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What can I do and When?

Below is a guide of what you are legally able to do at certain ages


  • You can get a part time job, for a maximum of two hours on a school day, working sometime between 7am and 8am and 5pm and 7pm.
  • You can work on Sundays between 7am and 7pm, but again for no more than two hours.
  • You can work up to five hours on a Saturday between 7am and 7pm.
  • During school holidays you can work five hours a day from Monday to Saturday. But you can only work two hours a day on Sundays.
  • It's worth checking with your Local Authority before taking on unusual work (i.e. anything that doesn't involve shoving papers through letterboxes) to be sure it doesn't contravene local regulations and bylaws
  • You can go into a bar and order soft drinks.
  • If convicted of a serious criminal offence (in a Youth Court), You can be held in secure accommodation for no more than 24 months. You could also get a fine for a maximum of £1,000.
  • Wearing a seatbelt is considered your own personal responsibility, so buckle up.


  • Working restrictions are the same as 14-year-olds, except you can work up to eight hours on a Saturday between 7am and 7pm (if you're 15 or over but under school-leaving age).
  • If you are awaiting trial for a criminal offence, you may be held in a remand centre.
  • If convicted, you can be sent to a young offenders institute for up to two years.


  • You have the right to give consent to medical, dental and surgical treatment. This includes contraceptive advice and treatment.
  • You are entitled to free full-time further education (at school, sixth form college and city technology college).
  • You can have sex, gay or straight, so long as your partner is also 16+ (17+ in Northern Ireland).
  • You can claim benefit and obtain a National Insurance number.
  • You can drink a beer, wine, or cider with a meal in a pub or restaurant if you are with an adult.
  • You can ride a moped with a max engine power of 50cc (and a provisional licence). You can also drive an invalid vehicle (with a licence) and a mowing machine. 
  • You can work as a street trader and/or sell scrap metal.
  • You can choose your own doctor.
  • You can join the armed forces (so long as that's OK with your parent/s or carer).
  • You can move out of the family home with your parents' permission.(If you're under 17 then Social Services may apply for a Care Order).
  • You can rent accommodation, but a guarantor is required until you're 18 (this is an adult who can be responsible for you).
  • You must pay for prescription charges (unless you're pregnant, on income support or in full-time education). Laws in Wales differ though.
  • You can order your own passport.
  • If convicted of a criminal offence, but not given a custodial sentence, you can receive a youth rehabilitation order.
  • You can play the National Lottery.
  • You can buy premium bonds.
  • You can fly a glider.
  • You can get married (with parental consent in the UK).
  • And you can buy liquor chocolates. 


  • You can drive most types of vehicles (with a provisional driving licence and a 21+ adult in the passenger seat who is qualified to drive).
  • If you pass your driving test, and you're properly insured, you can get behind the wheel and take to the road on your own. 
  • You can apply for a private pilot's licence for a plane, helicopter, gyroplane, hot air balloon and airship.
  • You can be interviewed by the police without an adult present, given a reprimand or a warning.  Should you be charged with an offence (without being granted bail) then you could be sent to a remand centre or prison.
  • You can become a blood donor


  • You can vote in local and general elections. 
  • You can stand for election as a Member of Parliament, local councillor or Mayor.
  • You can serve on a jury, or be tried in a magistrates court and go to jail if you're found guilty of a criminal offence.
  • If you were adopted you can see your original birth certificate (and have your name added to the Adoption Contact Register).
  • You can make a will.
  • You can get married without parental permission.
  • You can buy fireworks.
  • You can place a bet in a betting shop/casino.
  • You can buy cigarettes, rolling tobacco and cigarette papers.
  • You can open your own bank account.
  • You can buy an alcoholic drink in a pub or a bar.
  • You can pawn stuff in a pawn shop.
  • You can have a tattoo.
  • You can drive lorries weighing up to 7.5 tonnes, with a trailer attached.