Obtaining Permits

Permits to Work and Permits to Employ

Minors aged 15 days* to 18 years employed in the entertainment industry (as defined above) must have a permit to work and employers must have a permit to employ issued by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement [LC 1308.5, 8 CCR 11751(b), 11752, 11753, and 11754]. These permits are also required for minors making phonographic recordings or who are employed as advertising or photographic models [LC 1308.5(a)(6) and (7)]. Permits are required even when the entertainment is noncommercial in nature [LC 1308.5(a)(5)].

Permits will not be issued if the environment is improper for the minor, the employment conditions are detrimental to the minor’s health, or if the minor’s education is hampered [LC 1308.6]. The Labor Commissioner may require school officials to investigate these employment conditions [LC 1308.6].

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement issues two types of work permits, individual permits and blanket permits. Individual permits are issued for six months to the minor specifically named in the application and must be renewed in the same manner and under the same conditions as the original permit [8 CCR 11753(b)].

(8 CCR 11753(b)).


  • Obtain the “Application for Permission to Work in the Entertainment Industry” from any Division of Labor Standards Enforcement office or online (See list of Division of Labor Standards Enforcement offices at the end of this digest).
  • The minor’s parent or legal guardian must complete all of the requested information on the application, and print and sign her or his name.
  • If the minor is of school age (first grade and above), an authorized school official (i.e., principal, vice principal, dean, headmistress, headmaster, counselor or the minor’s teacher) must complete the “School Record” portion of the application, sign his or her name and print his or her title or position, and affix the school’s seal or stamp. (See “School Age Children” section below for more details).
  • If the minor is not of school age (15 days through kindergarten) the minor’s parent or legal guardian must provide one of the following:
    • A certified copy of the minor’s birth certificate;
    • The minor’s baptismal certificate;
    • A letter on the hospital’s letterhead from the hospital where the minor was born attesting to the birth of the minor; or
    • The minor’s passport.
    • The completed application with original signatures and the school’s seal or stamp affixed thereto must either be mailed or presented in person to any Division of Labor Standards Enforcement office for issuance of the minor’s entertainment work permit. Faxed copies cannot be accepted.

    * No infant under the age of one month may be employed on any motion picture set or location unless a licensed physician who is board-certified in pediatrics provides written certification that the infant is at least 15 days old and, in his or her medical opinion, the infant was carried to full term, was of normal birth weight, is physically capable of handling the stress of filmmaking, and the infant’s lungs, eyes, heart and immune system are sufficiently developed to withstand the potential risks [LC1308.8(a)].

    Source:  California State Department of Industrial Relations