Getting a piercing done is a big decision, one you need to put proper thought into before committing. To guard against indiscriminate piercings and because of the sensitivity of most procedure virtually every state in the US has its own set of guidelines and rules as it relates to body piercings. Before getting that dream piercing, it’s important to have an at least rudimentary knowledge of these laws.

On a general note, most of the laws surrounding body piercings revolve around two things, the safety/professionalism of the body piercing studios and the age of prospective body piercers. All states save Nevada, and to some extent, Maryland has laws that address these two issues.

  • Licensing and Registration

Body piercing professionals are mandated by law to license and register their studios based on existing local legislation. Most states require that the body piercing artist undergoes rigorous training and exams before these permits are granted. The license places them under the jurisdiction of local authorities who work to supervise and regulate their operations. It is Important always to make sure that you patronize state registered piercing booths for your piercing needs, as these will in most cases adhere to the stringent piercing safety rules and regulations since they are subject to ratification by the government.

  • Age for Piercing

Virtually all piercing styles are illegal for minors – a minor according to the United States Constitution is someone below the age of 18. That said, many states like Wisconsin, Wyoming, Utah and a host of others allow piercings for minors within the age bracket of 12 – 16, of course with the consent of their parents or guardians. Consent is usually in written form stamped and notarized by the guardian in question. States like Wisconsin mandate that minors must be at all times accompanied by their guardians when they visit piercing studios. If you’re less than 18 and looking to get a piercing make sure to get consent from your parent and resist any temptation to forge a consent document as that will constitute a criminal offense

In addition to these laws piercing outfits could have their own piercing rules and regulations.

Things you need to straighten out before getting that piercing

Avoid patronizing Unregistered and unlicensed piercing even if they offer mouth-watering incentives. Remember that state quality assurance teams have not vetted such studios and as such, they are for the most part unstandardized with their practices. Some will even go as far as agreeing to perform a piercing procedure on a minor. This is not only illegal for the piercing studio, but also for you the recipient. Undertaking, receiving or modifying piercings on a minor is a crime that both the piercer and piercee would be held liable for.

Over the years these laws have received numerous updates and redrafts each intended to make the piercing world safer and healthier. If anything their now stricter predisposition assures you of top-notch quality service vetted by your local health and quality assurance team – if you visit any piercing parlor without these requirements do yourself a favor and jump ship.