How to Get a Work Permit in Washington

by ECL Writer
How to Get a Work Permit in Washington

If you’re under the age of 16 and looking to work part-time in Washington, you’ll need to obtain a work permit. In this article, will outline everything you need to know about getting a work permit in Washington, including who needs one, how to apply, and how to comply with state child labor laws.

Who Needs a Work Permit in Washington?

In Washington, minors under the age of 18 who want to work part-time must obtain a work permit. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Minors who are 16 or 17 years old and have graduated from high school or obtained a GED are exempt from the work permit requirement. Additionally, minors who are employed by their parents or guardians in agricultural work are also exempt. Read more on Washington State minor labor laws.

How to Apply for a Work Permit in Washington

To apply for a work permit in Washington, minors must follow these steps:

Obtain an Industrial Insurance endorsement

Before applying for a work permit, minors must obtain an Industrial Insurance endorsement from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. This endorsement ensures that the minor is covered by workers’ compensation insurance in case of injury on the job.

Complete the DOR online application

Once the Industrial Insurance endorsement is obtained, minors can complete the online application through the Department of Revenue (DOR) website. The application requires information about the minor’s personal details, employment details, and school information.

Provide required documents

Minors under the age of 14 must provide a birth certificate, passport, or other proof of age. Additionally, minors must provide a Parent/School Authorization form signed by their parent or guardian and a school representative if they are looking to work during the school year.

Obtain a Minor Work Permit endorsement

Once the online application is complete and all required documents are submitted, the DOR will issue a Minor Work Permit endorsement to the minor’s employer. Employers must have this endorsement on their business license in order to hire minors under the age of 18.

How to Comply with Washington State Child Labor Laws

In addition to obtaining a work permit, minors in Washington must comply with state child labor laws. These laws include restrictions on hours of work, meals and rest breaks, and prohibited duties. For example, minors under the age of 16 cannot work more than 4 hours on a school day or more than 8 hours on a non-school day. They also cannot work before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m. on any day, except from June 1 through Labor Day, when they can work until 9:00 p.m.Employers must keep records of minors’ hours of work, job descriptions, and work schedules. Additionally, employers must obtain written authorization from the minor’s parent or guardian and school representative before employing the minor during the school year.

Other Considerations

There are some additional requirements and considerations for minors seeking employment in Washington. For example, high school students who want to work more than 4 hours a day and 20 hours per week must obtain a special variance form from the school district. Additionally, minors must provide proof of their age through a birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, or baptismal certificate.


Obtaining a work permit in Washington is a straightforward process, but it’s important for minors to comply with state child labor laws to ensure their safety and well-being on the job. By following the steps outlined in this article, minors can obtain a work permit and start working part-time in Washington.

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