I get people all the time in the tattoo studio that really have no idea of the current laws that have been set forth by the state. Another thing I have noticed in my 10 years of professional body modification is that alot of people are generally stupid to put it lightly. Most customers have no regard to their health when it comes to any kind of body modification, weither it is tattoos, simple body piercings, and/or heavy mods, people just do not put forth the effort to find the safest enviroment and most qualified person they can find for their procedures.
This post is to help make people aware of the laws and my opinion on these laws. My next article will be on how to pick your piercer and/or tattoo artist, in addition to knowing that your chosen tattoo studio is following proper procedures to keep you safe- make sure to check back for this article.
Illinois Body Piercing And Tattoo State Laws
(720 ILCS 5/12-10) (from Ch. 38, par. 12-10)
Sec. 12-10. Tattooing Body Of Minor.
(a) Any person, other than a person licensed to practice medicine in all its branches, who tattoos or offers to tattoo a person under the age of 18 is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
(b) Any person who is an owner or employed by a business that performs tattooing, other than a person licensed to practice medicine in all its branches, may not permit a person under 18 years of age to enter or remain on the premises where tattooing is being performed unless the person under 18 years of age is accompanied by his or her parent or legal guardian. A violation of this subsection (b) is a Class A misdemeanor.
(c) As used in this Section, to “tattoo” means to insert pigment under the surface of the skin of a human being, by pricking with a needle or otherwise, so as to produce an indelible mark or figure visible through the skin.
(d) Subsection (a) of this Section does not apply to a person under 18 years of age who tattoos or offers to tattoo another person under 18 years of age away from the premises of any business at which tattooing is performed.
(Source: P.A. 94-684, eff. 1-1-06.)
Now this law should be self explanatory, but most people get pissed when they bring their 14 year old to get tattooed and we say sorry we can’t do it. “But I’m their mother” well quite honestly I don’t care the law clearly states the boundaries for tattooing persons under 18 years of age. And yes, people do storm out and get all pissy and you know they are going to go down the street and get it done with some shitty half ass tattoo shop. It is a sad day when people just don’t listen to professionals and the potential customer decides they know what they are doing.
In my opinion I don’t think people under 18 understand the risks and commitment that comes with a tattoo. Cleanliness is one of my concerns, teens are the ones who come in a week later after getting a fresh piercing and its terribly infected, they lift there shirt to show me this navel piercing, and the first thing they do is touch it with their dirty fingers. I have seen it 100+ times and it goes to show that maybe “Minors” should wait. Not only that, but most kids grow at some rate or another till they are 18 and somtimes later. Piercings and Tattoos can be done straight but I have seen a few occasions where the person grew so much the tattoo was in a totally diffrent place or the piercing was clearly crooked from their growth pattern. Just something to think about.
(720 ILCS 5/12-10.1)
Sec. 12-10.1. Piercing the body of a minor.
(a)(1) Any person who pierces the body or oral cavity of a person under 18 years of age without written consent of a parent or legal guardian of that person commits the offense of piercing the body of a minor. Before the oral cavity of a person under 18 years of age may be pierced, the written consent form signed by the parent or legal guardian must contain a provision in substantially the following form:
“I understand that the oral piercing of the tongue, lips, cheeks, or any other area of the oral cavity carries serious risk of infection or damage to the mouth and teeth, or both infection and damage to those areas, that could result but is not limited to nerve damage, numbness, and life threatening blood clots.”
A person who pierces the oral cavity of a person under 18 years of age without obtaining a signed written consent form from a parent or legal guardian of the person that includes the provision describing the health risks of body piercing, violates this Section.
(1.5) Any person who is an owner or employed by a business that performs body piercing may not permit a person under 18 years of age to enter or remain on the premises where body piercing is being performed unless the person under 18 years of age is accompanied by his or her parent or legal guardian.
(2) Sentence. A violation of clause (a)(1) or (a)(1.5) of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor.
(b) Definition. As used in this Section, to “pierce” means to make a hole in the body or oral cavity in order to insert or allow the insertion of any ring, hoop, stud, or other object for the purpose of ornamentation of the body. “Piercing” does not include tongue splitting as defined in Section 12-10.2.
(c) Exceptions. This Section may not be construed in any way to prohibit any injection, incision, acupuncture, or similar medical or dental procedure performed by a licensed health care professional or other person authorized to perform that procedure or the presence on the premises where that procedure is being performed by a health care professional or other person authorized to perform that procedure of a person under 18 years of age who is not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. This Section does not prohibit ear piercing. This Section does not apply to a minor emancipated under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 or the Emancipation of Minors Act or by marriage. This Section does not apply to a person under 18 years of age who pierces the body or oral cavity of another person under 18 years of age away from the premises of any business at which body piercing or oral cavity piercing is performed.
(Source: P.A. 93-449, eff. 1-1-04; 94-684, eff. 1-1-06.)
There is nothing I love more about my job then when you get the cocky 15 year old with her 21 year old sister and they walk in the shop acting like they own the place and then when the 15 year old trys to get her piercing I have to say no because you don’t have a parent or legal guardian. And everytime the sister pipes up and says, “But I’m 21 and she is my sister.” Then I point to the Illinois law and ask her to read the rules.
Now maybe I am a prick but I just hate it when people come in all uneducated about what they are about to get. Even though I’m almost 90% sure those 2 girls knew the entire time you must have a parent present for a underage piercing but figured they might get away with it, and I’m afraid they can at other less qualified shops around town.
It is all of our jobs to report Tattoo Shops that aren’t following the guidelines set forth by the state. Laws are in place to keep citizens safe. So please call your local Public Health Department and complain for noncompliance of tattoo shops, this should not be tolerated. For Champaign/Urbana Call Here for all complants.