Tattoos are quite common today. They’re a way to express yourself with permanent pieces of art on your body.
In Florida, tattoos are especially prominent because the warm temperatures have most people exposing their skin, giving them the opportunity to show off their ink all year long. How old do you have to be to get a tattoo in Florida? If you’re in Florida and interested in getting a tattoo, be sure you understand age restrictions, required prep, and what to expect after getting inked.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Tattoo in Florida?
According to the tattoo laws in Florida, you have to be 18 years or older to legally get a tattoo. You can still get one if you’re 16 or 17, but you have to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and have the proper documents.
Can Minors Get Tattoos In Florida?
Minors 16 or 17 years old can get a tattoo in Florida if they meet several requirements. Those under 15 years old cannot unless the tattooing is performed for medical or dental purposes.
1. Requirements for Minors 16 or 17 years of age
Minors 16 or 17 years of age can get a tattoo in Florida if they meet the following requirements:
- A parent or legal guardian must be present.
- The parent or legal guardian must prove their identity with a government-issued photo ID and prove their relationship to the minor.
- The parent or legal guardian provides written notarized consent as required by the Florida Department of Health.
- The tattoo artist must have proper licensing according to Florida law.
2. Minors Under the Age of 16
According to Florida law, those under 16 years old cannot legally get a tattoo unless “the tattooing is performed for medical or dental purposes by a person licensed to practice medicine or dentistry under chapter 458, chapter 459, or chapter 466.”
Medical reasons for getting a tattoo may include:
- As a replacement for a medical bracelet to alert that the wearer has a serious medical condition
- To help administer cancer treatments through the placement of small tattooed marks
Further details about tattoo laws in Florida are outlined in Chapter 64E-28.
Preparing for Getting a Tattoo in Florida
If you want to get a tattoo in the state of Florida, ensure you meet the age restrictions. You should also plan ahead with an idea of what tattoo you’d like, where you want it, its size, and if you want it in grayscale or color.
- If you’re 18 years or older, you’ll need a government-issued photo ID to prove your identity and age. The tattoo artist will also ask you to review and sign appropriate paperwork when you’re there.
- If you’re 16 or 17 years old, you’ll need to have your parent or legal guardian present. Make sure they bring a photo ID and proof that they’re a parent or guardian as well as a written notarized consent.
Commonly Asked Questions About Getting a Tattoo In Florida
Keep reading for answers to other commonly asked questions about getting a tattoo in Florida.
1. How Much Does a Tattoo Cost In Florida?
The cost of tattoos has increased from year to year. Prices aren’t usually based on state. Instead, they’re based on the size of the tattoo, the amount of detail, if it includes color, how long it takes, and the tattoo artist’s individual rates. Here are some standard costs to give you a better idea of pricing:
- Small tattoos (symbols, objects): $70-$300
- Medium tattoos (portraits, animals, patterns): $300-$700
- Large tattoos (sleeves, full-back): $700-$5,000+
- Experienced tattoo artists: $110-$180 an hour
Expect all of these prices to go up if you want color or a high level of detail.
2. How Painful Are Tattoos?
Tattoos have a low to moderate pain level. They are often compared to getting scratched by a cat repeatedly or scratching a sunburn. Pain will vary from person to person based on your pain tolerance. It will also vary based on the design of the tattoo and location.
Tattoos with shading use multiple needles, which can hurt more than simple line work. Tattoos are also more painful in bony areas. So while your bicep, thigh, or calf may have a low level of pain, your wrist, foot, collarbone, or rib area will likely have a higher level of pain.
3. How Long Does It Take for a Tattoo to Heal?
Tattoos heal in stages. They start healing right away but it can take six months or more for them to fully heal.
The outer part of your skin will typically heal within 2-3 weeks. During this time, you’ll experience redness, itching, flaking, and peeling. It’s important to keep the tattoo cleaned and moisturized.
Once the redness, itching, and flakiness go away, the deeper layers of your skin are still healing. Maintain your aftercare process over the next few weeks to prevent scarring and damage to your skin.
4. How to Care for a Tattoo?
Follow the directions your tattoo artist provides you to care for your tattoo. In general, here’s how to care for your tattoo during the first few days:
- Keep the dressing on your tattoo for a few hours after.
- Wash your hands before taking the dressing off and try to keep any dirt, bacteria, or other germs away from it.
- Wash your tattoo with an appropriate cleanser or gentle, scent-free soap, and pat it dry (don’t rub!).
- Apply a thin layer of alcohol- and fragrance-free moisturizer.
- You’ll typically wash and moisturize your tattoo 2 times a day (morning and night or after an activity that exposed it to bacteria).
Long-term care involves keeping the tattoo clean. Avoid prolonged direct sunlight without SPF protection (sunscreen or SPF clothing) and protect against severe dry skin as both scenarios can dull the color.
Getting a Tattoo in Florida: Closing Thoughts
Whether you want a small and simple tattoo or something more colorful and elaborate, be sure you understand the risks and requirements of getting inked.
According to the Florida Department of Health, You must be 18 years old to get a tattoo in the state of Florida. This applies to individuals looking to get a tattoo without consent from a parent or legal guardian.
You may get a tattoo if you are 16 or 17 years old with the proper consent from a parent or legal guardian. Those under 16 years of age are not legally able to get a tattoo in most cases.
With the right prep, you can make getting a tattoo a seamless, stress-free process.