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Tattoos and Piercings

TAS: When can I get a tattoo, body piercing or body mark?

  • Tattoos and other body marks: if you’re under 18, you can’t get a tattoo or a body mark done. This includes things like branding, beading, tongue-splitting, scarring and earlobe stretching. 

  • Piercings: if you’re under 16, you can only get a piercing if your parents are with you when you get it BUT if you want a piercing in a private place (like your genitals or nipples), you have to wait till you’re 18.   

  • When can I get one? In Tasmania, there’s no specific age you have to be to get a tattoo, piercing or body mark. If you are under 18, it will depend on whether you can give valid consent.

  • At school and work: your school or workplace may have specific rules or policies about tattoos, piercings and body marks, so it’s a good idea to check these first.

  • Watch out for your health - remember to protect yourself from diseases by going to a registered parlour with someone who is trained and hygienic!


Tattoos and other body modifications (including branding, beading, scarring and others)

In Tasmania you need to be 18 to get a tattoo or body modifications done.   This includes things like branding, beading, tongue splitting, scarring and earlobe stretching.   It doesn’t matter if your parents agree that you can get it done, you still have to wait till you're 18. 

It’s against the law for someone to give you a tattoo or make a body mark on you if you’re under 18.



Body piercings


You need to be 18 to get a normal non-private piercing in Tasmania.   If you’re under 18 and want a normal piercing, you’ll need your parents to be with you while you get the piercing. It’s not enough to get a note in writing from them.

If you want a piercing in a private place (like your genitals or nipples), you have to wait until you’re 18. It doesn’t matter if your parents agree that you can get this done, you still have to wait. 

It's against the law for someone to give you a private piercing if you're under 18, or to give you a regular piercing if you're under 18 and your parents aren't with you. 



Having a tattoo, piercing or other body modification at school or work

Your school or workplace may have specific rules or policies about tattoos, piercings and body marks, so it’s a good idea to check these first.  These rules are legal as long as they are not unreasonable or discriminatory.    

Workers in Australia are protected by unfair dismissal laws. If you are dismissed only because you have a tattoo or piercing and this has never been discussed with you or addressed in your employment contract then this may be considered unfair dismissal.
  If this has happened to you, please send us a Lawmail for more information on your options. You may need to take some option within 21 days of being dismissed, so don't delay - send us a Lawmail today!

If a tattoo, piercing or body modification is part of your cultural background, for example your race, descent or ethnic heritage, then it may be unlawful discrimination for a school or workplace to ban you from having it. If you would like more information on this, send us a 
Lawmail.




Before you get a tattoo, piercing or other body modification

  • Think ahead - remember, tattoos and other markings are permanent.  It is important to
    think about whether you want a tattoo or other mark for the rest of your life.

  • Ouch - piercings can leave scars or holes long after you stop wearing the jewelry – Ouch!

  • Staying safe - when you get a tattoo or piercing, there is always a risk that you can get a disease like Hepatitis C or B, HIV or a bacterial infection. To prevent this, it’s a good idea to always go to a professional tattoo artist and make sure that the tattoo studio is safe and hygienic and that all tools are sterilised. Don't get a 'backyard' or 'tattoo party' tattoo - the risk is just too great!   All tattoo parlours in Tasmania need to have a licence,  so it’s a good idea to make sure the place has one before getting anything done. The government has made rules on safety which tattooing and body piercing parlours have to follow.




If you have any questions about getting a tattoo, piercing or other body modification, please send us a Lawmail.

You are welcome to copy and use this fact sheet.

The content on this page was last updated on 4 September 2015.