Almost every quality studio in the world adheres to a strict policy of age 18 being required to get tattoos and piercings. This is for legal reasons, rather than technical reasons. Most studios will allow some piercings like ears and navels to be done at age 16, and there is definitely variation based on societal norms.
The general exception is if there is parental consent. It should be noted that parental consent does not mean just a note. The parent needs to be present at the studio, and both the parent and the child need to present photo identification.
It should be noted that the technical reasons for denying piercings to young people, such as "your body is still growing," are dubious at best.
The Argument Against Underage Piercing
Physically, there are a few piercings that shouldn't be done on growing tissue; primarily, this means nipple piercings, but if you are still growing, it certainly could include things like navel piercings as well. The other reasons for not getting pierced underage are largely the same as for adults, including:
- Social implications. You may take abuse for your visible piercings. You will need to work twice as hard to get equal access to schooling, employment and general services.
- Strong chance of scarring.
Of the few body parts that shouldn't be pierced while they are still growing, the debate over age requirements is largely political. Assuming that the person is mature enough to properly take care of their piercing and understand its implications, there is no real reason why a young person can't handle a piercing.
Never use fake ID. There's always the chance that you could get in trouble yourself, but more realistically, you might be screwing over the studio in some states. Many places put the onus on verifying the validity of a piece of ID on the studio. What that means is that if you get pierced using a fake ID, and then your parents freak out, the studio could be in major trouble. It is not unheard of for one kid with a fake ID to put a studio out of business.