TATTOO AND BODY PIERCING LAWS

Parental Consent is Required for Body Piercing

California Penal Code Section 652.  

(a) It shall be an infraction for any person to perform or offer to perform body piercing upon a person under the age of 18 years, unless the body piercing is performed in the presence of, or as directed by a notarized writing by, the person's parent or guardian.
(b) This section does not apply to the body piercing of an emancipated minor.  
(c) As used in this section, "body piercing" means the creation of an opening in the body of a human being for the purpose of inserting jewelry or other decoration.  This includes, but is not limited to, piercing of a lip, tongue, nose, or eyebrow.  "Body piercing" does not include the piercing of an ear. 
(d) Neither the minor upon whom the body piercing was performed, nor the parent or guardian of that minor, nor any other minor is liable for punishment under this section.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2005, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2005, deletes or extends that date.


Tattooing a Minor is Illegal Even with Parental Consent

California Penal Code Section 653.  

Every person who tattoos or offers to tattoo a person under the age of 18 years is guilty of a misdemeanor.
As used in this section, to "tattoo" means to insert pigment under the surface of the skin of a human being, by pricking with a needle or otherwise, so as to produce an indelible mark or figure visible through the skin. 
This section is not intended to apply to any act of a licensed practitioner of the healing arts performed in the course of his practice.


DISCLAIMER
  This page is meant to provide general information and not a specific legal opinion.  The law changes and evolves and this information may not be current.  Check with a competent attorney for specific recommendations.



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