Since the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969 prohibits the act of tattooing anyone under the age of 18, it is therefore legal to get a tattoo in the UK at the age of 18 years old and above. The Tattooing of Minors Act 1969, however, does state that tattooing may still be done on anyone under the age of 18 provided that it is done for medical purposes by a qualified medical practitioner or anyone under his supervision.
According to the Act, if anyone in the UK is caught tattooing anyone under the age of 18, he will be under burden to prove that he had reasonable cause to believe that the minor was over the age of 18 when the offense was committed and that he actually believed it so. Anyone caught violating the act will be subject to conviction of a fine of 50 pounds on the initial offense and 100 pounds for the second and succeeding offenses.
The Tattooing of Minors Act 1969 defines "tattoo" as the act of inserting any coloring agent into the skin to leave a permanent mark. The Act itself does not encompass Northern Ireland, but a similar regulation called the Tattooing of Minors Order was instituted in 1979.