Last Updated on October 18, 2021
So you are a flying tattoo artist on your way to an important job.
And you are flying to get there.
Can you bring your tattoo machine, needles, and ink on the plane?
Let’s find out.
TSA Tattoo Needles & Equipment Rules
The Transportation Security Administration decides what can and can’t be brought on to planes in the United States.
They screen your carry-on luggage at the airport security checkpoint, and they also screen checked baggage behind the scenes.
This is what they have this to say about bringing tattoo guns on a plane:
So you can bring a tattoo gun in either carry-on or checked luggage.
And the TSA treats tattoo ink just like any other liquid:
If you bring tattoo ink in carry-on luggage is should be in containers no greater than 3.4 oz and packed in your one quart-size bag.
To find an answer about bringing tattoo needles on a plane I had to search on Twitter:
You can bring tattoo needles on a plane in carry-on luggage.
If you are packing in checked luggage make sure that a TSA officer searching your bag couldn’t cut their hand or jab it with a needle.
For checked luggage, it’s probably best to pack your equipment in a tattoo travel kit or hard case.
Still Unsure? Ask The TSA
You can ask the TSA on Twitter about any items you want to bring on the plane.
The TSA recommends that if you are flying internationally you check tattoo needles will be allowed into the destination country.
Larger sizes of ink and greater quantities should be packed in checked luggage:
You can only fit less than 10 bottles in your quart-size toiletries bag, and anyway, if you fill it up with tattoo ink where will you pack your shampoo?
Daniel asked about packing pen tattoo machines and needle cartridges.
Because tattoo needle ink cartridges have a liquid in them they must be smaller than 3.4 oz and packed in the quart bag.
Hannah asked about bringing microblading needles in her hand luggage:
And the TSA replied that microblading needles are allowed in carry-on bags.
Alexandre asked if he could take an electric eyebrow tattoo pen on the plane.
Tattoo pens are fine in carry-on and checked bags.
And this one is not for the pro tattoo artists…
You can pack temporary tattoo sheets in both carry-on and checked bags!
The Bottom Line
You can pack tattoo equipment like guns, machines, and needles in both carry-on and checked luggage.
It’s tattoo ink that has restrictions.
You can only bring small amounts of tattoo ink in your toiletries bag.