Work Permits

Effective March 26, 2020 - Work Permit Holiday

Work Permit Requirements for Employment of Minors

  • A work permit is required before anyone under the age of 16 is allowed to work in any job with the exception of agriculture or domestic service work.
  • Employers must have a work permit on file for the minor being employed before they may allow the minor to begin work.

Changes to Wisconsin's child labor law remove the requirement that 16- and 17-year-old minors obtain work permits prior to beginning work. This law also changes the terminology to be used and refers to the "employment of minors" instead of "child labor."

Effective June 23, 2017,

  • 16- and 17-year-old minors do NOT need to obtain a work permit prior to beginning work. Work permits will not be issued for minors ages 16 or 17.
    • State law prohibits the use of minors to perform hazardous work. Prohibited employment provisions still apply to work that 16- and 17-year-old minors can be employed to perform.
  • This law makes no changes to the requirements for minors younger than 16. Minors younger than 16 must obtain a work permit prior to beginning work, unless an exception applies.
    • There are no changes to the maximum hours or times of days that minors younger than 16 may work, or the types of work that minors younger than 16 may perform.

For more information, you can read the full text of Act 11.

Where can I get a Work Permit?

Work permits are issued at various locations throughout the state. You may apply for a work permit at your school office or call (608) 266-6860 for information on where in your area you may apply for a work permit.

NOTE: The permit will not be issued if the work is prohibited by law.

How to Obtain a Work Permit

To obtain a work permit, either the minor alone or the minor and a parent must visit the permit officer, taking with them:

  • the minor's birth certificate or other proof of age,
  • the minor's social security card
  • letter from the employer expressing intent to hire, on employer's regular letterhead, describing:
    • job duties,
    • hours of work,
  • a written parents consent
  • a $10.00 permit fee

Proof of Minor's Age

We may accept a valid operator's license or an identification card issued by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation as proof of a minor's age. This means that we may now accept either a duly attested birth certificate, a verified baptismal certificate, or a driver’s license or photo ID card issued by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

For the Employer - Permit Fee Requirement

The employer must reimburse the $10.00 permit fee to the minor by no later than the date of the first paycheck.

Copies of the permit go to the employer and the minor, in addition to the school district where the minor is enrolled.

For more information