Minors under 16 years old must obtain a work permit before beginning a job. This includes home-schoolers. They must get a new permit every time they begin a new job until they reach 16 years old, even if they work for their parents.
In order to apply for a work permit, the minor must be:
- Enrolled in school;
- not habitually truant or under suspension; and
- passing a majority of courses during the current grading period.
Once the minor has the promise of a job, she or he must take proof of age to the office of the superintendent of schools office at 130 Wescott Road. Parental permission is required to work.
The superintendent’s office will complete the permit and mail the forms and proof of age to the Maine Department of Labor. A copy of the Maine Work Permit Form can be downloaded here. The Department will review the permit to ensure that the minor is of legal age to work at the business and that the occupation is not hazardous. If the permit is in order, the Department will validate the forms, keep one copy and return two copies to the superintendent’s office (one copy for the school, one for the employer).
The minor cannot work until the Department of Labor approves the permit, which can take up to one week.
The Department of Labor issues permits for specific jobs with specific employers. Permits are not transferable to other jobs or employers. A minor under 16 needs a separate work permit for each place he or she works.
A minor can have one active permit during the school year and two during the summer. Upon leaving a job, the minor or the employer should return the employer copy of the permit to the Department of Labor so that it can be invalidated.
For more information about the Work Permit program, please visit the Maine Department of Labor site.