Piercings, consent, and identification.
Getting a piercing involves a lot of red tape, form signing and reading. And all for good reason, of course! Your piercer needs to make sure they are operating within the rules set by the local government, and that they are legally allowed to pierce you. They also need to protect themselves from sue-happy individuals by using consent forms and information forms.
Identification: If you’re classified as a minor in your area, both you and your parent or guardian needs to have a valid form of government issued identification. This can be a photographic driving license, passport, birth certificate, or any other official identification. (A lot of countries run a scheme where you can pay for an ID card that will be country recognised, without it being any of the above). If you and your parent or guardian have different surnames, you may well be expected to bring in documentation showing that they are still your parent! (Divorce, adoption certificates etc) As this prevents your mates parent pretending to be yours! (It happens a lot, believe us)
The piercer or counter assistant will check your identification, and will often photocopy it. This ensures that the shop will have all records to show who has been pierced, how old they are, if parental permission was issued and if it was legal to be pierced. Council inspections need to see these sorts of things to make sure the shop’s operating legally. If you aren’t comfortable having these details photocopied (forgery worries etc), you can ask them to write down the number/code/issue number of the document on a separate piece of paper, as well as ‘photo seen’ or similar. A lot of shops will give you that option. Remember, all of these will help your piercer do their job well and avoid any issues brought up by the governing body.
Consent forms: These are hugely important to the piercing. There are a lot of stock ones floating about, some shops prefer to make their own. They should contain places for you to fill in your address, name, date of birth, phone number, what piercing is being carried out, a place for you to sign (and your parent/guardian if needed), a place for you to disclose any medical conditions. Asthmatic? Diabetic? Prone to fainting? Haemophilia? All need to be written down so the piercer can prepare for any complications post piercing.
A disclaimer should always be present. A lot read similarly, ‘I fully understand that I am to be responsible to take care of my piercing after I leave the shop as per aftercare instructions. Healing complications may occur, in which you can consult us. I understand healing can take anywhere between 2 months to 2 years to heal fully. I understand all jewellery and equipment will be fully sterile. I understand the jewellery used will be slightly longer for initial piercing to allow for swelling’ Reading this is always important, and signing it shows you fully understands the terms and conditions of the piercing. It means if someone gets a load of problems from not cleaning their piercing correctly, it’s their fault, not the establishment, meaning the piercer’s ass is covered if that person get’s ‘sue-happy’
A perfect example of BME’s stock release form can be found here.
Consent forms and identification are crucial to the piercing process, and remember, even if you’re over the age of consent, bring your ID with you!