How Old do You have to Be to Get a Tattoo in Canada?

When it comes to a minimum age requirement people are confused as to what it is or if it even exists in the first place. Is it 16 when you get your driver’s license? Is it 18 when you are considered an adult? Maybe it’s 21? Or maybe there isn’t a minimum requirement age at all. Although there is no nation-wide legislative minimum age, provinces have taken the appropriate steps to protect citizens. Let’s take a look at those requirements province-to-province.

How old do you have to be to get a tattoo in Ontario?

In the province of Ontario, the requirements include that you must be 18 years of age with valid government-issued photo identification in order to get a tattoo. However, parent(s) are given the option to allow their children to get tattoos from the age of 16. At Playhouse, we require written parental consent for any individual under the age of 18 and for the parent(s) to be present during the tattoo. This is done to protect ourselves and our clients, as well as to ensure that the individual getting a tattoo is making an informed decision.

If you come across a shop that does not abide by these standards then we would highly suggest avoiding it. Not only is it incredibly irresponsible, but it is also an indication that there may be other standards that are being overlooked. The last thing you want is to walk into a shop and get a tattoo that is violating industry requirements or sanitary regulations which could leave you open to infections.

How old do you have to be to get a tattoo in Alberta?

In the province of Alberta, there is no law that states a minimum requirement age for getting a tattoo. But, when you get a tattoo you are entering into a contract and for that, there is an age. In order to get a tattoo without parental consent, tattoo shops require that you be 18 years old with government-issued identification.

Furthermore, the Government of Alberta and Health Canada have released guidelines that make the requirements clear for tattoo artists and studios. In addition to being 18 years old, the client must demonstrate ‘informed consent’, which includes filling out a dated consent form. The purpose of this form is to provide clear acknowledgment of the following:

How old do you have to be to get a tattoo in Quebec?

Keep in accordance with legislation across the country; Quebec does not ban studios from tattooing teenagers. Many courts have stated that if individuals aged 14-17 can make decisions understanding the impact of their choice they are free to do so. Regardless, we have found that the majority of tattoo shops will NOT tattoo anyone under the age of 18 and only tattoo 17-year-olds with consent from their guardian(s).

How old do you have to be to get a tattoo in Saskatchewan?

Similar to New Brunswick, Saskatchewan outlines the risks of tattoos and goes into detail about its categorization under invasive personal services. Shops in Saskatchewan follow the outlined recommendations of Health Canada but do not have a minimum age requirement. However, they keep in line with shops around the country and do not tattoo people under the age of 18.

How old do you have to be to get a tattoo in Manitoba?

Manitoba encourages tattoo shops to follow the recommendations and guidelines outlined by Health Canada. In regards to age, Winnipeg by-laws state that no person under the age of 18 shall be tattooed unless they have written approval from a guardian or parent. Although this is in Winnipeg, we believe it should be followed and considered standard across the province.

How old do you have to be to get a tattoo in Newfoundland and Labrador?

Newfoundland and Labrador do an excellent job of regulating the personal service industry within the province. This greatly increases the chances that tattoo studios will make sure that health and safety regulations are in order.

This is accomplished through the Personal Services Act which regulates tattooing and body piercings. Businesses within the province are required to follow the act which outlines age requirements. Any person over the age of 16 can be provided with body piercings and tattoos, while any person under the age of 16 is required to have their parent’s consent.

How old do you have to be to get a tattoo in Nova Scotia?

Nova Scotia is definitely one of the more active provinces in taking steps to create legislation that officially became mandatory on February 1st, 2019. Through this process Nova Scotia did not state a specific age, however, they did cover important components such as infection prevention, safety, and sanitation. Additionally, in order to provide body art services in Nova Scotia, facilities must hold either class 1 or class 2 permit.

How old do you have to be to get a tattoo in Prince Edward Island?

After many requests, Prince Edward Island finally rolled out tattoo and piercing guidelines. These guidelines contain specific rules regarding tattooing and piercing. Similar to restaurants, tattoo shops in Prince Edward Island will now receive proof of inspection documents. A tattoo shop with proof of inspection documents will have passed an inspection of proper disinfection and cleaning procedures.

Shops are also required to have each customer sign a consent form. People looking to get a tattoo must be over the age of 18. If you are 16-17 years old, you must have written permission from your parental guardian. And lastly, all customers are required to provide valid photo identification outlining the proof of age.

How old do you have to be to get a tattoo in New Brunswick?

Laws in New Brunswick do not outline a specific age, but they do discuss the health risks associated with tattooing. Again, most tattoo shops require you to be 18 years old or 16 years old with parental consent.

Importance of Age Requirement Guidelines

The importance of going to a tattoo shop that follows government guidelines and regulations can’t be overstated. When you are dealing with open wounds and environments where diseases can spread quite easily, proper safety procedures MUST be the top priority for all artists. If you do end up going to a shop that will bend on the age requirement set out in their province they are most likely bending on other safety precautions. If a shop is willing to tattoo a 14-year old child without his/her parents knowing then the chances they are following sanitary standards and proper needle disposal aren’t the greatest. This might not always be the case, but it is better to be safe than sorry when you’re putting your health and trust in the hands of someone else.