• Employment Certificate (Work Permit)

    In the Commonwealth of Virginia, students who are under the age of 18 are considered minors and can be employed in a variety of jobs provided they are at least 14. To gain employment as a minor there are certain requirements that must be met:

    • Minors must be 14 to work in most jobs. 
    • Minors 14 and 15 must have an employment certificate (also referred to as a work permit). 
    • Minors 14 and 15 have limited hours they can work. 
    • Minors 14 and 15 cannot work in certain jobs
    • Minors 16 and 17 are barred from working in certain particularly hazardous jobs.

     How do I obtain an employment certificate?

    Employment certificates are obtained through the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (http://www.doli.virginia.gov). Minors 14 and 15, who are seeking employment, must have an employment certificate. The registration process for an employment certificate cannot begin until you have a firm offer of employment. You cannot begin to work until you have been issued an employment certificate by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.

    Instructions from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry … 

    Employment certificates are obtained through the Agency’s online system Virginia Electronic Employment Certificate System also referred to as VAeECS (https://vaeecs.doli.virginia.gov).  The youth must have a job offer prior to applying for an employment certificate. The process requires online actions by the youth, employer, and parent, guardian, or custodian in that order.

    The first step in the process is youth registration online.  Upon successful registration, the youth will be issued a unique identifier number. This unique identifier number must be provided to the prospective employer to register to employ the youth, and to the parent, guardian, or custodian for consent to employment.  All parties should follow the screen prompts to properly register and complete required actions online.  

    Once an employment certificate has been issued the employer will receive the certificate electronically.   In accordance with §40.1-96 of the Code of Virginia, the employer must present the employment certificate to the youth for their signature.  The employer is required by §40.1-96 to retain either a paper or electronic copy of the employment certificate so long as the youth is employed or for a period of 36 months, whichever is longer.

    While the online process is preferred, youth may still elect to apply for an employment certificate by completing a paper application. Paper applications may be requested by contacting the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry at 804-371-3104 extension 131.