What Are the Laws Regarding Tattoos in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has strict laws regarding tattoos for minors including a third degree misdemeanor offense against violators, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. There are, however, no state-wide laws regulating tattoo artists’ training and safety standards, reports Sari Harrar for Philly.com.

In the state, it is illegal to provide tattoos to anyone under 18, explains NCSL. Those under 18 who decide to get tattoos need permission from their parents or a legal guardian. Also, the parents and guardian need to be present during the procedure. Under Pennsylvania laws, violators are not the minors or parents/legal guardians but the tattoo artists. The state classifies this offense as a misdemeanor of the third degree, which leads to a $100 fine or up to three years of imprisonment.

Although Pennsylvania has state-wide laws against violators, it lacks state-wide laws regulating training and safety standards. Only Philadelphia and Lancaster City have laws concerning these standards. This is a major issue because of the rise of in-home tattoo artists called “scratchers” or “kitchen magicians” who are poorly trained and more likely to transmit bloodborne diseases like hepatitis C. To prevent getting this disease, it is important to make sure the tattoo salon employs well-trained tattoo artists, follows safety procedures and uses well-sterilized equipment, recommends Harrar.