Work Permit (Employment Certificate) Requirements for Minors by State

Many states require work permits (also known as employment certificates) and sometimes proof-of-age certificates for a minor to be employed.  Employers who fail to comply with the requirements can be assessed a monetary penalty.  These state-by-state requirements for minors are listed below.

Alabama
Work permit required for minors under age18 – obtain from school.
No minor under age 18 may be employed in tunnels or excavations with depths exceeding four feet; minors age 16 or older may be issued a permit to work at excavation sites less than four feet in depth.

Alaska
Work permit required for minors under age 17 – obtain from Labor Department.

Arizona
No work permit required for minors.

Arkansas
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from Labor Department.

California
Work permit required for minors under age 18 who are enrolled in school.
If minor is employed in entertainment industry, obtain work permit from Labor Department.
In all other industries, obtain work permit from school.

Colorado
Work permit required for minors under age 16 who work during school hours – obtain from school.

Connecticut
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from school.
Age certification required for minors ages 16 and 17 – obtain from school.

Delaware
Work permit required for minors under age 18 – obtain from school.

District of Columbia
Work permit required for minors under age 18 – obtain from school.

Florida
Work permits are not required. However, employers of a minor must obtain and keep on record proof of the child’s age. An age certificate from the district school board is one way of satisfying the requirement.

Georgia
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from school.

Hawaii
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from the Labor Department.
Age certification required for minors ages 16 and 17 – obtain from the Labor Department.

Idaho
No work permit required for minors.

Illinois
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from school.

Indiana
Work permit required for minors under age 18 – obtain from school.

Iowa
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from Iowa Workforce Development Department or from school.

Kansas
Minors generally are allowed to work without a work permit.  However, minors under age 16 who are not enrolled in secondary school must obtain a work permit.

Kentucky
No work permit required for minors.  However, employers of children under age 18 must maintain proof of age.

Louisiana
Work permit required for minors under age 18 – obtain from school.

Maine
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from Labor Department.

Maryland
Work permit required for minors under age 18 – obtain from Labor Department.

Massachusetts
Work permit required for minors under age 18 – obtain from school.

Michigan
Work permit required for minors under age 18 – obtain from Michigan Department of Education.
Work permit not required for minors under age 16 who have completed the requirements for high school graduation or have obtained a high school equivalency certificate.
Also, this is not required for minors under age 17 who have passed the general educational development (GED) test.

Minnesota
Work permit required for minors under age 16 who work during school hours – obtain from school.  Employers must also obtain and keep on record proof of the child’s age.

Mississippi
Work permit required for minors under age 16 employed in canneries, workshops, and factories – obtain from school.

Missouri
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from school.

Montana
No work permit required for minors.

Nebraska
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from school.

Nevada
Minors under age 14 must have written permission from district judge to work.
No work permit required for minors over age 14.

New Hampshire
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from school.
Employers must maintain on file a signed, written document from the parent or legal guardian authorizing the employment.

New Jersey
Work permit required for minors under age 18 – obtain from school.

New Mexico
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from school or Labor Department.

New York
Work permit required for minors under age 18.  If minor is a child performer, work permit is obtained from the Labor Department.  Otherwise, work permit is obtained from school.

North Carolina
Work permit required for minors under age 18 – obtain from Labor Department.

Ohio
Work permit required for minors under age 16 who work at any time and for minors ages 17 who work during school term – obtain from school.

Oklahoma
Work permit and age certificates required for minors under age 16 – obtain from school.

Oregon
No work permit required for minors.  However, employers are required to apply for annual certificates to employ the minors.

Pennsylvania
Work permit required for minors under age 18 – obtain from school.

Puerto Rico
Work permit required for minors under age 18 – obtain from Labor Department.

Rhode Island
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from school.
Age certificate required for minors ages 16 and 17 – obtain from school.

South Carolina
No work permit required for minors.

South Dakota
No work permit required for minors.

Tennessee
No work permit required for minors.  However, employers of minors under age 18 must obtain and keep on file proof of the minor’s age.

Texas
No work permit required for minors.

Utah
No work permit required for minors.

Vermont
Work permit required for minors under age 16 who work during school hours.

Virginia
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from Labor Department.
For minors ages 14 and 15, age certificates are required – obtain from Labor Department.

Washington
Work permit required for minors under age 18 – obtain from Labor Department.

West Virginia
Work permit required for minors under age 16 – obtain from school.

Wisconsin
Work permit required for minors under age 17 – obtain from volunteer permit officers who are representatives of the Department of Workforce Development.  Employers of children under age 16 must maintain a proof of age.

Wyoming
No work permit required for minors.