Prior to the regulation changes in 2017, those in the Coast Guard could not have tattoos that were visible when they were in uniform. Similar to the US Airforce tattoo Policy, the US Coast Guard members could not have a tattoo covering more than 25% of the body part it was on.
The policy for the content of Coast Guard tattoos has remained the same, with most restrictions centered on racist, vulgar or gang tattoos.
While the prohibition on visible tattoos no longer applies, there are still some restrictions for tattoos on the neck and chest. Tattoos on the chest cannot be visible more than one inch above the v-neck undershirt worn under the Tropical Blue uniform shirt. This means that Coast Guard tattoo regulations completely prohibit neck tattoos, and very large tattoos on the upper chest may also be prohibited.
Coast guard tattoos can involve hand tattooing but must be limited to one ring tattoo per hand, and this tattoo cannot extend past the first knuckle on the finger. No other tattoos or brands below the wrist are allowed. Under the current Coast Guard tattoo policy for officers, sleeves are allowed.
Coast Guard tattoo policy allows blacklight and UV tattoos, but they must follow the same regulations as all other tattoos. Brands are allowed as well, but they must not be larger than four inches by four inches and cannot be on the hand, face, neck or head.
Coast Guard tattoos cannot portray any content that is considered racist, discriminatory, indecent, extremist or supremacist and must not involve violence, sexually explicit material or promote lawlessness no matter where they are on the body. This includes tattoos that feature fully exposed nudity, tattoos of hate groups such as Neo-Nazis, skinheads, terrorist groups or outlaw gangs, Confederate flags, graphic violence, the glorification of drug culture or anti-government. Determining whether a tattoo falls into these categories can be subjective, and it’s ultimately up to the Coast Guard administration to decide whether a tattoo adheres to USCG tattoo regulations.
Coast guard tattoo policy for officers does not allow for any tattoo or brand on the hands, neck, face or head except for the single ring tattoos discussed earlier. For the back and sides of the neck, the dark blue Coast Guard t-shirt collar is the reference point in determining whether a tattoo or brand is visible past one inch above the collar. No brands or tattoos are allowed below the wrist bone.
See US Army Tattoo Policy
See US Navy Tattoo Policy
See US Air Force Tattoo Policy
See USMC Tattoo Policy
See US National Guard Tattoo Policy
Removery offers 20% off for our standard military discount with valid military ID or recruiters letter, and 50% off discount on Complete Removal Packages for non-compliant military tattoos .
Don’t let your tattoo stop you from joining or growing your career in the US Coast Guard. If you find that you need to remove your tattoo in order to enlist, find a Removery location near you.