Can You Get A Tattoo At Age 17 In Texas?

Turning 17 is a major milestone on the path to adulthood. At this age, you may be tempted to assert your independence by getting a tattoo. However, there are important laws and regulations surrounding tattooing minors in the state of Texas.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: In most cases, you must be at least 18 years old to get a tattoo in Texas, unless you have parental consent.

Texas Tattooing Age Requirements

Getting a tattoo can be an exciting and meaningful way to express oneself, but it’s important to understand the legal requirements before getting inked. In the state of Texas, there are specific age requirements that individuals must meet before they can get a tattoo.

Minimum Age of 18

In Texas, the minimum age to get a tattoo without parental consent is 18 years old. This means that anyone under the age of 18 is prohibited from getting a tattoo, even with the consent of their parents or legal guardians.

The law is in place to protect minors from making decisions they may later regret and to ensure that they are mature enough to understand the potential risks and responsibilities that come with getting a tattoo.

Exceptions with Parental Consent

While the minimum age requirement is 18, there are exceptions that allow minors to get a tattoo with the consent of their parents or legal guardians. In Texas, a person who is 17 years old can get a tattoo with parental consent.

However, it’s important to note that not all tattoo studios or artists may be willing to tattoo minors, even with consent. Some may have their own policies in place that require individuals to be at least 18 years old, regardless of parental consent.

It’s also worth mentioning that even with parental consent, certain tattoos may still be off-limits for minors. Tattoo studios may have their own restrictions on the types of tattoos they will do for minors, such as tattoos on certain body parts or tattoos with explicit or offensive content.

Before getting a tattoo, it’s crucial to do thorough research and find a reputable tattoo studio that follows all legal requirements and prioritizes safety and hygiene. It’s also a good idea to have open and honest conversations with parents or legal guardians about the decision to get a tattoo, as they can provide guidance and support throughout the process.

For more information on tattooing age requirements in Texas, you can visit the official Texas Department of State Health Services website at

Parent/Guardian Consent Rules

Getting a tattoo can be an exciting and transformative experience for many teenagers. However, in Texas, the legal age for getting a tattoo without parental consent is 18 years old. So, can you get a tattoo at age 17 in Texas? The answer is yes, but with certain rules and regulations in place.

ID and Signature Needed

In order for a 17-year-old to get a tattoo in Texas, they must have the consent of a parent or legal guardian. This means that the parent or guardian must be present at the tattoo parlor and provide identification to prove their relationship to the minor.

Additionally, they will need to sign a consent form acknowledging their approval and taking responsibility for the decision.

It’s important to note that not all tattoo parlors in Texas may allow 17-year-olds to get tattoos, even with parental consent. Some establishments may have their own policies or restrictions in place, so it’s always a good idea to call ahead and inquire about their specific requirements.

Joint Custody Considerations

For teenagers who are under joint custody, the rules regarding parental consent for tattoos may be a bit more complicated. In these cases, both parents or legal guardians may need to provide consent, even if they are not present at the tattoo parlor together.

It’s advisable for 17-year-olds in joint custody situations to discuss their desire to get a tattoo with both parents and come to an agreement before proceeding. This will help avoid any potential conflicts or misunderstandings and ensure that all parties involved are fully informed and supportive of the decision.

Proof of Relationship

When providing consent for a minor’s tattoo, parents or legal guardians may be required to provide proof of their relationship to the teenager. This can be in the form of a birth certificate, court documents, or other official documentation that establishes their legal authority over the minor.

It’s always a good idea for parents or legal guardians to bring these documents with them when accompanying a 17-year-old to get a tattoo. This will help streamline the process and ensure that the tattoo parlor has all the necessary information to verify the authenticity of the consent.

What Tattoo Shops Look For

Getting a tattoo is an exciting and personal decision, especially for individuals who are under the legal age limit. In Texas, the legal age to get a tattoo without parental consent is 18. However, some tattoo shops may allow individuals who are 17 years old to get a tattoo under certain circumstances.

Here are a few factors that tattoo shops typically consider when deciding whether to tattoo someone under the age of 18:

Photo ID Verification

One of the main things that tattoo shops look for is proper identification. To ensure that the individual is of the legal age, tattoo shops require a valid photo ID. This can be a driver’s license, passport, or state-issued identification card.

The ID must clearly show the individual’s date of birth, and some tattoo shops may even take a photocopy for their records. This verification process helps protect both the tattoo shop and the individual from any legal consequences.

