How to Get a Work Permit in Maine

Getting a work permit in Maine 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 Maine.  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 Maine

Maine is responsible for producing 90% of the country’s toothpick supply, as well as 99% of the production of blueberries in the United States. These are just a few of the things going on in the state of Maine, where minors as young as 14 may seek employment, however youth under the age of 16 must obtain a work permit that is signed by the superintendent of schools where the minor resides or the superintendent’s designated school official. Click here for more information on teen labor laws in Maine.

Applying For a Work Permit in Maine

Obtaining a work permit in Maine is a straightforward process.  Minors in Maine who are seeking to work and are under the age of 16 should take the following steps to obtain a work permit:

  1. Once the minor has found a job, they may begin the work permit application, which can be found by clicking here. The minor will complete the portion of the form for “Information on Minor” with their basic information, including date of birth and social security number.
  2. The minor or the employer can then complete the “Information on Employer” section of the form, which will include the name and address of the employer, as well as the occupation and starting wage of the minor.
  3. The parent or guardian of the minor must sign the work permit application.
  4. The minor can then take the form to the office of the superintendent of school, along with their proof of age, like a birth certificate or picture id. In order to apply for a work permit, minors aged 14 and 15 must be enrolled in school, not often truant and passing most of their courses during the current grading period.
  5. The superintendent’s office will complete the application and the forms and proof of age will be mailed to the Maine Department of Labor. Once the documents are received, they will be reviewed to make sure that the minor is of legal age to work at the particular business and that they will not be working in a hazardous occupation. Should everything be appropriate, the Department of Labor will approve the forms and keep one copy for their office and return two copies to the superintendent’s office. One of these copies is for the school to file and one is for the employer to keep on file.

Transferring Work Permits in Maine

The work permit in Maine is employer-specific and cannot be transferred from one employer to another. If the minor is under the age of 16, they will have to get a new work permit each time they decide to get a new job. During the school year, a minor aged 14 or 15 can have one active work permit. During the summer the minor can have two active work permits.

Employer Responsibility With Work Permits in Maine

All minors aged 14 and 15 seeking employment in Maine must have a work permit. In order for a minor to obtain a work permit in Maine, they must find an employer willing to hire them, and the employer must provide information regarding the occupation the minor will perform.  The employer may not have the minor begin work before the minor has obtained and provided them with a work permit. Once the employer has received the work permit, the employer will have the following responsibilities:

  1. Employers must display a poster that summarizes child labor laws in a place where workers can see it.
  2. Employers are required to maintain daily time records for the minors they employ. The records must show the time that each minor began work, the total hours they worked and the time the minor completed work for the day.
  3. Should a minor’s employment terminate, either the minor or the employer should return the work permit to the Department of Labor so that it can be invalidated.

The responsibility of employers who seek to hire youth aged 14 and 15 in Maine is simple, with a clear process to follow. The most challenging for minors will likely be to find a place of employment. Once they have done that, it should not be difficult to obtain a work permit and begin employment.