In the United States, certain states, such as Alabama, Colorado and Utah, allow 16-year-olds to obtain tattoos with parental consent. Twelve states, including Arizona and Kansas, require the parent or guardian to be present while the minor is receiving the tattoo.
No federal law dictates whether or not 16-year-olds can receive tattoos. Instead, individual states set their own laws and enforce them accordingly. In New York, for example, it is against the law to give a minor a tattoo regardless of whether or not a parent or guardian consents.
Other states that prohibit the tattooing of minors include Oklahoma, Rhode Island and California. In some of these states, however, tattooing is permitted if it is done by a licensed physician.