At what age can I?

Start school

  • Age 4

Start second level education

  • Age 12 on 1st of January in the first school year of attendance

Leave school

  • Age 16 or on completion of 3 years post-primary education, whichever is the later

Start working

  • Age 14 – up to 7 hours per day (35 hours per week) during school holidays only
  • Age 15 – up to 8 hours per week during term-time and up to 7 hours per day (35 hours per week) during school holidays
  • Age 16 – up to 8 hours per day (40 hours per week)

Get the national minimum wage

  • Age 14 – 70% of minimum wage
  • Age 18 – 80% of minimum wage
  • Age 19 – 90% if in second year of employment after reaching age 18
  • Age 20 – 100% if in third year of employment after reaching age 18

Become an apprentice

  • Age 16 – SOLAS apprentice
  • Age 18 – Army or Air Corps apprentice

Join the Army or Garda Síochána

  • Age 18 – Army, Air Corps or Naval Service
  • Age 18 – Garda Síochána

Babysit

  • No legal minimum age

Pay tax

  • No minimum age

Drive

  • Age 12 – boat with an engine over 3.75kW (5hp)
  • Age 16 – motorcycle up to 11kW and up to 125cc, moped with a maximum speed of 45kph, work vehicle such as a tractor or JCB, jet ski or motor boat capable of 17 knots or more
  • Age 17 – vehicle with seats for up to 8 passenger and maximum weight of 3,500kg
  • Age 18 – motorcycle up to 35kW, goods vehicle up to 7,500kg
  • Age 21 – goods vehicle, bus with accommodation for up to 16 passengers

Get a passport

  • Age 0 – three-year passport
  • Age 3 – five-year passport
  • Age 18 – ten-year passport

Book a holiday or flight

  • Age 18

Apply for a National Age Card

  • Age 18

Buy alcohol

  • Age 18 – if under 18 you must be accompanied by a parent in an off-licence. You may only remain on a licensed premises up to 9pm (10pm from May-September) if accompanied by a parent. If aged between 15-17 years you may remain on the premises after 9pm when attending a private function at which a substantial meal is being served.

Drink alcohol

  • Age 18 – if you are under 18 you can drink alcohol in a private residence, providing you have parental consent

Buy cigarettes

  • Age 18

Gamble

  • Age 16 – engage in gaming at an amusement hall or funfair
  • Age 18 – enter a bookies, buy a lotto ticket

Own a dog

  • Age 16 – you must have a dog licence to keep a dog. No minimum age to keep other pets as no licence is required

Consent to medical treatment

  • Age 16

Give blood

  • Age 18

Get a body piercing or tattoo

  • No legal minimum age

Get teeth whitened

  • Age 18

Use a sunbed

  • Age 18

Consent to sexual intercourse

  • Age 17

Get a gender recognition certificate

  • Age 16 – with a Court Exemption Order
  • Age 18 – without a Court Exemption Order

Get married

  • Age 18 – unless you have a Court Exemption Order

Leave home

  • Age 16 – with parental consent
  • Age 18 – without parental consent

Be charged with a criminal offence

  • Age 10 – for murder, manslaughter, rape and aggravated sexual assault
  • Age 12 – for other criminal offences

Register to vote

  • Age 18 – for all elections and referenda

Stand for elections

  • Age 18 – local elections
  • Age 21 – national and European elections
  • Age 35 – presidential elections

Sit on a jury in court

  • Age 18

Enter a legally binding contract

  • Age 18 – except for certain contracts, such as for necessities like food or for apprenticeships

Make a will

  • Age 18

Change my name by Deed Poll

  • Age 14 – with parental consent
  • Age 18 – without parental consent

Get a Social Welfare payment in my own name

  • Age 16 – Disability Allowance
  • Age 18 – Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Illness Benefit
Page edited: 9 August 2017