Hacks For Students

Do You Need a Worker’s Permit at 16?

By: Thelma Collado
Oct 13, 2021 • 4 min read

Do You Need a Worker’s Permit at 16?

Turning 16 is an exciting event for most teens; you’re preparing for adulthood, and with this transition, you are given many privileges that come with their own responsibilities. At this age, you can get your driver’s license, and more importantly, you can get a job. While you may be anxious to start handing over your application to any available jobs, you may have to register to get a worker’s permit first.

Now, do you need a worker’s permit at 16 in order to get a job? The short answer is: it depends.

If you live in the United States, whether you need a worker’s permit or not depends on your state. Some may require it, while others don’t. There are even some cases where it’s not required unless you plan on working in a certain industry.

worker's permit

What Is a Work Permit?

If you’re curious about what a work permit is and why you would need one, it’s rather self-explanatory: it is a legal document that allows you to work. It makes sure that you can be legally employed as a minor, that you are not under the legal age to work, and that you’re capable of doing so. This document also protects your employer from being prosecuted, since a minor cannot legally be employed without the certificate.

They are usually separated into two types: age certificates and employment certificates. Both of these serve as proof that you are eligible to work and that you are old enough to be hired.

What Do I Need to Apply?

There are several documents that you will either need to fill out or present in order to obtain your worker’s permit. Generally, you will need:

  • Identification Documents: Birth certificate, driver’s license, school record, or any other acceptable document.
  • Proof of a recent physical.
  • The completed application (the application is either obtained by your school or the state’s department of labor).
  • Your parent or guardian, employer, and a school official to fill out parts of the application.

Depending on your state, some other additional documents or information will be needed, such as a statement from a parent or from your potential employer.

State Requirements

Alabama: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

To get your work permit, you must complete the form provided by your school and later give it to the designated school official so they can sign the form and approve it.

Alaska: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

To obtain your work permit, you must fill out the work permit form provided by the Department of Education. You must fill it out, and have your employer and parents sign it and fill out their section as well. Once you do that, you send it to the designated person in your school in order to get it approved.

Arizona: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Arkansas: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

California: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

In order to get your work permit, you first need to be offered a job. Once you do, you need to get a form called the Statement of Intent to Employ Minor and Request for Work Permit. The form needs to be completed by you, your employer, and your parents. After it’s been signed and completed, you must send it to the school officials to have it approved.

Colorado: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Connecticut: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

To get a work permit, you must first get your employer’s written promise of employment, and bring that along with your proof of age to your school, or to the Superintendent of Schools. There, you will obtain your working papers.

Delaware: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

To get your work permit in Delaware, there is a form that you and your employer must fill out, before sending it to an issuing officer at your school’s district. You can complete the process digitally. You will have to email WorkPermits@Delaware.gov to do so, and they will provide further information on it.

Florida: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Georgia: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Hawaii: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

In order to obtain your permit, you must fill out this form called the Certificate of Age, which must be presented alongside a document that serves as proof of your age. You don’t need a job offer in order to get your certificate. You can either apply online, in person, by FAX, or by mail.

worker's permit

Idaho: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Illinois: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Indiana: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Iowa: No, a worker’s permit is not required, unless employers say otherwise.

Kansas: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Kentucky: No, a worker’s permit is not required

Louisiana: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

To get your permit, you will have to fill out an Application to Employ Minors Form. Then, you will give it to your potential employer to complete it, and have your parents sign it. Once that is done, you must take the form along with proof of your age to your school or the school board office in order to apply for an employment certificate.

Maine: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Maryland: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

In order to get a work permit, you must first get a job offer. Once you do, you get the application from your school, or apply at Maryland’s Department of Labor’s Work Permit page. You must sign the permit, as well as your parents and your employer. Finally, you need to bring the permit and proper identification to your school in order to have it signed.

Massachusetts: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

You must get a job offer in order to get a work permit. After that, you must fill out the Employment Permit Application and have your employer and your parents fill out their section on the application. After doing so, you must bring the form (with proof of your age) to either the Superintendent of Schools or the person in your school that is authorized to provide work permits in order to obtain yours.

Michigan: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

In order to get your permit, you must submit a CA-7 (permit application) to a Michigan school district’s issuing officer and provide proof of your age. You must complete your section with your parents and have your employer complete their section before you submit it to the officer. The issuing officer will review and complete their section. Then, they will give you your work permit.

Minnesota: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Mississippi: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Missouri: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Montana: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Nebraska: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Nevada: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

New Hampshire: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

New Jersey: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

You must first get a job offer in order to apply for a work permit. Once you do, you can either get your form online or from your school. You will complete your section, your employer will complete theirs, and your parents will sign the application. Afterward, you will bring your form and proof of your age to the school district so a school official can review your documents.

New Mexico: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

New York: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

To get your working papers, you must fill out the New York state application, which should be signed and completed by your parents. Your employer will fill out their section. You must submit it to the designated person in your school (issuing officer), along with proof of your age and your physical exam. The school official will fill out their section and later present you with your employment certificate.ju

North Carolina: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

To get your permit in North Carolina, you must apply for a Youth Employment Certificate in their Department of Labor’s page. Once you apply for it online, you must complete the instructions provided to you, which will involve sending emails to your parents and employer so they can complete their section of the application. Once everything is done and submitted, you will see the approved permit appear on your screen. You will print it out, sign it, have your employer sign it, and have your parents sign it.

North Dakota: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Ohio: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

In Ohio, to get your permit, you must first use a pre-application form provided in the Department of Commerce’s website and make sure the information is all filled out by you, your employer, and your parents. Once you finish that, you will take it to your school so a permit can be issued to you.

Oklahoma: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Oregon: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Pennsylvania: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

To sign up for your permit, you can pick up the application at your school (ask at the main office). If you’re not sure, contact your school district to know where to go, who is the issuing officer, and what hours they are available. Your parents must sign the application, and proof of age must be presented when you go to return the application to the school. The work permit will be issued if everything was done correctly.

Rhode Island: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

In order to get your worker’s permit, visit your local school department with proof of your age in order to get an application. There is also a digital one available online. You will complete your part of the form, your employer will fill out their part, and your parents will do theirs. Once that is finished, you will bring the completed forms (with proof of your age) to your school department so an issuing officer can approve them.

South Carolina: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

South Dakota: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Tennessee: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Texas: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Utah: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Vermont: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Virginia: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Washington: Yes, a worker’s permit is required.

In order to get your permit, you must fill out a school authorization form. It must also be completed and signed by the parents, the employer, and a school official. The form must be presented with a document that proves your age in order to get approved.

West Virginia: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Wisconsin: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

Wyoming: No, a worker’s permit is not required.

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