Revised Permanent Tattoo Policy: SSB interview

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:

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 candidate.

(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:-

  • 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).
  • Chairman/Secretary or any other senior member of the Tribe (Name, designation (if any) and address of the concerned member will be clearly mentioned).

Candidates from All Other Communities:

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:-Tatto Policy

  • 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.
  • Reverse side of the palm/back (dorsal) side of both hands (area between 2 and 3 in picture affixed).

Nature of Tattoos

Permissible Tattoos:

  • Though no restriction on size or type of tattoo has been specified, tattoos are only permitted on body parts as given in paragraphs above.
  • 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.

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 Tattoos’:-
(a) Tattoos on any other part of the body .

(b) A tattoo with lewd or offensive content or indecent figures.

(c) Tattoos that are indecent, sexist or racist, explained as follows:-

  • Indecent tattoos are those that are grossly offensive to modesty, decency or propriety.
  • Sexist tattoos are those that advocate a philosophy that demeans a person based on gender.
  • 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)

Candidates with non permissible tattoos will be rejected by :

  • The Commandant, Selection Centre prior to commencement of Stage I (or).
  • The Commandant, Selection Centre as soon as the non-permissible tattoo(s) is noticed at any stage of the selection process (or).
  • 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).
  • The Commandant, Pre-Commission Training Academy (PCTA), if a non permissible tattoo(s) is noticed post-enrolment during the training phase.

The following aspects will be ensured during various stages from conduct of SSB interviews till induction of candidates and thereafter, in their designated PCTAs :-

1. Service Selection Centres:

  •  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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A candidate will be required to fill separate certificates for each of the permanent tattoo(s) sported by him/her.
  • 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.
  • 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.

2. 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:-

  • The tattoo(s) will be checked by the Medical Authority from the medical angle and accordingly endorsed in the candidate’s dossier/medical document.
  • 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.

3. 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.


  1. Himanshu Ahuja

    can I attend ssb while having or in the middle of full tattoo removal treatment?
    1. Hritik Vashishth

      There is nothing called full tattoo removal you’ll be ending up with an impression of your tattoo and thence it’ll be considered a scar and not a tattoo
  2. lahari

    my friend has tattoo on his left arm shoulder which is 5 he eligible for the indian air force
  3. Gurdeepinder Singh Dhillon

    Sir , I am a practicing lawyer.I have a tatøo on the right side shoulder blade .It is not visible when dressed. Can I apply for T.A. ?
    1. Vandana kashyap

      I have a tattoo on my wrist its 2 inches ?. Can I will be allowed in JAG.? SSB interview?
  4. Gurdeepinder Singh Dhillon

    Sir , I have a tatøo on the right side shoulder blade .It is not visible when dressed. Can I apply.
  5. raajitha

    Sir ,I have a tattoo of peacock feather on my right ankle .am I eligible to join air force or Indian navy
  6. swapnesh patil

    I have tatto on my right side of stomach cn i apply in indian navy for post of storekeeper
  7. saket singh

    Sir I have a tattoo sign of ' om' to the reverse side of plam can I join army,Navy or air froce
  8. Sheenum Arora

    I have a tattoo on the side wrist of my left hand saying "free" with two birds. Will it affect my OTA entrance?
  9. Officer

    I have tattoo saying to dance is to breathe On inner side of my bicep Can i join airforce?
    1. Abhishek

      Sir I am taking laser treatment to remove tattoo after removing of my tattoo am i eligible for ssb ?
  10. Avinash chavan

    sir mere right hand ke back of palm ke under the thumb pe A likha hai to kya me indian army join kar sakata hoon
  11. Ishwar

    I had a reigious tatto on my right bisep and i intentionally removed it to join territorial army through laser treatment so am i elgible for joining army
  12. Viplav Borkar

    I will remove tattoo through laser treatment, then am I eligible for defense entrance ?
  13. Rahul

    Good day I am aspiring to join the territorial army. I have a tatto on my right bisep. Will that be a problem?
    1. ashutosh

      Depends on the type of tatto
  14. surjyadip

    i have a tattoo below my neck which is not visible will it affect in the air force medicals?
  15. kanchan

    I have a tattoo above the elbow on the inner side of my arm. Will this be a problem? The design has “mom dad” inscribed.
    1. ashutosh

      Can't be 100 percent sure that it is permissible tattoo, you will know it better once you take it with SSB itself.

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