Title 11
Criminal Offenses

Chapter 9

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-9-15

§ 11-9-15. Tattooing of minors.

(a) Every person who shall tattoo any minor under the age of eighteen (18), except in accordance with subsection (b) for medical purposes, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned not exceeding one year or be fined not exceeding three hundred dollars ($300). For the purposes of this section, “tattooing” means the practice of marking the skin with indelible patterns or pictures by making punctures and inserting pigments. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the removal of tattoo markings from the body of any person of whatsoever age.

(b) Every person who shall tattoo the body of a minor under the age of eighteen (18), for medical purposes, the following shall apply:

(1) The minor child shall be accompanied by his or her parent or legal guardian;

(2) The minor child and his or her parent or legal guardian shall each submit proof of his or her identity by producing a government-issued photo identification;

(3) The parent or legal guardian shall submit his or her written notarized consent in the format prescribed by the department;

(4) The parent or legal guardian shall submit proof that he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the minor child;

(5) The parent or legal guardian shall submit notarized consent by a physician licensed in accordance with chapter 5-37, authorizing the tattooing of a minor child for medical purposes;

(6) The tattooing is performed by a tattoo artist licensed in accordance with § 23-1-39; and

(7) The tattoo artist shall maintain all necessary records in a manner specified by the department.

(c) Every person who tattoos the body of a minor child younger than eighteen (18) years of age may not violate the provisions of this section, if:

(1) The person carefully inspects what appears to be a government-issued photo identification that represents that the minor child is eighteen (18) years of age or older.

(2) The minor child falsely represents himself or herself as being eighteen (18) years of age or older and presents a fraudulent identification.

(3) The person demonstrates clear and convincing standards in reviewing the authenticity of the documents, notarized consent and identification submitted in accordance with subsection (b).

(d) Any person who violates the provisions of this chapter shall, upon a first conviction, be deemed guilty of a violation and fined not more than three hundred dollars ($300), and upon a second or subsequent conviction, shall be deemed guilty of a petty misdemeanor and fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500).

(e) The director of the department of health shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) To promulgate regulations relative to administering this section; and

(2) To create all necessary applications and certificates necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

(f) If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable.

History of Section.
G.L. 1923, ch. 399, § 45; P.L. 1932, ch. 1922, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 610, § 45; P.L. 1956, ch. 3713, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 11-9-15; P.L. 2013, ch. 148, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 197, § 1.