How to Get a Work Permit in Virginia

Getting a work permit in Virginia 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 Virginia.  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 Virginia

North America’s first Thanksgiving was held in Virginia in 1619. Minors who live in Virginia may be thankful for the easy process to become employed in the state. In Virginia, minors that are interested in obtaining employment are able to do so at the age of 14. For all minors aged 14 and 15, a work permit is required prior to their starting employment.  Click here for more information on teen labor laws in Virginia.

Applying For a Work Permit in Virginia

While minors can begin working in Virginia at the age of 14, all minors aged 14 and 15 must have a work permit (also called a Youth Employment Certificate) prior to starting work. The process to obtain the work permit is straightforward.  Minors who are seeking to work in Virginia should take the following steps to obtain the work permit:

  1. A minor aged 14 and 15 who is interested in employment should first look for a job. Once they find an employer who is interested in hiring them, they will begin the process for a work permit.
  2. In Virginia, there are two options to obtain a work permit. The first is electronic:
  • The minor, their parent or guardian and the employer are all able to submit the required forms online. Only the employer may complete the employer section, as it reviews the records that are required to be maintained.
  • Once all three sections are completed, the certificate is usually issued within 24 hours.
  1. There is also a manual option. There are two different documents that must be completed: the Permission for Employment form and an Employer Intent to Employ form. Both forms can be accessed here.
  • The Permission for Employment form is completed by the parent or guardian of the minor. Once completed, the form must be notarized.
  • The employer will complete the Intent to Employ form. The minor must provide the employer with evidence of age, which could be a birth certificate, baptismal record that shows the date of birth and place of baptism of the minor, a passport or a DMV ID card.
  • The employer must keep a copy of the evidence of age and certify to the Labor and Employment Law Division that the minor is of legal age to be employed.
  • Once completed, the forms should be sent to the Labor and Employment Law Division for processing, which takes seven to ten days.
  • The Youth Employment Certificate will be sent directly to the employer.
  • The minor cannot begin work until the employer has received the certificate.

Transferring Work Permits in Virginia

The work permit or Youth Employment Certificate is employer and job specific. Should a minor under the age of 16 seek a new employment opportunity, they must obtain a new work permit.

Employer Responsibility With Work Permits in Virginia

While minors as young as age 14 are able to work in the state of Virginia, youth under the age of 16 must obtain a work permit, also known in Virginia as a Youth Employment Certificate, prior to doing so. The employer should not allow a minor to begin employment without having received this document. In regards to work permits, employers in Virginia have the following responsibilities:

  1. The employer must either submit the required form online or complete the Intent to Employ form.
  2. The employer must verify the minor’s age and certify to the Labor and Employment Law Division and confirm that the minor is old enough to be employed. The employer should keep a copy on file of the evidence of age document that the minor presented.
  3. The employer cannot allow the minor to begin work until they receive a Youth Employment Certificate. The employer should keep the Youth Employment Certificate on file.
  4. The employer must follow child labor laws.

Employers in Virginia who are looking to hire teenagers under the age of 18 will not find it difficult to do so. The process that the employer needs to follow is straightforward and the employer’s role is minimal in the minor procuring the work permit. The employer is required to follow child labor laws and must have a Youth Employment Certificate on file prior to allowing the minor to begin work.