How to Get a Work Permit for Minor in US (Everything to Know)

Work permits for minors

Work permits for minors, also known as working papers, are legal documents that confirm a minor’s employment eligibility. Although the federal government does not currently require people under the age of 18 to have work permits, some states do.

Depending on the state of residence, these documents may be issued at the minor’s request by the state’s labor department or the school the minor attends. They typically have a one-year validity period.


Work permits are classified into two types:

Employment certificates: These work permits state the minor’s age and provide proof to the employer that the minor is eligible to work.

Age certificates: These permits serve as proof that a minor is of legal working age.

The type of permit issued varies depending on the state and the minor’s age.

Does every state require minors to have a work permit?

No. When employing minors, each state’s labor department determines what documentation is required.

Minors between the ages of 14 and 17 in New York, for example, must have legal working papers to work. Other states, however, have different requirements when it comes to hiring minors.

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Some states, such as Tennessee and Florida, do not require minors to have work permits. Companies that hire minors under the age of 18 must obtain written proof of their age in these states, and the documentation must be kept on file for the duration of the minor’s employment. While an age certificate may suffice, employers may also request a birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, or other legal documentation.

In other states, such as Oregon, employers must apply for certificates every year to legally employ minors aged 14 to 17.

Contact your state’s labor department or visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s state-by-state age certificate page to find out if job permits are required and any other requirements for employing minors in your state of operation.


A teen who wants to work for your company can get a work permit for minors from their school’s guidance office or the state’s labor department, depending on where they live. The United States Department of Labor has state-specific guidelines.

A minor may be required to present one or more of the following items to be approved for a job permit:

  • A work permit application that has been completed
  • A birth certificate, driver’s license, or school ID will suffice as proof of age.
  • A physician’s certificate of physical fitness, dated within one year of the application
  • A parent or guardian’s signature is required.
  • Minors may be required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian when applying for a work permit in some cases.
  • When hiring minors, employers must follow FLSA employment requirements as well as other responsibilities.

When hiring someone under the age of 18, you must request a work permit for minors or another form of age-specific documentation, and you must always follow the documentation rules established by your state’s labor department. However, you must also provide minors with a safe and legal working environment by following child labor laws established by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The FLSA-mandated child labor provisions were designed to ensure that minors can seek employment without jeopardizing their health, well-being, or education. These provisions address:

Minimum employable age

The FLSA allows children as young as 14 to work in nonagricultural jobs, but there are some exceptions. The FLSA’s minimum age standard does not apply to minors who work for a parent or guardian-owned and operated business.

Minimum age requirements may also differ depending on the state and industry. When a child is not in school, states such as Illinois have a minimum working age of as low as 10. Other states, including Utah, do not require a minimum age for agricultural work if the minor has parental consent. Minimum age requirements may not apply to jobs such as paper routes or babysitting.

Hazardous work environments

The FLSA prohibits minors from working in any environment deemed hazardous by the Secretary of Labor. This may include work that involves excavating, explosive components, or the operation of certain types of power equipment.

Requirements for workplace posting

Nonagricultural employers must post the most recent FLSA Minimum Wage Poster in a visible workplace location. A formal schedule of working hours for minors must also be posted.

Employers in specific industries, such as grocery stores, restaurants, amusement parks, and agriculture, are also subject to industry-specific regulations. These regulations may restrict the jobs that a minor may perform, as well as industry-specific age requirements, schedule constraints, and prohibited activities. Additional industry-specific information is available on the US DOL’s website.

Other HR issues

Hiring and managing employees must always be done with caution, but there may be additional considerations when working with minors:

Scheduling: When working with minors, you may encounter scheduling conflicts due to school, parental requirements, sports, and other extracurricular activities. This can make it difficult for a small business with few employees to provide adequate coverage during certain hours. You may be able to reduce schedule conflicts while ensuring your business has the coverage it requires by discussing scheduling expectations, obtaining availability requirements, and facilitating shift trades between employees.

The conflict between parents: If you hire minors, their parents may try to intervene when conflicts arise, posing a unique challenge for supervisors and HR personnel. Although it is important to be professional and courteous when speaking with the parents of your young employees, any conflict should be handled directly with your employee, regardless of their age.


What is the longest shift a minor can work?

The length of time a minor may work in a single shift is determined by the child’s age. A child aged 14 or 15 may not be scheduled for more than a 3-hour shift on a school day and an 8-hour shift on days when school is not in session, according to federal law. There are no federal restrictions on shift length for minors aged 16 to 18. Individual states, however, may have their own rules limiting the number of hours these employees can work.

What time do minors have to get off work?

Minors in nonagricultural industries are not permitted to work after 7 p.m. or before 7 a.m. under federal law.

Can a minor work overtime?

The age of the child determines whether a minor can legally work overtime. Children between the ages of 14 and 16 are not permitted to work more than 40 hours per week when school is not in session, according to federal law. Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 are permitted to work overtime unless state laws prohibit it.

What happens if state and federal laws differ?

State and federal laws may differ in some cases. When it comes to the employment of minors, the more stringent rule always takes precedence.


In some states for a minor to get work he is she is required to have a work permit, this article provides procedures for how a minor can get a work permit to work in the US

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