New York State Tattoo Laws

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    Minimum Age

    • In New York, a person under the age of 18 cannot get a tattoo, regardless of whether they have the consent of a parent. According to section 260.21 of New York State Penal Law, "a person is guilty of unlawfully dealing with a child in the second degree" when he "marks the body of a child less than eighteen years old with indelible ink or pigments by means of tattooing."


    • A tattooist has to obtain a permit from the New York State Department of Health before operating a tattoo studio. The permit is valid for two years, and cannot be assigned or transferred to another person. If the Department of Health intends to reject the application for a permit, it will send a notification detailing the reasons. The applicant can make a written request for a hearing within 30 days of receiving the notification.


    • The tattooist has to display his permit in a conspicuous place in his tattoo studio. He also has to follow the rules and regulations set by both the commissioner of health and his city, town, village or county.

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