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Virginia Tattoo Laws

Virginia STATUTES ANNOTATED
TITLE TWENTY-SIX. Professions and Occupations
CHAPTER 79. Tattooists and Body Piercers

18.2-371.3. Tattooing or body piercing of minors

No person shall tattoo or perform body piercing on a person less than eighteen years of age, knowing or having reason to believe such person is less than eighteen years of age except (i) in the presence of the person's parent or guardian, or (ii) when done by or under the supervision of a medical doctor, registered nurse or other medical services personnel licensed pursuant to Title 54.1 in the performance of their duties.

In addition, no person shall tattoo or perform body piercing on any client unless he complies with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for "Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions" and provides the client with the following disclosure:

1. Tattooing and body piercing are invasive procedures in which the skin is penetrated by a foreign object.

2. If proper sterilization and antiseptic procedures are not followed by tattoo artists and body piercers, there is a risk of transmission of bloodborne pathogens and other infections, including, but not limited to, human immunodeficiency viruses and hepatitis B or C viruses.

3. Tattooing and body piercing may cause allergic reactions in persons sensitive to dyes or the metals used in ornamentation.

4. Tattooing and body piercing may involve discomfort or pain for which appropriate anesthesia cannot be legally made available by the person performing the tattoo or body piercing unless such person holds the appropriate license from a Virginia health regulatory board.

A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Any second or subsequent violation of this section shall be punished as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

For the purposes of this section:

"Body-piercing" means the act of penetrating the skin to make a hole, mark, or scar, generally permanent in nature. "Body piercing" does not include the use of a mechanized, presterilized ear-piercing system that penetrates the outer perimeter or lobe of the ear or both.

"Tattoo" means to place any design, letter, scroll, figure, symbol or any other mark upon or under the skin of any person with ink or any other substance resulting in the permanent coloration of the skin, including permanent make-up or permanent jewelry, by the aid of needles or any other instrument designed to touch or puncture the skin.

Acts 1997, c. 586; Acts 2000, c. 842; Acts 2001, c. 270.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Acts 2000, c. 842 rewrote this section which formerly provided:

"No person shall tattoo a person less than eighteen years of age, knowing or having reason to believe such person is less than eighteen years of age except (i) in the presence of the person's parent or guardian, or (ii) when done by or under the supervision of a medical doctor, registered nurse or other medical services personnel licensed pursuant to Title 54.1 in the performance of their duties. A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor."

Acts 2001, c. 270 added the second paragraph and subds. 1 through 4 regarding "Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions" and required disclosures, and in the last paragraph in the definition for "Tattoo" added ", including permanent make-up or permanent jewelry,".