How old do you have to be to get a tattoo in the US?

Are you thinking about getting inked but not sure you’re old enough?

Getting a tattoo is for life, which is why most places make you wait until you’re an adult – but not everywhere.

How old do you have to be to get a tattoo in the US?

The national minimum age for getting a tattoo in the US is 18.

So while you’ll still have three years to buy beer at a bar, at least you won’t need anyone’s permission but yours to get some new ink.

You don't have to wait until you're 18 everywhere to get a tattoo - especially if you go abroad


You don’t have to wait until you’re 18 everywhere to get a tattoo – especially if you go abroadcredit: Getty

But rules vary by state – 16-year-olds are allowed to get tattoos in Louisiana, Kansas, New Jersey, and Florida.

Do the rules differ from state to state?

Although 18 is the national minimum age, 38 states also have laws that allow minors to tattoo with parental consent.

They say minors can go under the gun as long as their parents are on board — but in most cases a parent needs to be present as well.

While that doesn’t mean a kid can crawl into a tattoo parlor and grab a new sleeve, most artists refuse to tattoo anyone under the age of 15 or 16 for liability purposes.

At what age can you get tattooed in different countries?

Most countries seem to have accepted that 18 is the right age for people.

This is the case in Australia, Greece, the UK and Italy – but many other countries have their own rules.

In some areas of Spain, people can get tattooed from the age of 14 – while Costa Ricans can only get tattooed at the age of 12.

While anyone over the age of 18 can get inked in Denmark, it is illegal to tattoo one’s head, neck or hands.

Meanwhile, many countries have no age restrictions, including Cuba, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Hungary.

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