Tattoos and Piercings


When can I get a tattoo or body piercing?



In Western Australia the legal age to get a tattoo without a parent's permission is 18.

If you are under 18 you must have the written permission of a parent before you can get a tattoo. The permission must state the type of tattoo and the position on your body where the tattoo will be done. Without this permission it is a criminal offence for someone to tattoo you or make a permanent mark or design on your skin.


You must also be 18 to have any other mark made on your skin such as branding unless you have parental permission. The permission must include the type of marking to be done and its location on your body.


Body Piercing


Ear Piercing

In Western Australia, you can get your ears pierced once you turn 16, without needing the permission of a parent.


Other non-intimate body piercing

A non-intimate body piercing is a piercing of any part of your body that isn't your genitals or nipples. Genitals mean the anus, perineum, scrotum, penis and vagina. 

If you are under 18, you can only get a piercing in non-intimate area if you have written permission from one of your parents. The permission must say where on your body the piercing should be done.


Intimate Body Piercing

An intimate body piercing is a piercing of the nipples or genitals.

If you are under 18 a body piercer is not allowed to give you an intimate body piercing even if you or your parent or carer give permission for it.


Before you get a tattoo, piercing or branding

It is important to be sure that you want a tattoo or mark for the rest of your life, because a tattoo or mark is permanent. Also, a piercing may leave scars or holes long after you stop wearing the jewellery.

There is a risk that you can get a disease like Hepatitis C or B, HIV or a bacterial infection. It is always best to make sure that you go to a professional tattoo artist and that the place is safe and hygienic and all tools sterilised. Don't get a 'backyard' or 'tattoo party' tattoo - the risk is just too great!

Because of the permanence of tattoos, scars, brands, beads and the sensitivities around piercings, many tattooists or body piercers will not do this work on anyone under 18, or may require proof of age and even the signing of a statutory declaration (a legal document) in addition to legally correct parental permission before doing any work on a young person they suspect might be under 18.


The content on this page was last updated on 15 June 2012.

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