States like New York and Minnesota have recently passed laws that stop minors (people under 18) from getting tattoos regardless of their parents consent. This means even if you had your parent’s permission, you could not legally get a tattoo.

These ‘no tattoos for minors’ laws have many times been done at the request of tattoo artists (surprisingly) who believe younger people are getting them done illegally and unsafely in the community. . . and many are.

One tattoo artist reports a woman bringing her 13 year old son in so he could get a tattoo of his mother’s name on his neck.  The tattoo artist objected saying “maybe he wanted to be a lawyer one day” and the tattoo would likely prevent that career choice.

Younger moms, many of whom also have tattoos, are much more willing to allow their children to get tattoos, but unfortunately they may also be limiting their future career and educational options.

Stories of divorced or separated parents allowing a tattoo without the other parent’s knowledge has muddied the water in court cases and caused for more confusion and controversy. Many tattoo shops want written approval from both parents as a way to “avoid any confusion.”

Tattoo artists have led the way saying they would rather be prohibited from tattooing minors rather than deal with separated parents, divorce lawyers, and flaky teens who change their minds. “Leave it to the adults, its much less of a hassle!”

The younger you are, the likely you are to choose a tattoo based on a fad, TV star, sports hero, or music icon. These fad tattoos age poorly.  Imagine have “Bonanza” or “I Love Lucy” tattoo on your body.  Or a tattoo with Mickey Mantel or Madonna? These tattoos today would be completely out of style. And twenty years from now, Rhiannon, Kanye West, Kobe Bryant, and many others will also be “passe”.

So the legislature in New York, California, Georgia, Maine, Mississippi, Alaska and other states have taken the decision away for parents as it relates to tattoos. . .if you’re under 18, you’ll have to wait.