Ways to Get a Work Permit in Virginia

A minor under 16 needs a permit to work in Virginia.
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A work permit is required for someone who wants a job and is at least 14 but not yet 16, the legal age of employment in Virginia. In order to obtain a work permit, two forms must be filed, the parents of the minor must consent, and documentation of age has to be provided.

Obtaining Forms for Enrolled Students

The necessary forms can generally be found and filed at the teenager's high school, whether it is public or private. If school is not in session, the forms can be found at the school district's central office. A school official can process the paperwork and witness the signature of the parents on the consent form. Most offices must be contacted beforehand to ensure an official is available.

Obtaining Forms for Other Minors

If the minor is home-schooled, the forms can be found at the high school nearest to his or her residence, the office of the local school board, or the local department of social services. Minors who live somewhere else during the school year must visit one of these three locations. A work permit cannot be obtained unless the minor is physically in Virginia at the time of the application.

The Filing Process

The first permit form is "Intention to Employ", which must be filled out by the prospective employer. The type of work being performed must be described, along with the total number of hours per week, how many hours on each day, and the amount of time given for breaks. The second form is "Permission for Employment,"which must be filled out by the minor's parents or legal guardians and signed in the presence of the person issuing the permit. The minor must also bring proof of age, such as a birth certificate, school record, or passport. Three copies of the work permit will be issued after these forms are filed: one for the employer; one for the minor's school; and one that is sent to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry along with both original forms.


Under Virginia law, when school is in session, minors cannot work during school hours, work more than 18 hours a week, or work more than three hours a day. If school is not in session, minors cannot work more than 40 hours a week or eight hours a day. Work exceeding five hours requires a thirty minute break. If the minor is performing agricultural work on a farm, garden, or orchard owned by his or her parents or legal guardians, the minor may be allowed to work during school hours. Work permits can be revoked if these restrictions are violated, and the employer will be fined.

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