Do I need a work permit?

A few jobs do not require a work permit:  Any minor (child under the age of 18 years) may work the following types of jobs without a work permit, as long as the work is not performed during school hours:

  • Farm work;
  • Domestic work;
  • Working for a parent’s business;
  • Caddying at a golf course;
  • Teaching on a sailboat;
  • Delivering newspapers;
  • Making an evergreen wreath in or near a home;
  • Acting as a counselor or instructor at a youth camp; or
  • Performing unpaid volunteer work. 

Age 14-17:  If you are between the ages of 14 and 17 years, you must have a work permit to work any other job.

Age 0-13:  If you are under the age of 14 years, you may not work any other job unless you get a special permit to be employed as an entertainer, model, or performer. 

Read the law: MD Code Labor & Employment §§ 3-203, 3-207, & 3-209

Steps to get a work permit:

  1. Get a job offer
  2. Get a work permit application from your school or apply online at the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Employment of Minors (Work Permit) page.
  3. You, your parent/guardian, and your employer must sign the permit.
  4. Bring the permit and your proof of age (identification) to school and have it signed.

Remember:  If you change jobs you need a new permit!

Read the law: MD Code Labor & Employment § 3-206

Other work rules that apply to minors:

If you are 14 and 15 years old, you may NOT work:

  • more than 4 hours on any day when school is in session
  • more than 8 hours a day when school is not in session
  • more than 23 hours in a week when school is in session for 5 days
  • more than 40 hours in a week when school is not in session
  • before 7 am or after 8 pm, Labor Day through Memorial Day
  • before 7 am or after 9pm, Memorial Day through Labor Day

Read the law: MD Code Labor & Employment § 3-211

If you are 16 and 17 years old:

  • You may not exceed more than 12 school and work hours in a single day
  • You must have 8 consecutive hours, every day, that are neither school nor work time
  • You may not work more than 5 consecutive hours without a break (non-working time)

Read the Law: MD Code Labor & Employment § 3-210

The law also lists certain jobs that minors are not allowed to do.

Read the Law: MD Code Labor & Employment 3-213

Are parents entitled to a minor’s income?

In Maryland, your parents may be allowed to take control of the money you earn if you are under the age of 18. The Court of Appeals of Maryland has stated that a parent has a right to a child’s earnings. But that right may be lost in certain circumstances. For instance, a parents right a child’s earnings can be lost where the parent abandons or neglects the child, or forces the child to leave the home. Lucas v. Maryland Drydock Co., 182 Md. 54 (Md. 1943).


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Is this legal advice?

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