In most states, it is illegal for a minor to get a tattoo. However, in a few states, minors can legally get a tattoo with their parents' written consent. In those few states, it is possible for a 16-year-old to get a tattoo.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in states where written consent is required for a 16-year-old to get a tattoo, that consent typically needs to be provided in person by the parent or legal guardian of the teenager. Tattoo shops are also required to keep the written consent on file for up to two years. In rare cases, minors who are legally married may be able to legally get a tattoo.