How to Get a Work Permit in West Virginia

Getting a work permit in West 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 West 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 West Virginia

Apparently, West Virginia is considered to be the southern-most northern state and the northern-most southern state. Whether the state is in the North or the South is likely not of much concern to teenagers who are looking to earn money and gain valuable work experience. Fortunately for teens, in West 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.  For minors aged 16 and 17, an employer in West Virginia may require that the minor supply an Age Certificate. Click here for more information on teen labor laws in West Virginia.

Applying For a Work Permit in West Virginia

While minors can begin working in West Virginia at the age of 14, all minors aged 14 and 15 must have a Work Permit prior to starting work and employers may require that minors aged 16 and 17 provide an Age Certificate. The process to obtain the Work Permit and the Age Certificate is straightforward.  Minors who are seeking to work in West 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. The form that is to be completed can be accessed here.
  2. First, the employer will complete Section A. The employer will include what tasks the minor will perform as well as what equipment, if any, they will use. The employer will also state the date they intend for the minor to work, the hours each day of the week and the total number of hours per week. The employer will sign Section A to certify that they will employ the minor legally and that they will keep the Work Permit on file for as long as the minor is employed.
  3. Section B will be completed by the parent or guardian of the minor. By signing this section, the parent or guardian is consenting to the employment described in Section A.
  4. The parent or guardian will attach a certified copy of the minor’s birth certificate.
  5. Section C is to be taken to the principal or registrar at the school that the minor attends. The principal or registrar will sign to confirm that the minor attends school.
  6. The issuing officer will complete Section D and the minor is required to be present. The issuing officer may be the superintendent of schools for the county where the minor lives, or an appointed representative. The minor’s high school will be able to provide direction on where the minor should take the form to have Section D completed. The issuing officer will review all completed sections and decide whether or not to issue the Work Permit based on the information provided. The issuing officer is required to sign the form.
  7. The issuing officer will keep and file the original form. They will then mail copies to the minor’s parent or guardian, as well as their employer. The issuing officer must mail a copy of the permit to West Virginia Division of Labor within four days of it being issued.
  8. Regarding the Age Certificate, should an employer require one, the form can be accessed here.
  9. The minor will appear in person with the form to the superintendent or their appointed representative. A brief description of the work the minor will do is included in the form. The superintendent or appointed representative will view the certified copy of the minor’s birth certificate and sign off on having seen evidence of their age and that they are aged 16 or 17.
  10. The original Age Certificate will be kept on file by the superintendent or their appointed representative. Copies will be mailed to the minor’s parent or guardian, the minor’s employer, and the West Virginia Division of Labor.

Transferring Work Permits in West Virginia

The Work Permit or Age Certificate is employer and job specific. Should a minor seek a new employment opportunity, they must obtain a new Work Permit or Age Certificate.

Employer Responsibility With Work Permits in West Virginia

While minors as young as age 14 are able to work in the state of West Virginia, youth under the age of 16 must obtain a Work Permit, and employers may require minors aged 16 and 17 to procure an Age Certificate, prior to doing so. In regards to Work Permits, employers in West Virginia have the following responsibilities:

  1. The employer must complete Section A on the Work Permit form. They will include the tasks that the minor will perform once employed. They will also note any equipment that the minor may work with. The employer will note on Section A the date that the minor will start work, along with the hours they intend for the minor to work (number of hours each day and total for the week).
  2. The employer must sign Section A to certify that they will be legally employing the minor.
  3. The employer must keep the Work Permit on file as long as the minor is employed.
  4. The employer will follow all child labor laws.

Employers in West 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 plays a small part in the minor procuring the Work Permit. Should the employer choose, they can require that minors aged 16 and 17 obtain an Age Certificate. The employer is required to follow child labor laws and must have a Work Permit on file prior to allowing the minor to begin work.