I periodically get questions about age limits for piercings, and I got one today:
How old does a piercee have to be to get nipple piercings done?
To get nipple piercings, or any below-the-neck piercing other than a navel, the piercee would have to be 18 years of age or older. For other piercings such as the navel or above-the-neck areas, it depends on local laws and the ethics and policies of the piercer. That said, there is no federal legislation about body piercings; states and localities handle their own regulations. The extent of the laws varies widely, and some areas don't have any legislation regarding piercing at all! There are other laws that could be applied to piercing, however. For example, a parent who gives permission for her minor child to get an adult piercing (such as nipples or genitals) could be charged with reckless endangerment of a minor. The piercer could also face these charges for performing the piercing, even if the parent "gave permission." The policy I used for my studio is below:
Without exception, the parent or legal guardian must be present with the minor to sign the release form. Each party must have a valid photo ID* (for any piercing other than ears). If the last name is different from the minor's, there must be legal documentation to prove the relationship. (Birth certificate, divorce papers, adoption papers, etc.) Court papers are required to prove a relationship with a legal guardian. We do not pierce minors below the neck with the exception of the navel. We do not pierce anything other than ears on individuals less than 16 years of age. If you are under 18 but legally married we can pierce you. You need to bring your marriage license along with valid photo ID*.
If you are a legally emancipated minor we can pierce you. You need to bring court papers along with a valid photo ID*.
Some problems we have found with piercing minors: They tend to be less patient and disciplined than adults, and may fail to keep dirty hands away from the area causing themselves an infection. They may tire of cleaning and caring for a healing piercing resulting in a variety of complications. The anatomy may not be fully developed, and by the time the piercee is full grown, the piercing could be in an undesirable or unattractive placement.
Part of the reason you would want to get pierced at Rings of Desire (in addition to the fact that we are quick, gentle, safe, and highly experienced), is that we care about doing everything the right way.
*A valid photo ID is a driver’s license, passport, state issued identification card or military ID. A valid school photo ID and birth certificate with state seal is acceptable for minors younger than driving age. Photocopies of any ID are not acceptable.