How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Tattoo in Florida?

It can be difficult to keep up with the varying laws when it comes to the age a minor can legally get a tattoo. Each state has their own laws and they can vary significantly from one to another.  Therefore it makes sense that many parents and teens often wonder what the age is in their state or in states that it is popular for teens to go to for Spring Break trips. In the state of Florida, the legal age that a minor can get a tattoo is 16 years old, however, it’s not quite that black and white. In this article, we’ll cover all the details you need to keep in mind and answer your biggest questions before getting your tattoo.

You Will Need Parental Consent

In the state of Florida, it is mandated under Chapter 64E-28, Florida Administrative Code, that no one under the age of 16 may be tattooed.  Just because you are 16 doesn’t mean you can automatically walk into any tattoo parlor and get your first tattoo today. The Florida Administrative Code also states that anyone who is 16 or 17 years old must present a notarized consent form and their parent or guardian must be present for the entire tattoo appointment.

Bring the Completed Paperwork

The paperwork you will need to have filled out prior to your appointment is the Written Notarized Consent for Tattooing of a Minor Child, Age 16 Through 17 Years Old form provided by the State of Florida Department of Health (You can access the form, by clicking here). This form is filled out by the minor’s guardian. It includes the name of the parent or guardian, and the name, date of birth, and age of the child.

The form also includes a description and location of where the tattoo is going to be placed on the minor’s body. Once the form is complete, it must be signed in the presence of a State of Florida certified notary. The notary will then notarize the document, making it officially legal. Even with this document, it is important to remember that your parent or guardian will still need to be present during the tattooing process.

Can You Get a Tattoo Under 16 if You Have Parental Consent?

It is illegal for anyone under the age of 16 years of age to get a tattoo in the state of Florida. Not only does the Florida Administrative Code prohibit children under the age of 16 to get a tattoo, but it also states that the tattoo artist also may not tattoo anyone under the age of 16. This law is in place to hold everyone accountable and protect the minor.

Are There Any Limits to Where You Can Be Tattooed Under Age 18?

Each tattoo shop may have different guidelines when it comes to what types of tattoos they will give to minors, and where the tattoo is placed. Some tattoo shops will not allow the tattooing of a minor near their genital area. Some shops also may put limits on the content of the tattoos. This means that a shop or specific artist may choose not to tattoo any profanity or mature content on the minor’s body.

Ultimately, tattoos artists have the freedom to choose what they are comfortable with, within the guidelines of Florida law. Even though it is legal to get a tattoo at age 16 in Florida, there still may be some shops that require their customers to be 18 years or older in order to be tattooed by one of their artists.

Talk to Your Shop Ahead of Time

Most shops do accept walk-ins, but if you are under the age of 18, it is always best to call ahead or make an appointment. First you will want to talk to the shop and make sure they will allow a minor over the age of 16 to be tattooed. You will also want to ask if they have any additional paperwork or requirements beyond what the state of Florida requires.

While you are speaking with the shop, it is always a good idea to set up a consultation. During the consultation, you can go over your ideas with an artist and make sure the design is exactly what you’re looking for. This also gives the shop an opportunity to make sure that the design is appropriate for their guidelines for tattooing minors. During your consultation, if everything is approved and all parties are satisfied with the plan, you can go ahead and set up your tattoo appointment.

Can You Get Tattooed in Another State Under 18?

The laws surrounding the age a person can get a tattoo vary by state. The state that you reside in is unimportant. The tattoo laws are enforced in the state in which you are seeking to get your tattoo completed. If an artist does a tattoo on a minor without parental consent in a state that requires parental consent, the artist could lose their license permanently.

So, if you are traveling or live nearby a state that allows minors to be tattooed with or without parental consent, you are generally free to do so, since you will not be breaking a law in that state. To see the age requirements by state to get a tattoo, you can check my post here for further details.

What Happens If You Get Caught Lying About Your Age?

If you are caught violating the state law that states that you must be at least 16 years or older to get a tattoo, you could be found guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor. This conviction could carry fines and/or jail time. It really is best to wait until you are of legal age before trying to get a tattoo.

What Happens if An Artist Tattoos a Minor Illegally?

If a tattoo artist tattoos a minor who is under the legal age, which is 16 years old in Florida, they can be subject to a second-degree misdemeanor charge, and will also likely lose their license to tattoo in the state of Florida.

Losing their license in one state could also prevent them from obtaining a license in any other state as well. There are a few protections in place for artists who genuinely thought that the minor was of legal age to receive a tattoo.

If a minor presents what appears to be government-issued photo identification and it is carefully reviewed by the artist before proceeding with the tattoo service, they may not be punished by law. Also, if the minor presents false identification that is genuinely believed by the artist to be a true representation of the individual, there may be no charges.

It’s Best to Obey the Local Laws

When it comes to getting a tattoo as a minor, it’s best to educate yourself on the local laws, and obey them. Breaking the law in order to get a tattoo in Florida before you are 16 years old is just risky. Trying to get a tattoo without parental consent, or by forging your parent’s signature, can get both you and the tattoo artist in major legal trouble.

Getting a tattoo is an exciting experience, and you don’t want to ruin in by putting yourself or the artist and shop at risk. So, if you are under the age of 16 and looking forward to getting your first tattoo in Florida, just be patient! Take the time to do research on the best tattoo shops in your area, and spend some time working on your tattoo design. You’ll be glad you did.