Work Permit Information for Minors Under 16 years old

 Once a minor under 16 years old has the promise of a job, they must obtain a work permit before beginning that job. This includes students who are homeschooled. They must get a new permit every time they begin a new job until they reach 16 years old, even if they work for their parents.

In order to apply for a work permit, the minor must be:

  • enrolled in school;

  • not habitually truant or under suspension; and

  • passing a majority of courses during the current grading period.

A copy of the Maine Work Permit Form can be downloaded here.  Once this form is completed and signed, the work permit application should be delivered to the superintendent’s office (101 McCartney Street) with a copy of the minor’s birth certificate or passport.

The superintendent's office will forward the information to the Maine Department of Labor.  The MDOL will review the permit to ensure that the minor is of legal age to work at the business and that the occupation is not hazardous. This process could take up to one week.  If the permit is in order, the MDOL will validate the form, keep one copy and return a copy to the superintendent’s office.  A staff member at the superintendent’s office will email a copy of the approved work permit to the student and the parent/guardian who gave permission for the permit.  

Minors should bring the approved work permit to their new employer.

A minor can have one active permit during the school year and two during the summer

Following are the hours and times minors may work:

A. Minors under 16 years old

Work Hours

  • Between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the school year

  • Between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. during summer vacations only

  • Not during school hours

Maximum Hours

  • 3 hours a day on school days, including Fridays

  • 18 hours in any week during a school week

  • 40 hours in a week with no school

  • 8 hours on days without school (during weekends, holidays, vacations, storm days, etc.)

  • No more than 6 days in a row

Minors Under 16 Years of Age

Minors under the age of 16 may not be employed in the following occupations:

  • Any manufacturing occupation;

  • Any mining occupation;

  • Processing occupations (such as filleting fish, dressing poultry, cracking nuts, or laundering by commercial laundries and dry cleaners, etc.) when performed in a processing industry such as a plant;

  • Motor vehicle driving and outside helper on a motor vehicle;

  • Operation or tending of hoisting apparatus or of any power-driven machinery other than nonhazardous office machines or machines in certain retail, food service, and gasoline service establishments;

  • Construction occupations involving:

a. Maintenance and repair of public highways;

b. All roofing occupations;

c. All trenching and excavation operations;

  • (Federal law prohibits minors under 16 from doing any construction work.)

  • All work in boiler or engine rooms;

  • Outside window washing that involves working from window sills, and all work involving the use of ladders, scaffolds or their substitutes;

  • Cooking (except where visible to the public) and baking;

  • Occupations which involve operating, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, or repairing power-driven food slicers and grinders, food choppers and cutters, and bakery-type mixers;

  • All work in freezers and meat coolers;

  • Occupations involving the use of power-driven mowers or cutters, including the use of chain saws;

  • All warehousing occupations, including the loading and unloading of trucks and use of conveyors;

  • All welding, brazing, or soldering occupations;

  • Occupations involving the use of toxic chemicals and paints;

  • Selling door-to-door (except when the minor is selling candy or merchandise as a fund-raiser for school or for an organization to which the minor belongs, such as Girl Scouts of America) or work in a traveling youth crew;

  • All occupations on amusement rides, including ticket collection or sales;

  • Any placement at the scene of a fire, explosion or other emergency response situation. (See Section D. Junior Firefighters); and

  • All occupations that are expressly prohibited for 16-and 17-year olds. 


Child labor laws, wages, hiring and firing:

Maine Department of Labor (enforces Maine child labor laws)

Bureau of Labor Standards

Wage and Hour Division


(TTY: Maine relay 711)