1. The Tattoo Policy has been revised recently and the new Policy will be
implemented with effect from 11 May 2015. Some of the salient aspects are given in
succeeding Paragraphs.
Candidates from Tribal Communities
2. Candidates belonging to tribal communities/from tribal areas, as declared by the
Government of India Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders Act/Lists
(amended and modified from time to time), are permitted to have permanent body
tattoos on any part of the body, as per existing customs and traditions of the said
tribe to which a candidate belongs. Such candidates will only be permitted to continue
with the selection process in a SSB on the condition that the following certificates are
submitted by the candidate from a tribal area, prior to commencement of Stage I of the
selection process:-
(a) Self Certification Certificate as per Appendix ‘A’, to be signed by the
(b) Certificate of belonging to a tribal community and permissibility of
permanent body tattoo(s) as per format at Appendix ‘B’, to be signed by one of
the following two officials:-
(i) DC/DM or SDM of the District/Tehsil where the tribe of the
candidate is presently settled (Name and designation of the concerned
official must be clearly mentioned).
(ii) Chairman/Secretary or any other senior member of the Tribe
(Name, designation (if any) and address of the concerned member will be
clearly mentioned).
3. Remarks of the Commandant, Selection Centre on permanent body tattoo(s) on
candidates from tribal communities will be as at Appendix ‘C’.
All Other Candidates
4. Permanent body tattoos are permitted on the following body parts only, for
which a candidate will be required to sign a Self Certification Certificate as per format
at Appendix ‘D’:-
(a) Inner face of forearms i.e. from inside of the
elbow to the wrist of both the hands (area between
1-2 and 3 in picture affixed) Note:- Area between 4,
5, 6 is not permitted.
(b) Reverse side of the palm/back (dorsal) side of
both hands (area between 2 and 3 in picture affixed).
Nature of Tattoos
5. Permissible Tattoos.
(a) Though no restriction on size or type of tattoo
has been specified, tattoos are only permitted on
body parts as given at Paragraphs 2 and 4 above.


(b) Only small innocuous tattoos, that are not prejudicial to good order and
military discipline are permitted e.g. religious symbols or names of near and
dear ones etc.
6. Non Permissible Tattoos. Regardless of location of a tattoo on the body
(permitted/not permitted), the following will fall under the category of ‘Non Permissible
(a) Tattoos on any other part of the body (less Paragraphs 2 and 4 above).
(b) A tattoo with lewd or offensive content or indecent figures.
(c) Tattoos that are indecent, sexist or racist, explained as follows:-
(i) Indecent tattoos are those that are grossly offensive to modesty,
decency or propriety.
(ii) Sexist tattoos are those that advocate a philosophy that demeans
a person based on gender.
(iii) Racist tattoos advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a
person based on race, ethnicity or region and religion.
Acceptance/ Non-Acceptance of Permanent Body Tattoo(s)
7. Any candidate with a permanent body tattoo(s) on any part of the body other
than that specified in Paragraphs 2 and 4 above (permissible category), or is of an
objectionable nature (non permissible category), as brought out in Paragraph 6 above,
are not eligible for enrolment into the Armed Forces.
8. Candidates with non permissible tattoos will be rejected by : –
(a) The Commandant, Selection Centre prior to commencement of
Stage I (or).
(b) The Commandant, Selection Centre as soon as the non-permissible
tattoo(s) is noticed at any stage of the selection process (or).
(c) The Commandant, Selection Centre as soon as the non-permissible
tattoo(s) is noticed during the medical examination phase, on intimation by
Medical Authorities (or).
(d) The Commandant, Pre-Commission Training Academy (PCTA), if a non
permissible tattoo(s) is noticed post-enrolment during the training phase.


9. Commandants of Selection Centres/PCTAs will intimate candidates found with
non permissible tattoo(s) of their rejection from the selection/training process, in
10. The following aspects will be ensured during various stages from conduct of
SSB interviews till induction of candidates and thereafter, in their designated PCTAs :-
(a) Service Selection Centres.
(i) Candidates, on arrival at the SSB, will be required to submit a Self
Certified Certificate of undertaking declaring details of all permanent body
tattoo(s), prior to commencement of Stage-I Testing.
(ii) The certificates have been uploaded on “”, the
official website of Recruiting Directorate. Candidates will be apprised of
this in the call up letters to download the same, fill in their particulars and
bring it along with them.
(iii) Candidates who are not in possession of these certificates will be
made to sign the same during the document check before
commencement of Stage-I Testing.
(iv) A candidate will be required to fill separate certificates for each of
the permanent tattoo(s) sported by him/her.
(v) Such certificates will be countersigned by the Commandant,
Selection Centres clearly stating whether the permanent body tattoo(s) is
accepted or not. The said certificate(s) will form part of the candidate’s
dossier along with other documents. Copy of the certificate(s) will also be
fwd to concerned MH in case of “Recommended” candidates.
(vi) In case a candidate has undergone removal of tattoo(s) prior to
appearing for SSB interview and the same has faded substantially, this
will be treated as a “scar” and not a tattoo. Such candidates will be
permitted to undergo the entire selection process subject to approval by
the Commandant, Selection Centre.
(b) At Military Hospitals/Command Hospitals/Medical Directorate.
(i) Candidates with permanent body tattoo(s), which have already
been approved by the Commandant, Selection Centre, will be checked
from the medical angle during his/her medicals and accordingly endorsed
in his/her medical document.
(ii) In case during medical examination, a candidate is found to be
having a permanent body tattoo(s) which was not earlier declared by
him/her prior to commencement of Stage I, then:-
(aa) The tattoo(s) will be checked by the Medical Authority from
the medical angle and accordingly endorsed in the candidate’s dossier/medical document.


(ab) The candidate will be returned to the Selection Centre
forthwith for endorsement by the Commandant, Selection Centre.
(iii) Medical examination of such candidates will continue as hitherto
fore at the medical institution if the permanent body tattoo is approved by
the Commandant, Selection Centre.
(iv) The above notwithstanding, Commandant, Selection Centre is
empowered to cancel the candidature of such candidates as referred in
Para 10 (b) (ii) on grounds of misrepresentation of facts and the
concerned candidate will be apprised of this in writing with a copy
endorsed to the Recruiting Directorate.
(c) At Pre-Commissioned Training Academies (PCTA). Candidates may
go in for a permanent body tattoo(s) post medicals and prior to joining a PCTA.
Therefore, it is mandatory to thoroughly check all the candidates for permanent
body tattoo(s) at the time of induction to respective PCTAs, with details as given
in a candidate’s dossier. Should there be any deviation in this regard,
appropriate action, as deemed necessary, will be taken by the concerned PCTA
in consultation with ARTRAC / MT-6.
Auth:- DG Rtg/Rtg ‘A’ (P&C) letter No 58507/Tattoos/Sel Pol/Rtg P&C dt 11 May 2015

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