Body art and piercing are timeless. But it also implies irreversible changes to a person’s body. Although the master may be a highly qualified specialist with years of experience, the risk of unforeseen accidents is always there.
That is why it is essential to ensure that the client is aware of all risks they undergo when deciding to make a tattoo or piercing and get the written consent before making any procedures to release the artist from any legal or financial liability for physical or emotional damage. Unfortunately, people can sue for any reason, and without a written consent form, the possibility of being called to court is always there.
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A body piercing consent form is a written document that lifts the responsibility off of a master if something unexpected happens as an aftereffect of piercing or tattoo. A tattoo waiver serves the interests of tattoo artists if completed correctly and following the respective state laws. The rules for written consent forms can vary depending on the state regarding notarization or parental consent.
A tattoo waiver usually covers all possible outcomes and unfortunate consequences of tattoo making that are not related to the negligence of the master. Getting a tattoo or piercing implies direct contact with human blood and body. Thus, it is no wonder that tattoo artists need to obtain a medical degree to get a license in some countries. Similarly to medical consent, it is vital and proper to talk to the client before any procedures and inform them regarding any possible risk of getting a tattoo.
Only after the client fully understands what may happen to them due to getting a tattoo can you ask them to sign the document. All the most common situations or issues are listed in the consent form. Thus you are more protected against the legal expression of the client’s dissatisfaction with the final result.
A wide range of issues can upset the client and cause them to sue you. Some of these situations include:
Although the consent form may not be required in some states, we strongly recommend conducting one for each client.
States have very different rules regarding tattoos, particularly for underage people. All but six states ban tattooing without parental permission. Only Nevada does not have strict tattoo laws, while children under 14 are not allowed tattoos of any kind in Idaho.
However, there are strict regulations for tattoo procedures in more than 20 states where a person below the age of 18 is not allowed to get a tattoo, with some exceptions for medical reasons.
These states are as follows: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Also, underage tattoos and piercings are not allowed in states like Washington D.C, Iowa, Mississippi, New York, and North Carolina. In Maine, only tattoos are not allowed, while piercings are allowed, and in South Carolina, parental permission is required until the age of 21.
All tattoo consent forms must include information regarding the procedure’s predictable and unforeseen effects and risks. The person must acknowledge that they are aware of all possible outcomes and agree to get a tattoo or body piercing anyway. This step will ensure that the tattoo master will be freed from possible accusations.
The contents of the consent form can vary from state to state, as it is regulated at the state level, so you’re encouraged to receive legal advice regarding the possibility of enforcing specific clauses. However, it is advisable to have all the following issues covered in the written forms:
Allergies and pre-existing conditions. It is vital to list down in a separate section all allergies the client has and discuss before any procedure if the person has such diseases as HIV, diabetes, epilepsy, heart or skin conditions. The client also must acknowledge that some complications and inflammations of the tattooed or pierced skin areas may happen if the client is sensitive to ink components or materials.
Possibility of infection or inflammation due to poor aftercare routine. The client must be informed about the required aftercare and agree to follow it to minimize the risk of adverse outcomes.
Possibility of slight iterations in the design and colors of the tattoo. The client can be unsatisfied with the final result due to unrealistic expectations about the colors or the final look of the tattoo on the skin. They must be informed that the colors may fade with time and look different on the skin.
Permanency of the procedure. Although there are ways to remove the tattoo through laser or surgery, the skin condition will be permanently changed, and the client must be aware of it.
Consent for photos and videos in the studio. It is an optional part to include if the studio or tattoo master wants to use the photos taken at the studio for the commercial goals. The client has a right to disagree with this statement.
Exculpatory agreement. The consent form must have a clause stating that the client releases the studio and the master from any liabilities in case of injuries or damage.
If you’re hesitating on how to properly create the body piercing consent form and include all necessary information, you can use the template available on our website to create a quality document. If you don’t know how to complete this consent form, just follow this step-by-step guidelines.
First, provide the date of completing the consent form and who executes it. Make sure that you provide the printed name of the client.
Next, you need to indicate the practitioner—the printed name of the tattoo artist or a piercing master who will perform the procedure, and the name of the business affiliated with.
Here a client needs to confirm that they received the instructions and answers to any questions related to the procedure.
The client also needs to know how to conduct aftercare properly. Here they certify that they received the written instructions from the practitioner.
As there can be medical complications upon completing the procedure, the client must agree that they are aware of them and still agree to perform it.
The client must also be aware that this procedure usually leads to permanent changes in their body. The holes and scars can be left on their body even after removing the jewelry or making a laser removal.
The client must be older than 18 or 21 years (depending on the state) and present an ID for a practitioner. Check this field to confirm they are old enough or visit the salon with their guardian or parent.
The client must check the field to certify that this is their volunteer action and they are not under the effect of any substances such as alcohol or drugs.
The person must check the field to show their awareness regarding the possibility of medical complications such as getting an infection or allergic reaction.
The client also must acknowledge that the color and design of the tattoo can be slightly different when applied to the body. If the client doesn’t follow the aftercare instructions, which causes the need for touchups or corrections, the costs and expenses for these procedures will be on the client.
The client should understand that these procedures are permanent and withstand later demands to remove the tattoo or piercing.
The client needs to comply with the aftercare instructions to avoid worsening health due to negligence. Thus, the client must indicate such a compliance in the consent form.
The client should be aware of the possibility of feeling lightheaded during the tattoo or body piercing procedure and promises to notify if they feel that their condition is getting worse.
Here, you’ll need to write the client’s name to certify that they agree to undergo the procedure and release the master from any liability despite all risks and limitations.
The next step is to indicate the client’s full name, signature, and date.
The last step is to sign the form. If the client is a minor, their parent or legal guardian must sign the consent form. Also, you need to attach the parental consent form.
In most states, a minor cannot sign the consent form themselves and have to get a legal guardian or parental consent. While getting a piercing is not as troublesome in most states for a minor, they only must receive permission from their parents; getting a tattoo is more complicated.
In most states, the parents must sign the body piercing consent form and attach the parental consent to the authorization form. However, some laws require the parent or guardian to be physically present during the tattoo or body piercing creation. It is also important to remember that the form must be notarized in some states.
At the same time, in Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, and Virginia, the parent must be present with their minor child when getting a tattoo, but written permission is not required.
An informed consent form from a child is required in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.
In several states, in addition to the minor’s written consent forms, apart from the consent of a legal guardian or parent, their presence during the procedure is also required. These states include Arkansas, Alaska, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
Precisely because the law can be very different for tattoos and body piercing from state to state, it is worth checking with the state’s current laws before contacting a tattoo parlor.