Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
Chapter 8. Crimes Involving Morals and Decency

§ 18.2-371.3. Tattooing or body piercing of minors.

No person shall tattoo or perform body piercing for hire or consideration 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 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.

1997, c. 586; 2000, c. 842; 2001, c. 270; 2006, c. 692.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.