Can I get a tattoo under 18 in the uk?

Getting tattooed as a Teen?

Can I get a tattoo under 18 in the uk?

Are you wondering ‘Can I get a tattoo under 18 in the uk?’ The decision to get a tattoo should never be taken lightly especially when you’ve got a life of tattoo collecting ahead of you. These are the laws about getting tattooed as a teen.
It is ILLEGAL to tattoo under 18’s in the United Kingdom and NOT true you can with parental consent. We have people asking every week if they can if a parent signs the consent form. The answer is always NO!  Because a tattooist that does can be prosecuted and fined under the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969.
Believe it or not there are studios willing to put their licence and reputation on the line, but you have to question the legitimacy of these places and ‘tattooists’. Grown adults who will take money from children and break the law in the process. Ask yourself ‘what kind of person runs business like that?’
Any reputable artist/studio won’t even contemplate it. Tattooists who are willing to tattoo minors are not very good at what they do because if they were they would be tattooing children!
If you go somewhere like that, you will, without doubt, regret your decision. We have numerous clients having laser removal right now who were impatient teens who are now regretting that decision.

Grown adults who will take money from children and break the law in the process.

can I tattoo your children?

Be patient

Be patient about your first tattoo if you are under 18 and just wait, there’s plenty of time! This is something you are going to have for the rest of your life. Make sure you think about what you want and go to a reputable studio who will do a good job. We’ll even arrange to book you in on your birthday so you don’t have to wait a second longer than you have to!

Where can I get a tattoo at under 18?

Interestingly, the legal age for a tattoo does differ in other parts of Europe. For example, there is no age restriction in Bulgaria, Czech Republic or Hungary. And in Spain, customers as young as 14 can get inked. France’s age requirement is 16. While Austria, Denmark and Germany are among the few who join the UK of the minimum age being 18.
The UK is actually one of the only E.U. countries not to allow tattooing of teenagers under 18 whatsoever, even with parental consent. In fact, within the UK, you are required to have a license for a broad range of permanent surgical procedures, including tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing, electrolysis and acupuncture.
where can I get tattooed under 18

Is it illegal to get a tattoo when you’re drunk?

No, there aren’t any laws which stop drunk people getting a tattoo. Many artists will refuse to tattoo you if they can tell you’ve had a few drinks – but this is down to the discretion of the individual studio.
In 2015, the Welsh government debated introducing a law which would make it a criminal offence to tattoo somebody who is drunk. The idea was to enforce a “cooling off” period. So the client would have to wait several days before getting their tattoo. This law was not introduced.
It would have done little to stop the growing problem of ill-thought-out drunken tattoos bought on stag dos and lads’ holidays. Potentially regretting your decision is far from the only pitfall of drunken tattoos. Alcohol is a blood thinner, and some people bleed quite a lot when getting tattooed.

Tattooists Protect yourself

More and more teens ‘try to get away with it’ these days and fake ID’s are everywhere. It’s imperative you always ask for proof of age and to include a copy in a consent form. Tattoo laws are there for good reason. They protect you and your customers. Keep up to date with your understanding of the laws because they do change occasionally over time. A regular check in with your local EHO will keep you up to date.
As a tattoo artist, you have an obligation to protect yourself and your customers, even more so if you own your own shop. Ensuring you’re compliant to UK tattoo laws is one of the first things an artist should consider before tattooing  someone. And it doesn’t matter how qualified you are, everyone must follow the same rules.

Short Answer? No!

Prohibition of tattooing of minors.

It shall be an offence to tattoo a person under the age of eighteen except when the tattoo is performed for medical reasons by a duly qualified medical practitioner or by a person working under his direction, but it shall be a defence for a person charged to show that at the time the tattoo was performed he had reasonable cause to believe that the person tattooed was of or over the age of eighteen and did in fact so believe.

The Law

Age of consent in the UK

Can I get a tattoo under 18 in the UK? No. The UK prohibits anyone under the age of 18 to have a tattoo. Any artist found proved to be tattooing minors will be prosecuted and fined.
  • It is illegal for people under the age of 18 to get a tattoo.
  • This legislation was brought in under the Tattooing Of Minors Act 1969.
  • This is the case even if the minor is accompanied by their parents.
  • The Act, however, does state that tattooing may be done under the age of 18 provided that it is done for medical purposes. This need to be done by a qualified medical practitioner or anyone under their supervision.

What’s the penalty for giving someone a tattoo who is under age?

A tattooist will be prosecuted and fined accordingly if they are found to have given a tattoo to someone under the age of 18.
  • That is unless the tattoo is performed for medical reasons by a qualified medical practitioner.
  • The tattooist may also be exempt from prosecution if they can prove they had reasonable cause to believe that the person was over 18 at the time.

Can I get a tattoo under 18 in the uk?