Point #61: New York Legislation Update: New Law Requires Parental Consent for Body Piercing

by Kimberly Zapata

On July 30, 2012, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a new law into effect that will require all minors in the state of New York to “have written parental consent before obtaining a body piercing.” While this law, in many areas, may come as surprising news (since 38 states already have a similar statute in place), until this bill was signed, “New York law stated that there was no minimum age requirement for body piercing.”

However, it is important to note that the new law does not include piercings of the ear. For the purpose of the law, New York State has defined body piercing as: “any piercing located on a part of the body other than the ear.”

The new regulation not only requires body piercers to “check the identification of teens” and asks “underage teens [to] provide a consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian” (consent that must be given in the presence of the owner of the body piercing studio or a body piercing specialist), but includes the expectation that studio owners then retain this information for no less than 12 months.

The law is slated to take effect on October 30, 2012, though many New York piercing establishments began adopted the new regulations shortly after it was signed into effect.

For more information about the new piercing legislation in New York, view New York state’s official press release.

[Editor’s note: Regardless of local legislation, the APP’s stance on piercing minors remains that “a (proof positive) parent or legal guardian must be present to sign a consent form…for any piercing of a minor.”]

About the author

Kimberly Zapata holds an AA in Liberal Arts and Certificate in Creative Writing, and is currently an English major at Temple University. She has been a contributing editor for The Point since issue #49 and is the founder and editor-in-chief of Transient Publishing, an online literary magazine and writing community. She has authored several press releases, travel and tourism articles, and nonfiction works (most recently “Waterproof,” which was selected to be featured in APIARY Magazine online); was a freelance writer for Examiner.com for three years, and wrote a short film, Number 148, which was produced in 2010 and screened at the International House in Philadelphia in 2011. As a member of the piercing community, Kimberly still feels very much in her infancy. While she was the Operations Manager at Infinite Body Piercing, Inc. (from 2009–2012), she knows she still has a great deal to learn, and she looks forward to learning it alongside the rest of her piercing friends and family.

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