Thursday, February 24, 2011

Legal status of tattooing in the United States

In the United States, there is no federal law stating a required age to be tattooed. When a person reaches the age of 18 in the U.S.
they are legally considered an adult. As of 2010 all states require that the person being tattooed is an adult over 18, , some states do allow minors (17 or less) to be tattooed with parental consent.

In all jurisdictions, even those having no law dictating a minimum age, individual tattooers may choose to set age restrictions for their business as a precaution against lawsuits. This is partially based on the legal principle that a minor cannot enter into a legal contract or otherwise render informed consent for a procedure. Most such tattooers will allow a parent or guardian to give written or oral consent in person.

The artist may also choose to place addition restrictions based on his or her own moral feelings, such as refusing any clients under a specific age even with parental consent, or limiting the type and/or location of where they are willing to tattoo a minor (such as refusing any work around intimate parts of the body). Artists sometimes claim their personal business restrictions are a matter of law even when it is not true, so as to avoid arguments with clients.

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