Mission Viejo High School

School campus

Work Permits

How Do I Get a Work Permit?

A work permit is a legal document required by the state of California that allows a person less than 18 years of age to hold a job.

There are four steps in obtaining a work permit:

  1. Download a Work Permit Application from the California State Department of Education website or obtain an application in person from either the MVHS Career Center or the front office.
  2. Fill out the personal information at the top of the application, have the employer fill out the information required in the middle portion and have one parent sign the bottom portion of the application.
  3. Submit the completed application to one of the following locations based on time:
    • DURING JULY ONLY- Completed applications need to be submitted in person to the SVUSD District Office Receptionist at 25631 Peter A. Hartman Way, Mission Viejo. 
    • AUGUST- Return the completed work permit application to your Student Services Technician in the Guidance Office where the work permit will be processed.
    • SEPTEMBER THROUGH JUNE- Return the completed work permit application to Mrs. Davis in the Career Center where the work permit will be processed.
  4. Bring the completed work permit back to your employer.

Please allow 48 hours to process Work Permits. If you have any questions, please see Mrs. Davis in the career center.

Commonly Asked Questions

At What Age Can I Get a Work Permit?

Minors ages 12 through 17 are required to get work permits before starting a job. A minor under the age of 12 cannot receive a work permit except in the entertainment industry. There are a few exceptions to these rules.

Which Jobs Don't Require a Work Permit?

No work permit is required for the following jobs:

  1. Certain agricultural industry jobs
  2. Odd jobs in private homes such as gardening and babysitting
  3. Newspaper delivery jobs
  4. Self-employment

What Is Required Of Teenagers In The Entertainment Industry?

Minors in the entertainment industry do not get their work permits from their high school. Minors aged 15 days to 18 years employed in the entertainment industry must have a permit to work, and employers must have a permit to employ, both permits being issued by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. These permits are also required for minors making phonographic recordings or who are employed as advertising or photographic models. Permits are required even when the entertainment is noncommercial in nature.

There is no fee to obtain an entertainment work permit. The application for permission to work in the entertainment industry must be filled out completely and mailed, along with any required documents and a pre-addressed, stamped envelope, to any office of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. To find the nearest DLSE office, use the division's office locator.

Does a Work Permit Require School Attendance?

Minors under 18 years old must attend school to get a work permit. If a student graduates from high school before age 18, he or she no longer needs a work permit. If a student passes the high school proficiency exam or the G.E.D. before 18 years old, he or she no longer needs a work permit. Minors under 18 years of age who have dropped out of school must be enrolled in continuation or adult school classes for at least four hours per week before getting a work permit. Emancipated minors must attend school in order to get a work permit. They are still required to get a work permit before being employed but may obtain the work permit without parent consent and signature.

Minors in the entertainment industry are not exempt. If a performer is under 18 years and unable to attend his or her regular school, the employer must provide a studio teacher to teach during school days. In addition, the studio teacher is present on the set with minors on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and during vacations. The studio teacher, in addition to teaching, has the responsibility for attending to the health, safety, and morals of minors under 16 years of age while the minors are employed by the entertainment industry. The studio teacher may refuse to allow the use of a minor on a set or location, if , in the judgment of the studio teacher, conditions are such as to present a danger to the health, safety, or morals of the minor.

For the complete set of laws governing youth employment in the State of California, please visit the State of California website . You can find a pamphlet from the State of California Department of Industrial Relations that covers definitions of minors along with wages, hours of work allowed, types of employment allowed by age, restricted and prohibited occupations, and penalties for violating these laws.

Can a Work Permit Be Taken Away?

Yes, the work permit can be cancelled and taken away at any time by a high school administrator. In addition, a work permit can be cancelled at a parent’s request with good reason. Good reasons for canceling a work permit include: job does not fit legal requirements, hours scheduled create a truancy or absentee problem for the students, or job is causing student to fail classes at school.

When Does a Work Permit Expire?

A minor must obtain a work permit for each job. A work permit is no longer valid (or expires) when a minor quits or leaves a job. A new work permit application must be filled out for each new job. In addition, all work permits in the state of California expire five days after the opening of school in the fall. This is to insure that all minors report to school in the fall before continuing to work after summer vacation. Therefore, if a minor obtained a job and work permit in June and still had that same job in September, the work permit would expire. The minor would have to obtain a new work permit for the new school year even though it was for the same continuing job.

What Is The GPA Requirement?

Overall, a 2.0 GPA is required to have a permit issued during the school year.  For summertime employment the GPA requirement is not enforced, but it will be in the fall… so keep your grades up!

What If The Office Is Closed For Summer Hours?

When our offices are closed for the summer (July 17th - July 27) you may visit our district office to have work permits signed and processed.