In New South Wales you generally need to be 18 to get a tattoo. A tattoo includes anything that results in a permanent mark being made on your skin, including branding, scarification or beading.
If you want to get a tattoo before you turn 18, your parent will need to be with you when you get the tattoo, or give their permission in writing. If you get your parent’s permission in writing, the note should explain the type of tattoo you want to get, the size of the tattoo and where it’s going to be on your body. It’s against the law for someone to tattoo you without your parent’s permission.
You need to be 16 to get most piercings in New South Wales. If you’re under 16 and want a piercing, you’ll need your parent’s permission in writing or in person. Your parent’s note should explain the location of the piercing, and the type of piercing. You cannot get a piercing in a private place (like your nipples or genitals) if you are under 16, even if you have your parent’s permission.
Even if you do get permission from a parent, some tattooists and body piercers will not give you a tattoo or a piercing if you’re under 18. Others might ask you to show proof of your age, or even ask you to sign a statutory declaration (a legal document) outlining your age and that you understand the risks involved in the procedure. It is a good idea to call the tattoo / piercing parlour you are thinking of going to and asking them what their policy is on giving tattoos or piercings to someone your age who has a parent’s consent.
Your school or workplace may have specific rules or policies about tattoos, piercings and body marks, so it’s a good idea to check these first. These rules are legal as long as they are not unreasonable or discriminatory.
If a tattoo, piercing or body modification is part of your cultural background, for example your race, descent or ethnic heritage, then it may be unlawful discrimination for a school or workplace to ban you from having it. If you would like more information on this, click here to see our page on discrimination.
If you have any other questions about getting a tattoo, piercing or other body modification, please contact us here.
If you have a problem or a question, you can send it to us today and we can provide you with free advice, information and referrals to help solve your problem. Just click on the button below.Get help now