Best Age to Get a Tattoo | Legal Age to Get Tattoo in Different States

The craze of tattoo art has gone global and with its growing demand, people just cannot wait any longer to get inked. Tattoos are a beautiful way to express self-love. They can be a wonderful piece of art if you know the right age to do it. Unless your skin is prepared to accept the ink, you won’t get the desired results.

As the saying goes; ‘Right things come at the right time’. You may certainly not like to live with a tattoo for life that you did at the age of 16. Your choices, passion, and preference may change as you grow older.

Thus, think smart and wait until you are 18. That’s anyway a legal age as well to get a permanent tattoo.

Legal Age to Get A Tattoo

In most countries, the legal age for a permanent professional tattoo is 18 years and up. There you go; you cannot go against the law and there must be a logical reason for that age eligibility.

Tattoos done without proper guidance and knowledge may lead to various issues that you may regret later.

Some highly experienced tattoo artists recommend people getting inked during their early 20s compared to eighteen.

Even if the state allows you to get a tattoo done in the age bracket of 16-18, professional tattoo artists would recommend 20 years in age. There are various reasons and logic behind their suggestion.

Different states in the US have different rules for tattoos and thus, different age limits too. Here is a short table for you to refer to that will come in handy in case you relocate anytime in the future with your teens:

The States in America that Allow Tattoos for 14 and above

State NameMinimum Legal Age to Get a Tattoo
Idaho14 Years
Neveda14 Years

The States in America that Allow Tattoos for 16 and above

State NameMinimum Legal Age to Get a Tattoo
Florida16 Years
Kansas16 Years
Louisiana16 Years
New Jersey16 Years

States that don’t have legal age limit but require Permission from Parents to get a Tattoo

States of America that don’t follow a legal age limit for tattoos but, require strict permission and consent by parents. Also, the art has to be performed in the presence of a parent or legal guardian:

  • Arizona
  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Best Age to Get A Tattoo

Although the legal age is 18 for anyone to get a tattoo in the USA, it would still be wise to wait until one is in the early 20s.

By then, people complete their graduation, they can choose an able profession, and their skin is proper enough to bear the pain, effort, and care of the tattoo.

It would also be wise to take the consent of your parents or guardian before you get a tattoo done. Do not hide anything from them. In case of any unpleasant situations or scenarios, they may be the best guide to you.

Other than the USA, different countries have different age restrictions for tattoos.

In case you are planning to relocate, you must know the age bar for the tattoo in several other countries too. Let’s quickly take a look at some countries and the age limit for tattoos below.

Tattoo Age Limit in Few other Popular Countries

Country NameMinimum Age to Get a Tattoo
Austria16 Years
Nebraska16 Years
Uzbekistan16 Years
Kyrgyzstan16 Years
Scotland16 Years
France16 Years
Canada16 Years
Peru16 Years

Most other countries have tattoo legal permissions for age 16 and above. However, certain countries like China, Cuba, Germany, Japan, and a few more have a complete ban on tattoos whereas other countries have their reasons for the ban.

No matter when you get inked, remember to take complete care and understand the precautions well as instructed by your tattoo artist. You do not want to compromise on any unfair situation in the later stages, do you?

11 Important Factors to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo

There are few things you must consider when you plan your first tattoo. Follow these and you will be fine with your tattoo passion for life.

1. School/University

Not all schools or universities will allow you to have tattooed skin. It may against their rules and so you need to check that out before getting inked.

2. Objective

Unless you are clear with the reason for your decision, wait until you are more confident about the tattoo. Many teens get highly influenced by the elders and tend to copy them.

However, they get frustrated to see the colors on their body soon enough which even leads them to anxiety and irritability. Your reason for getting a tattoo needs to be strong with a clear mind.

3. Job opportunities

Are you thinking to go for a professional role as soon as you graduate? Then, you may have to think about the tattoo decision rationally. Not all jobs will prefer an employee with tattooed skin.

Certain professionals are even stricter for those who come under the healthcare sector, government jobs, law enforcement, and education.

Roles related to these areas may have tattoo restrictions. A tattoo done in the teenage should not become regretful later.

4. Check the costs

A tattoo is an expensive art. The better the ink and the clearer the design, the expensive it will be. Removing the tattoo is more expensive than getting inked.

Thus, one must think wisely before choosing a tattoo decision. Designs may change, the trend may change, and fashion may change too. You would not wish to live your whole life with a childish tattoo design that you did in your teens.

5. Side-effects

No matter how good the brand you pick for your tattoo design, not every skin is the same. People adapt to tattoo treatments differently. As a teen, your skin may be too sensitive to bear with tattoo machines and needles.

You may likely develop mild to severe side-effects. The skin treatments may furthermore cost you more money. Do you still wish to go ahead or wait for the right age?

6. The pain and after-care

Are you prepared for the pain that you would undergo with tattoo art? We don’t want you to panic if we say this but everything comes with a price; so does tattoo technique!

Even adults cannot bear the pain in certain areas of their bodies. Moreover, there is a long list of aftercare tips that one has to strictly follow after getting inked. Unless, you are mentally prepared for this, avoid it!

7. Is the design good?

Are you sure you wish to go with the design in your mind? Don’t blame your tattoo designer, friends, or family for not stopping you at the right time later.

Maybe you will be able to find the right design for your skin when you are sure of your decision. If there is a bit of doubt on the design or tattoo, hang in there for some more time.

8. Know your budget

If you are at your young age, you cannot afford to spend the entire savings on a tattoo design. Leave some for your education and other hobbies as well. Set a budget for your first tattoo.

9. Research well

Take the opinions of others who have done tattoos in past. Make a list of recommendations and references by them. Do your research well.

10. Abide by the law

Just like the age factor for horror movies, you have to be 18 to be inked as per the law as well. Some states may allow you to get inked earlier but, that has to be under the consent of your parents. We have already suggested you in the best of our experience above.

11. Follow your tattoo expert’s advice

Follow the advice of your tattoo expert as he knows the best. He has dealt with your skin and thus, the precautions by him will help you heal your first tattoo smoothly.


It is okay to be anxious for tattoo art; we all get anxious at times but you need to be in the right frame of mind to get inked. Even if you have an ounce of a doubt, it is always better to wait until you are 18 as per the law or wait for your early 20s as per the tattoo experts. You must know who you can trust more.