How Old Do You Have to be to Get a Tattoo in California?

tattoo law in california

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

If you’re curious about the minimum age to get a tattoo in California, it’s 18 years old.

The California Conference of Local Health Officials takes on the responsibility for declaring safety and sterilization standards and promulgating them to tattooing, body piercing, and cosmetics businesses that have long-term effects.

Performing a tattoo procedure on someone under the age of 18 is a misdemeanor, according to California Penal Code 653.

And suppose the parent or legal guardian is not physically present and gives their consent.

In that case, no one may be involved or facilitate a body piercing. However, emancipated minors are exempt from the rule, which does not apply to ear piercings because of their age.

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

It’s totally reasonable to go down this path, given its invasive nature.

By the same token, body piercing also needs to be made available only to people who already have rights as adults.

Businesses are even allowed to refuse underage clients no matter the reasoning and whether or not they have obtained consent from an adult companion.

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There’s an interesting point alluding that ’emancipated minors’ can get a piercing.

If this piques your curiosity, this term labels a minor who is not under the parents’ care.

Therefore, they are allowed to make decisions on their own.

Things that are typically legal only with parental consent can proceed even when the age of majority hasn’t been reached.

Those affairs include receiving medical care, enrolling in a university, choosing a place to live.

For the record, a juvenile may seek emancipation in many ways, including joining the military, getting married, or petitioning a court.

Tattoo Age in California FAQs

How old do you have to be to get a tattoo? What is the legal age to get a tattoo?

You can get it upon reaching 18 years of age.

That’s the minimum requirement to get a tattoo or another form of body modification in many states.

Before hitting this age, the procedure can still be performed, but it typically requires consent from either parent or guardian.

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Can you get a tattoo at 16 in California?

No, not with the laws in force currently. For someone to receive a tattoo legally, they have to be at least 18 years old.

can you get a tattoo at 16 in california

Performing it on a minor can put anyone in legal trouble. Hence, an artist needs to ascertain the client’s age before injecting tattoo dye into their skin.

Violating the law may subject the person to penalties.

Can you get a tattoo at 15 with parental consent in California?

No, it is explicitly stated that no one shall engage in that practice before the recipient reaches the age of 18.

Anyone who does it with knowledge is committing a crime.      

What states allow 16 year olds to get tattoos?

Idaho, Kansas, and New Jersey are some examples.

However, there’s the need for written permission, which could be signed by a parent or guardian.

How old can you get a tattoo with parental consent in California?


Parental consent usually overrides a minor’s best interests.

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Still, it’s simply taken out of the equation when we’re talking about tattooing on children in the state.

As long as a person is considered a minor by law, this can’t be conducted.

Can you get a tattoo at 14 with parental consent in California?

Parental consent matters only in the practice of body piercing.

As for tattoos, the only way one would qualify for it is if he or she has reached the age of 18.

Final thoughts on California tattoos law

So, how old do you have to be to get a tattoo in California?

It’s 18, and there’s nothing to negotiate.

Some of us may expect relaxation of the rule because some states make it possible to get this body art before reaching the age of majority.

Well, every state is different in governing regulations, especially when minors are involved.

There’s nothing wrong with what the state does because minors are vulnerable and prone to making flawed decisions.

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