed.

South Carolina

  • Without parental consent, minors under the age of 18 are not permitted to have tattoos. 
  • A parent or guardian must either grant written, notarized consent or be present during the procedure for a body piercing.

South Dakota

  • Minors who wish to have a piercing or tattoo must obtain written consent from their parents or legal guardian.

Tennessee

  • A minor over the age of 16 may receive a tattoo to conceal an existing tattoo, but they must have their parent present and provide proof of identity. 
  • To receive a piercing as a minor, written consent and the presence of a parent or legal guardian are required.

Texas

  • Minors who wish to have a tattoo must obtain written consent from their parent or legal guardian and be in their presence. 
  • Only if the tattoo covers an ‘obscene or insulting’ tattoo and the parent believes it is ‘in the child’s best interest.’ 
  • A parent or guardian must provide proof of parentage or guardianship.

Utah

  • Minors must obtain parental or legal guardian consent prior to receiving a piercing or tattoo.

Vermont

  • Minors who wish to have a piercing or tattoo must obtain written approval from a parent or legal guardian.

Virginia

  • Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when receiving a piercing or tattoo – this does not include ear piercing.

Washington

  • Tattooing a minor is considered illegal.
  • There are currently no age limits on body piercing.

West Virginia

  • There are currently no age limits on body piercing.
  • Minors must have their parent or legal guardian’s written consent before getting a tattoo.

Wisconsin

  • There are currently no age limits on body piercing.
  • Tattooing a minor other than a physician in the course of his or her professional practice is prohibited.

Wyoming

  • Minors must have verbal consent from a parent or legal guardian or be present for the whole process.


Now that you have an answer to your question, “how old do you have to be to get a piercing or tattoo?” Make sure that you make a wise decision and ask your parents for advice first.

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Krizzia Reyes is an author for Instant Vital Records.

About The Author

As a professional writer at many renowned websites Krizzia Paolyn has covered a wide range of topics in many industries. Her knack for uncovering important truths and conducting thorough research on each topic she writes about has helped thousands of people across the world.