Age Based Rights

Click here or on the pdf file to learn more.


Age Right or Responsibility
5 Attend school
12 Name change with permission of parent(s)
12 Consent needed for adoption
12 Able to work with consent of parent/guardian
12 Age of consent if partner is less than 2 years older
12-17 Responsible for crime – protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act
14 May be sentenced for crimes under adult law
14 Donate organs/tissues for medical purposes
14 Age of consent if partner is less than 5 years older
15 Able to work without consent of parent/guardian
16 Leave school
16 Able to write a will
16 Marry with permission of parent(s)
16 Apply for own passport
16 Get a driver’s licence with permission of parent(s)
16 Age of consent
17 Join the armed forces with parental consent
17 Able to donate blood
18 Vote in a provincial or federal election
18 Able to run in an election
18 See a restricted/adult movie
18 Entitled to full minimum wage
19 Enter a binding contract
19 Get married (without parent’s permission)
19 Get a driver’s licence (without parent’s permission)
19 Drink/Purchase alcohol
19 Age to gamble
19 Buy lottery tickets
19 Join the forces without parental consent
19 Minimum age required to adopt a pet from SPCA
19 Leave home (without parent’s permission)
19 Age to receive a credit card in BC
19 Buy cigarettes
19 Sue or be sued on your own
19 Name change (without parent’s permission)
no legal age Babysitting
no legal age Consent to health care treatment depending on maturity level * *
no legal age Getting tattoos or piercing
no legal age See school records
no legal age Testify in court
no legal age Single parents can sign up for social assistance
no legal age Consume alcohol at home, if supplied by parent(s)
no legal age Protection from age-based discrimination


Going to School

All children between 5 and 16 years old must go to public school every day. This is not true if a child is in any of the following situations:

  • Goes to a private school
  • Is at home studying lessons approved by the government
  • Is sick and can’t go to school or there is some other good reason
  • Has no school near their home and no bus access


* * Click here or on the pdf file to read BC HealthLink’s The Infants Act, Mature Minor Consent and Immunization file


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