There is no federal law regulating tattoos and body piercings in the United States. However, all 50 states require that the person receiving a tattoo be at least eighteen years old, based on a legal principle that minors cannot enter into a legal agreement or otherwise give informed consent for a procedure (such as a tattoo).
State legislatures have had no choice but to amend their body art law to ensure that the activity of tattooing and body piercing is performed safely, does no harm to others, and protects minors.
Some states allow minors to get tattoos or body piercings with parental consent, but others prohibit tattooing under a particular age regardless of parental consent, with the exception of medically necessary markings.
Tattooing establishments may also impose restrictions on who they allow to get tattoos or piercings. For example, some establishments may refuse to tattoo anyone under a specified age, or limit the locations on the body where they are willing to perform these procedures.
Below you'll find the answer to the question, about the legal requirements and how old do you have to be to get a tattoo or piercing in Massachusetts:
Massachusetts Tattoo and Body Piercing Law
Age: the legal age to get a tattoo in Massachusetts is 18 (except body piercings and other than the genital area)
Requirements: for body piercings excluding the genital area, a parent/guardian may provide identification and sign a parental consent document
Exception: ear piercings can be performed on a minor without parental consent, as well as piercings/tattoos performed by physicians for treatment reasons
Side Note: the tattoo/piercing artists must have a permit, and their establishments are subject to following specific health department regulations
Law Penalty: violations of Massachusetts tattoo & body piercing laws are regulated by the County Health Department, but all follow a model regulation set by the state
Summary: The Massachusetts state law prohibits anyone from performing a tattoo on a minor. For body piercings excluding the genital area, a parent/guardian may provide identification and sign a parental consent document, except for ear piercings which require no consent.
How To Give A Written Parental Consent?
Written permission is required in certain jurisdictions for body art, which helps to prevent fraud. You don't want your teenager to compose their own note (or have a pal do it for them) and enter a store claiming that their parents gave approval.
In some circumstances, consent forms must be notarized to ensure that the legal guardians are the ones signing them.
If you are giving written consent, you may need to document exactly what you are consenting to. For example, you may need to say what tattoo you consent your teen to get and where you are allowing your teen to get it. For piercings, you may need to document the type and location of the piercing.
If you are consenting to anything in writing, you will most likely need to record exactly what you are agreeing to. For example, if you agree that your teenager may get a tattoo at this location, you'll need to state where and how the tattoo will be placed on your teen's body.
If you're ready to give written consent, there is no reason why you can't do it yourself. Here is a online Tattoo & Body Piercing Consent Form, where you can select your state and most of the legalities will be automatically generated for you or a ready made consent form as .PDF to download for your convenience.
If you are not going to be there, contact the business ahead of time to discuss what your youngster will need in order to get a tattoo or piercing and find out all the formalities as well. Some states require the presence one or both parents, or legal guardians, so it's not that easy as may sound.
Piercing ID Requirements For Minors
Who Needs Identification In Order To Be Tattooed Or Pierced?
Any person regardless of age must bring valid (not expired) state-issued photo identification in order to get any kind of body modification done. If you're the parent or legal guardian, you must be present and provide a copy of your valid photo ID. You cannot use a copy of a photo ID. Your birth certificate and guardianship papers must also be brought in at the same time as the piercing.
Accepted Forms Of ID's For Tattoos Or Piercings
Minors needs a valid government issued document showing their date of birth, along with a photo ID. Also, they need a valid ID from the parents/guardians, along with a valid non expired ID from them. All documents must be originals or certified copies of the originals.
Identification Requirements For Piercing Or Tattooing Minors
Minors need parental consent before getting a tattoo or piercing. Parents and guardians should accompany minors during the procedure. State issued IDs are required. School-issued IDs aren't accepted. Copies of birth certificates are necessary if parents' names differ from those of the minor.A minor must be accompanied by a legal guardian if she/he is going to participate in any activity requiring parental consent. The legal guardian must provide a copy of the guardianships documents and a copy of their child's birth certificate.