How to Get a Work Permit in Missouri

Getting a work permit in Missouri 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 Missouri.  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 Missouri

Missouri shares a border with eight states, tying it with Tennessee as the most neighborly state. Laws are friendly to minors in Missouri, where youth as young as 14 are able to seek employment. A work permit (called a work certificate in Missouri) is required for all minors under the age of 16 who would like to obtain employment, and obtaining one requires following a simple process.  Click here for more information on teen labor laws in Missouri.

Applying For a Work Permit in Missouri

The process to obtain a work permit or work certificate in Missouri is not challenging. For youth aged 14 and 15 a work certificate is required, however the process to obtain one is straightforward. There are two different work certificate forms; one is for work during the school term, and it is in blue. The second is for work when school is not in session, and that form is yellow. The form used will depend on whether or not school is in session, however, the instructions are the same. Both forms may be accessed here. Minors under the age of 16 who are seeking to work in Missouri should take the following steps to obtain a work permit/employment certificate:

  1. The minor will complete Section A of the form, which includes their basic information, and will sign the form. The parent or guardian is also required to sign in that section.
  2. Once the minor has found an employer who is willing to hire them, they should bring the form to the employer and have them complete Section B. This section includes the employer’s information, as well as the type of job offered. The section includes reminders on the hour restrictions for minors under the age of 16. The employer or their authorized representative will sign in that section. The employer may also be required to provide a signed statement that explains the specific job and the exact hours of the day, the number of hours per day and the number of days per week the minor will work.
  3. Once the employer has completed Section 2, the minor should take the form, along with proof of their age, to an issuing officer. Work certificates can be issued by the public school superintendent of the school that the minor attends, the chief executive officer of a charter school that the child attends, the public or private school principal of the school the child attends, or a representative of any of these officials. Should the minor be home-school, a parent may issue the work certificate.
  4. This issuing officer may also request the following: that the parent or guardian be in attendance when the minor applies for the certificate; a certificate from the principal of the school the minor attends that shows the minor’s grades; a certificate from a physician who has examined the minor that states that they are in good mental and physical health and is capable of performing work without risking injury to their health or development.
  5. After the three sections have been completed, the original will be given to the minor’s employer. The issuing officer will retain a copy. A copy will also be mailed to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards.

Transferring Work Permits in Missouri

The work permit or employment certificate is specific for the employer and position that the minor will be hired for. Should the minor under the age of 16 seek a new opportunity, they will have to obtain a new work permit.

Employer Responsibility With Work Permits in Missouri

While minors aged 14 and 15 are able to obtain employment, they must have a work permit or employment certificate in order to begin working. The first step for the minor is to find an employer who is willing to hire them. Once the minor has located an employer who is willing to hire them, the employer must complete Section B on the “Certificate to Employ a Child 14 or 15 Years of Age” form. In regards to work permits, employers in Missouri have the following responsibilities:

  1. The employer will complete Section B on the “Certificate to Employ a Child 14 or 15 Years of Age” form. This will require the following information: the name and address of the employer, type of job offered and specific duties and the signature of the employer or the employer’s representative.
  2. The employer cannot allow the minor to work until they have received the work permit/employment certificate signed by the issuing officer.
  3. The employer must keep a copy of the work certificate on file at the location where the minor is working for a period of no less than two years. In addition to the work certificate, the employer must also keep on file the name, address, and age of the minor and times that the minor worked each day.
  4. Employers should also keep a copy of the following document: “Employer’s Employing Workers under the Age of 16”. This form can be accessed here. The form will include information about each minor under the age of 16. The list should be posted in a location that is noticeable within their place of business.
  5. When employment of the minor terminates, the employer must send the work certificate back to the school official who issued it.
  6. All child labor laws must be followed.

Employers in Missouri who are interested in hiring minors should not find it difficult to do so. The process that the employer needs to follow is straightforward and their role in the minor aged 14 or 15 obtaining a work permit is minimal. The employer is required to follow child labor laws and must have an employment certificate on file prior to allowing the minor to begin work.