Personally, I do not have any tattoos. That doesn't mean that I haven't thought about. I would like to get one at some point but it is not an absolute want at this time. I did find it interesting that my girlfriend's 17-year-old daughter discussed with us recently about what her first tattoo should be. I don't have kids of my own so it was surprising to hear she would already want a tattoo of some kind. While she is about to be of age to legally get a tattoo in Texas, it got me to thinking, what is the youngest someone can be to legally get a tattoo in Texas? Believe it or not, it appears there is no age mandate in Texas law.

Texas Admin Code 229.406

To find the answer of how young is too young to get a tattoo in Texas, you have to go to Texas Admin Code 229.406. In this code, it says that anyone 18 years of age or older with a valid picture ID (i.e. driver's license, passport, military identification) can get a tattoo in Texas from a licensed tattoo parlor. It's when you go further into that code that the answer of how young is too young becomes a little blurry.

When you get to section c of Texas Admin Code 229.406, it says that someone under the age of 18 can get a tattoo with a parent's or guardian's consent. It's the wording that really confuses, though. It says it can be done to "cover an existing tattoo." If someone under the age of 18 (a minor) can't get a tattoo, how can they have an existing tattoo?

In the subsections below that, the Admin Code talks about the existing tattoo can be covered if it has obscene language or gang symbols or drug related themes. How could a minor get these kinds of tattoos? Do you see how I'm confused at the wording?

There is no bottom age?

It doesn't say in the code if you are a minor and want to get a tattoo, you have to get a parent's or guardian's consent to do so. It says you have to have a parent's or guardian's consent to cover an existing tattoo. So if you base the legalities of when someone can get a tattoo, there is no bottom age, according to this code, to get inked as long as you have a parent's or guardian's consent, I guess.

There is a Punishment

When you get to the bottom of the code, there is a punishment that can be doled out for getting a tattoo. If you are under the age of 18 and present a false ID, you can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.

So how young is too young to get a tattoo? I guess we don't have a clear answer. Read the full Texas Admin Code 229.406 HERE and decide for yourself I guess.

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