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House passes bill requiring parents to be present for tattoos, piercings

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26 2013 2:53 p.m. MST

Tattoo artist Miss Amanda works on Chris Speaks at the Salt Lake City International Tattoo Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah may soon impose tougher restrictions on tattoos and piercings for minors.

On Tuesday, the House passed HB117, which requires that minors provide written and signed permission from a parent or legal guardian to get a tattoo or piercing, in addition to having a parent or guardian present for the procedure.

Rep. Jon Stanard, R-St. George, sponsored the bill after a minor in his district came home with a tattoo without parental permission. When the minor told the tattoo artist he could not provide identification proving he was 18, Stanard said the tattoo artist gave him the tattoo anyway, saying he would claim he saw the minor’s ID.

The bill also provides that tattoo or piercing artists cannot be found guilty of illegally tattooing or piercing a minor if they can produce a photocopy of the minor’s government issued ID that shows the minor was purportedly 18 or older at the time it was performed.

If a youth comes in with a fake ID, it is not the business' fault, Stanard said.

Stanard said he sponsored the bill to close this loophole and to protect businesses as much as to protect minors. 

Rep. Derek Brown, R-Cottonwood Heights, said those legitimately involved in the industry already follow this practice, according to a family member who is tattoo artist.

The bill passed 68-1 and now goes to the Senate. 

Mary Mellor

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