Official US Navy Tattoo Policy

Below is the current, and more relaxed, tattoo policy. More information can be found with NAVADMIN 082/16 

a.  Location:  One tattoo is authorized on the neck and shall not exceed one inch in measurement in any dimension (height/width).  Tattoos meeting these requirements are acceptable behind the ear.  Permissible tattoos on the torso area of the body shall not be visible through white uniform clothing. No tattoos are permitted on the head, face (to include ear) and scalp.

b.  Size:  The size restriction for visible tattoos is limited to the area of the neck and behind the ear only.  As a result of this change, leg and arm tattoos can be of any size.  Tattoo on the neck or behind the ear will not exceed one inch in measurement in any dimension (height/width).

c.  Content:  Tattoos located anywhere on the body that are prejudicial to good order, discipline, and morale or are of a nature to bring discredit upon the naval service are prohibited.  For example, tattoos that are obscene, sexually explicit, and or advocate discrimination based on sex, race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin are prohibited.  In addition,tattoos that symbolize affiliation with gangs, supremacist or extremist groups, or advocate illegal drug use are prohibited.  Waivers will not be given for tattoos with prohibited content.

d.  Cosmetic Tattoos:  Cosmetic tattoos are authorized to correct medical conditions requiring such treatment.  For the purpose of this regulation, cosmetic tattooing refers to medical or surgical procedures conducted by licensed, qualified medical personnel.