How to Get a Work Permit in Hawaii

Getting a work permit in Hawaii is much easier than most teens think, but the entire process can be pretty confusing if you've never done it before. Because of this, we've created this page which outlines everything you need to know about getting a work permit in Hawaii.  If you're under the age of 16, a work permit is required to work part-time at any company, so follow what we've outlined here and you can get a job in no time.

Minimum Working Age in Hawaii

The state of Hawaii consists of eight main islands and is the only state where the land mass is increasing (due to continuous volcanic eruptions). While Hawaii often seems like a vacation paradise, just like the other states in the US, it has its share of teenagers interested in earning money through employment. In Hawaii, the minimum working age is 14. Under the Hawaiian Child Labor Law, a child labor certificate or “work permit” is required for minors to begin working until they reach the age of 18. There are two different types of certificates and which one is needed is based on the age of the minor. Click here for more information on teen labor laws in Hawaii.

Applying For a Work Permit in Hawaii

All minors (under the age of 18) seeking employment must have one of two different types of certificates, or work permits, prior to beginning employment. Youth aged 14 and 15 are required to obtain a “Certificate of Employment”, while 16 and 17 year olds need a “Certificate of Age”. The process for a minor to acquire either certificate is straightforward. Minor students residing in Hawaii who are interested in working should take the following steps:

  1. A copy of the application for the “Certificate of Employment” as well as the online application for the “Certificate of Age” can be viewed by clicking here.
  2. A minor aged 14 or 15 who is seeking a “Certificate of Employment” should obtain a copy of the application and complete the first part that states “Minor’s Information”. Requested information includes the name, age and mailing address of the minor, as well as the last four digits of their social security number and where they attend school.
  3. After the minor completes their information, they will bring the application to the employer who has offered them employment. The employer must complete the “Employer to Complete” and “Employer Information” sections. These sections will include the name, address and phone of the employer, the employer’s Department of Labor number, the contact at the place of employment and their job title, as well as the job the minor is being hired for and the hours that they will work.
  4. Once the minor and the employer have completed their sections, the minor must get the signature of their parent or guardian confirming that they are giving their consent for the minor to be employed.
  5. The minor will bring the completed form as well as acceptable proof of age documents to Child Labor Office. Acceptable proof of age documents include a birth certificate, driver’s license, State of Hawaii id, Immigration record or Baptismal certificate.
  6. If the employment is allowable under Child Labor Law, the Child Labor Office will give the minor a Temporary Authorization slip that can be brought to the employer. This is required to be submitted to the employer before the minor can begin work.
  7. The Child Labor Office will mail the “Certificate of Employment” to the employer.
  8. For minors aged 16 or 17 who are seeking a “Certificate of Age” the application can be completed online here.
  9. Once the form is completed, the minor should bring the “Certificate of Age” along with a proof of age document, to the new employer at the time they are hired. Promise of employment is not necessary to obtain the “Certificate of Age” and the certificate can be used until the minor turns 18.

Transferring Work Permits in Hawaii

The “Certificate of Employment” is issued for the employer who completed the “Employer” portion. Should a minor choose to seek a new opportunity, they will have to complete the process for the new position and obtain a “Certificate of Employment” prior to being able to start. The “Certificate of Age” can be utilized for multiple employers.

Employer Responsibility With Work Permits in Hawaii

As noted above, for minors aged 14 and 15, prior to a minor being able to begin employment, their future employer must have completed their portions of the form necessary for the minor to obtain a “Certificate of Employment”. Once they have completed their portion, they have the following responsibility:

  1. Wait until they receive a Temporary Authorization slip from the minor prior to allowing them to begin employment.
  2. The employer can expect to receive the “Certificate of Employment” in the mail.
  3. Ensure they follow the appropriate time and hour restrictions for the minor’s age.

For minors aged 16 and 17, the employer will have the following responsibility:

  1. Once the minor aged 16 or 17 has located employment, they will present their “Certificate of Age” to the employer, along with their proof of age document.
  2. The employer will view the “Certificate of Age” and verify the minor’s name and date of birth with the proof of age document.
  3. The employer will then record the “Certificate of Age” number in their records and return both the “Certificate of Age” and proof of age document to the newly employed minor.

The responsibility of employers when hiring minors in Hawaii is straightforward and the instructions are explained in detail. While there are two different possible certificates depending upon the age of the minor, the clear instructions should lead to an easy experience for those seeking work in Hawaii.