How to Get a Work Permit in New York

Getting a work permit in New York 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 New York.  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 New York

New York City has 722 miles of subway track, making transportation accessible for those who don’t drive, including teenagers. In the state of New York, minors as young as 14 are able to seek employment.  A work permit, known also as working papers, or an employment certificate, is required for minors that are looking to work in the state.

There are three types of working papers available in New York and the particular one a minor should seek will depend on their age and when they are seeking to work.  While having three different types of working papers sounds complicated, the process to obtain the work permit is straightforward and should not hinder those who are seeking to work from doing so. Click here for more information on teen labor laws in New York.

Applying For a Work Permit in New York

The process to obtain a work permit or working papers in New York is straightforward. The work permit is required for all minors seeking employment, however depending on the minor’s age and when they are seeking to work, the minor will seek one of three different versions of the work permit. First there is the Student Non-Factory Employment Certificate-AT-18 (blue paper) which is for 14 and 15 year olds who are looking to be employed in permitted employment opportunities during non-school hours.

The second is the Student General Employment Certificate-AT-19 (green paper), which is for 16 and 17 year olds seeking to work outside of school hours. Finally, there is the Full-Time Employment Certificate-AT-20 (salmon paper). This is for those aged 16 and 17 who are either not in school or are looking to leave school for full time employment. Minors under the age of 18 who are seeking to work in New York should take the following steps to obtain a work permit:

  1. The minor should first get an application. They can typically do this at their (or any) public high school.
  2. The minor will take the application home for their parent or guardian to sign.
  3. The minor must get a written statement from a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant that they are physically fit to work.
  4. The minor should bring this written statement, as well as proof of age (birth certificate, driver’s license, baptismal record, state-issued photo ID, passport, or school record) and bring them to the office where they got the application.
  5. If everything is in order, the work permit/employment certificate can be issued. The permit will be good for part-time work during the school session and full-time work during school vacations. High school graduates that are under the age of 18 can get a full-time employment certificate. Should a minor have not completed high school, their parent or guardian must accompany them to the issuing office in order to give consent in person for the minor to work full-time.
  6. The minor will provide the employment certificate to the employer.

Transferring Work Permits in New York

The employment certificate will be returned to the minor upon employment terminating. The minor can then provide it to a new employer.

Employer Responsibility With Work Permits in New York

While minors as young as age 14 are able to work in the state of New York, all minors under the age of 18 are required to obtain a work permit prior to doing so. An employer should not allow a minor to begin employment without their providing a work permit/employment certificate. In regards to work permits, employers in New York have the following responsibilities:

  1. The employer must keep an employment certificate on file at the work location for all minors that they hire. The certificate must be available for inspection by anyone authorized by law to review it.
  2. It is required that the employer post a schedule for all minors and post it where workers are able to see it. Included in the schedule should be the time the minor starts work, the time the minor will end work, and time scheduled for meals. Hours can be changed by the employer, as long as the changes are posted on the schedule. Minors are only able to work on the days and times that are noted on the schedule.
  3. The employer must follow all child labor laws.
  4. Should the employment of the minor terminate, the employment certificate should be returned to the minor.

Employers in New York who are seeking to hire minors should not find it difficult to do so. The process that the employer needs to follow is straightforward and should not hinder the hiring of those individuals under the age of 18. 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.