The Most Unusual Tattoo Laws In Existence

Recently, I was made aware of the wide range of unusual tattoo laws that exist around the globe. While interviewing an amazing tattoo artist, it came to my attention that in Canada, you don't need to have a special tattoo license — which makes it much easier to get creative with your process. Not all laws are in favor of the artist, however, and some actually make the art of tattooing seem like the art of the devil.

Tattoos have been considered taboo for many reasons, but before doing some investigation, I really only thought that prohibiting tattoos were for religious reasons or fear of parental judgment. Sure, I get that not all body art is beautiful, but I was pretty shocked to know that the laws of what we can and can't do to our bodies extend beyond reproductive health into something as aesthetically pleasing as getting a tattoo. Hopefully, these unusual tattoo laws never make it to my city of residence because when it comes to tattoos I have a "Can't Stop, Won't Stop" mentality.

1. Denmark

Like most places, Denmark will allow you to get inked up at the age of 18. But please keep it where you can hide it. It is with my deepest sympathies that I inform you that a 1966 ban made it illegal to tattoo the hands, neck, or head there.

2. Ireland

According to the Citizen's Information Board, there is no legal legislation on tattooing in Ireland. So you can pretty much decide to make a permanent decision at any age. Fortunately, many Irish tattoo parlors will at least make you wait until you're 17 years of age to get one without parental consent.

3. Latvia

It must be really awesome to be a goth teen in Latvia, because according to Wikipedia, the legal age to get a tattoo is only 16.

4. Dubai

Tattooing is completely illegal in Dubai. At least you won't need to worry about protecting your new ink from the hot sun.

5. Georgia

Bummer that you can't get permanent eyeliner and possibly eyebrow tats in this Southern state. According to the National Conference of State Legislature, Georgia Law states that it is unlawful to tattoo within an inch of the eye socket.

6. Iowa

I had to include the state of Iowa on this list because if you are unmarried under the age of 18, then you may not get a tattoo. Yes, according to the National Conference of State Legislature, you better find someone to put a ring on it if you're desperate for ink while still a minor.

Image: Mateus Lunardi Dutra (2), Andrea Caldera, Ayleen Gasper, Pix Fav, Saskia Kolasinski /Flickr; Courtesy Tom Darrin (1)