Working Papers are available at the public school of the district in which you reside.
All students between the ages of 14 and 17 are required by Pennsylvania School Law to secure an Employment certificate, known as "Working Papers," before they may begin to work. Students, who have reached 18, by state law, do not need working papers.
Exceptions to this regulation are 17 year old students who have graduated or have officially withdrawn from school.
Once you have the promise of a job, follow these steps to receive working papers:
- Obtain an "Application for Employment Certificate" or "Transferable Work Permit" from the Administration Building located at 1901 Paper Mill Road Oreland, PA 19075
- Have your prospective employer completely fill out Part "C".
- Have your physician fill out Part "D" verifying that you have had a physical that year.
- Bring the completed application along with proof of age to the Administration Building, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm
Acceptable documents include birth certificate or passport (application cannot be processed without proper documents). A parent or guardian must return the completed application so that it can be signed in the presence of the issuing officer.
Working Papers Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need working papers?
The employment certification process was established to ensure that minors are working in safe jobs, under safe conditions. When an issuing officer suspects that a minor is being employed in an unsafe job or is being required to work beyond the hours that are allowable by Child Labor Law, the officer consults the Bureau of Labor Law Compliance. If you have a specific question about Pennsylvania Child Labor Law, contact the Bureau of Labor Law Compliance at 1 (800) 932-0665.
Do I really need a job before I get working papers?A lot of employers say that they can't hire me until I have working papers.Yes, you need a job before you can obtain working papers. You should download an application* for working papers and bring it with you when you are looking for work. If an employer tells you that he cannot hire you until you have working papers, have him sign the application so that you can secure the working papers. Once you have the working papers, you can begin work.
How old do you have to be to begin working?
Except in certain special cases, children cannot start work until they turn 14 years old. Exceptions include golf caddies, newspaper delivery persons, and actors.
I'm 17 years old. Do I still need working papers?
Minors need working papers until they turn 18. Minors who are 17 years old and have graduated from high school no longer need working papers.
I lost my working papers. How do I get a new set of working papers?Do I have to go through the whole process again?
Yes. Follow the instructions for obtaining working papers on the School District of Springfield Township Website.
I live in Pennsylvania, but I landed a job in New Jersey. Do I need to get working papers in Pennsylvania or in New Jersey?
You need to be certified to work in the state in which you will be working. You should contact the SDST Administration Office to find out about their working papers procedures and hours of operation.
What's the difference between a "blue card" and a "yellow card"?
Minors are issued work permits according to their age. Applicants who are under the age of 16 are automatically issued a "Vacation Employment Certificate", which is a yellow card. Minors who are over the age of 16 are issued a "Transferable Work Permit", which is a blue card. Since 14 and 15 year olds are subject to stricter labor laws, they are issued the vacation employment certificate and are required to renew the certificate every time they secure a new job, until they turn 16. Once they turn 16, applicants are able to receive the transferable work permit, which they can use for any job thereafter.
On the working papers application, Part B asks the parent to indicate which employment certificate they are requesting for their child. Which one should we choose?
Don't worry about this section. The type of employment certificate a minor is issued is determined by the student's age and enrollment status. The issuing officer will make this choice when you complete the process.
I received a "Vacation Employment Certificate". Is this card only good for employment during the summer?
No, the vacation employment certificate is issued to minors under the age of 16. It can be used all year.
What is a General Employment Certificate?
The General Employment Certificate is issued to minors who have withdrawn from school. Since they have "dropped out", these minors are subject to relaxed labor law requirements.
This summer, I am returning to work for the same employer I worked for last summer. Do I need to get a new set of working papers, or can I use the ones I had from last year?
If you have a transferable work permit ("blue card"), your working papers are transferable from one job to another. In that case, you don't need to ever get a new work permit, as long as you do not lose your old one. However, if you received a vacation employment certificate ("yellow card") for the job, the working papers are applicable only if you have not worked a different job since leaving that employer last summer. For example, if you worked for the Department of Recreation last summer and you have not worked a different job since the end of the summer, you don't need to get a new set of working papers to work with the Department of Recreation