Who Needs a Work Permit?

In Virginia, every teenager 14 or 15 years of age must have an employment certificate in order to work. Exceptions include:

  • On farms, in gardens, and in orchards that are operated by a parent or guardian
  • Work around the home for parents
  • Volunteer work
  • Non-manufacturing jobs where a parent owns the business
  • Page or clerk for either the House of Delegates or Senate of Virginia
  • Occasional work around someone else’s home, such as yard work
  • Work performed for state or local government

With certain limited exceptions, children under the age of 14 are not permitted to work. Therefore, children under 14 are not issued work permits.

For a complete overview of teen employment requirements, refer to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry overview about Youth Employment and their answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Frequently Asked Questions
Where can homeschoolers obtain a work permit?

The Department of Labor and Industry has transitioned to an automated employment certificate process and work permits are no longer handled through the schools.

To obtain a work permit, visit the DOLI website. There are two options for submitting the paperwork.

  1. The Virginia Electronic Employment Certificate System enables youth, employers, and parents to electronically submit the application forms required for the issuance of an employment certificate. Upon completion of all three sections, generally the system will issue permits within 24 hours of your request.
  1. The paper application process for an employment certificate requires submission of two documents: a Permission for Employment form and an Employer Intent to Employ form to the Labor and Employment Law Division. Normal processing time is 7 to 10 business days. Paper applications can also be requested at (804)371-3104 ext. 131.
Can homeschoolers work during “school hours?”

It depends on their age.

According to the Youth Employment FAQs, children who are between the ages of 14 and 15:

May not work during school hours unless enrolled in a school work-training program.

According to the Virginia Administrative Code 16VAC 15-40-10:

“School hours” means those periods when the school attended by the minor is in regular session, and does not include hours before and after school, Saturdays and Sundays, holidays, or school vacations, including summer vacations. If the minor does not attend school, “school hours” shall mean the school hours of the school district in which the minor is currently living.

This information is provided as a courtesy of The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. It is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, contact a licensed attorney.

VaHomeschoolers is a non-profit public charity with 501(c)(3) status; your donation is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.