Parent Accompaniment

Another consideration for tattoo shops is whether the individual has a parent or legal guardian present. In some cases, tattoo shops may allow individuals who are 17 years old to get a tattoo if their parent or legal guardian accompanies them.

This is done to ensure that the decision to get a tattoo is made with parental consent and support. The parent or legal guardian may be required to provide their own identification and sign a consent form.

Texas Health Certificates

In Texas, tattoo shops are required to follow certain health and safety regulations. These regulations include the use of sterile equipment, proper sanitation procedures, and maintaining a clean and safe environment.

Tattoo shops may also require individuals under the age of 18 to provide a Texas Health Certificate, which certifies that they have received a medical examination within the past year and are free from communicable diseases.

It is important to note that while some tattoo shops may have their own policies regarding age restrictions, they must still comply with state laws. It’s always a good idea for individuals under the age of 18 to research and contact tattoo shops in their area to inquire about their specific requirements and policies.

Dangers of Underage Tattooing

Unlicensed Artists

One of the main dangers of underage tattooing is the prevalence of unlicensed artists. In Texas, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to get a tattoo without parental consent. However, some tattoo parlors may overlook this requirement or may not properly verify the age of their clients.

This can lead to underage individuals receiving tattoos from artists who may not have the necessary skills or knowledge to safely perform the procedure.

It is important to remember that getting a tattoo requires a certain level of expertise and training. By seeking out unlicensed artists, underage individuals put themselves at risk of receiving a poorly executed tattoo, which can lead to health complications and unsatisfactory results.

Unsafe Conditions

Another danger of underage tattooing is the potential for unsafe conditions in tattoo parlors. Licensed tattoo parlors are required to follow strict health and safety regulations to ensure the well-being of their clients.

However, unlicensed artists may not adhere to these guidelines, putting their clients at risk of infections, allergic reactions, and other complications.

Additionally, underage individuals may be more susceptible to peer pressure and may be less likely to speak up if they notice unsanitary conditions or unsafe practices. This can further increase the risk of negative outcomes and long-term health consequences.

Regret Risk

Lastly, one of the biggest concerns with underage tattooing is the risk of regret. Adolescence is a time of constant change and self-discovery, and what may seem like a great idea at 17 may not hold the same appeal a few years down the line.

Tattoos are permanent, and the decision to get one should be carefully considered. Underage individuals may not fully understand the long-term implications of their choices, leading to potential regret and dissatisfaction with their tattoos in the future.

It is always advisable for individuals to wait until they are of legal age and have thoroughly thought through their decision before getting a tattoo.

For more information on tattoo regulations and safety, you can visit the official website of the Texas Department of State Health Services:

Waiting Until Age 18

Getting a tattoo can be an exciting milestone for many individuals, but for those under the age of 18 in Texas, the process may require a bit more patience. In the Lone Star State, the legal age to get a tattoo without parental consent is 18.

While it may be tempting to try and get a tattoo at 17, there are several reasons why waiting until age 18 is often the best course of action.

Maturity and Life Changes

Turning 18 is not just a number; it represents a significant milestone in a person’s life. At this age, individuals are legally considered adults and are often more capable of making informed decisions.

The extra year can provide young adults with the opportunity to mature and gain a better understanding of themselves and their desired tattoo design. By waiting until age 18, individuals can ensure that they are making a decision that aligns with their long-term goals and values.

Financial Independence

Another reason to wait until age 18 to get a tattoo is financial independence. Tattooing can be a costly endeavor, and waiting until individuals have a stable source of income can help ensure that they can afford the tattoo they desire.

By waiting until age 18, individuals can also avoid the potential conflict of relying on their parents or guardians to pay for their tattoo, allowing them to take full ownership of their decision.

More Shop Options

When individuals turn 18, a whole new world of tattoo shops opens up to them. Many reputable tattoo parlors have a strict policy of only tattooing individuals who are 18 years of age or older. By waiting until age 18, individuals can have access to a wider range of experienced tattoo artists and professional studios.

This can greatly increase the likelihood of receiving a high-quality tattoo and a positive overall experience.


While you may feel ready to get inked at 17, Texas law prohibits tattooing minors under 18 without explicit parental approval. The best option is to wait until you turn 18, when you can freely choose a design and artist with no restrictions. Patience now will pay off with a tattoo you will cherish for a lifetime.

Similar Posts