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Employment of Minors (Work Permit) - Employment Standards Service (ESS)

Minor Work Permit: Information you need to know

  • Work permits are required for all minors under the age of 18 to work in the State of Maryland.
  • Work permits are not issued to minors under the age of 14. (Unless the child is a model, performer or entertainer with a special permit (Word); en español (Solicitud para permiso especial de trabajo (Word). Special permits are issued only by the Commissioner's Office.)
  • Work permits are issued by the Division of Labor and Industry.
  • Work permits are not issued until the minor has been offered a job.
  • If the minor changes jobs, a new work permit must be obtained.
  • Employers are strongly encouraged to keep work permits on file for three years. 
  • Employers are generally subject to both state child labor laws and the federal child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 212(c), and the FLSA regulations at 29 CFR Part 570. Certain provisions of Maryland state law may be less restrictive than federal law, and employers covered by the FLSA that only follow a less restrictive provision of Maryland state law will be in violation of federal law. See 29 U.S.C. 218(a). For more information on federal child labor law, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division Website.

Minors 14 and 15 years of age may not be employed or permitted to:

  • *Non-school hours;
  • *work more than 3 hours on any day or more than 18 hours in any week when school is in session;
  • work more than 8 hours a day on any day or more than 40 hours in any week when school is not in session
  • *work before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m. (minors may work until 9:00 p.m. from June 1 to Labor Day);
  • work more than 5 consecutive hours without a non-working period of at least 30 minutes.

    *This is based upon a more restrictive Federal law.

Minors 16 and 17 years of age:

  • May not spend more than 12 hours in a combination of school hours and work hours each day.
  • Must be allowed at least 8 consecutive hours of non-work, non-school time in each 24 hour period.
  • May not be permitted to work more than 5 consecutive hours without a non-working period of at least 30 minutes.


  • Course of Study
    Student-learner must be enrolled in a course of study and training in a cooperative vocational training program under a recognized state or Local Education Authority or in a course of study in a substantially similar program conducted by a private school.
  • Written Agreement
    Student-learners may be employed under a written agreement between the school and employer, which states that:
    • the work of the student-learner in the occupations declared particularly hazardous shall be incidental to the training;
    • such work shall be intermittent and for short periods of time, and under the direct and close supervision of a qualified and experienced person;
    • safety instruction shall be given by the school and correlated by the employer with on-the-job training;
    • a schedule of organized and progressive work processes to be performed on the job shall have been prepared;
    • such written agreement shall contain the name of the student-learner, and shall be signed by both the employer and the school coordinator or principal; and
    • copies of each agreement shall be kept on file by both the school and the employer.

This exemption for the employment of student-learners may be revoked in any individual situation where it is found that reasonable precautions have not been observed for the safety of minors employed thereunder.

Certain occupations are declared to be hazardous by the U.S. Secretary of Labor and have been adopted by the Commissioner of Labor and Industry. The Commissioner has forbidden employment by minors under 18 in other occupations. Additional areas of employment are restricted to minors under the age of 16. Information on all of these areas of restricted employment is available from Issuing Officers in Maryland's secondary schools or from the Division of Labor and Industry. Find out more on the Employment of Minors Fact Sheet (Word) or Hoja informativa secundaria (Word).

How to Obtain a Work Permit:

  • The minor applies for a permit online and prints permit.
  • The minor signs the permit.
  • The minor's parent or guardian signs the permit.
  • The employer signs the permit.

Apply for a Work Permit
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Maryland Minor Work Permit

Apply for a Special Work Permit (Word) (Solicitud para permiso especial de trabajo en Word)

Maryland Special Minor Work Permit

File a Child Labor Violation Claim (Word)
Formulario de quej por infracción de trabajo infantil (Word)

Labor and Employment Article, Title 3, Subtitle 2, Annotated Code of Maryland

For additional information, contact:
Division of Labor and Industry
(Please note: The contact information on the Special Work Permit has been updated.)