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Information and advice for young people in Suffolk

CEOP

At what age can I?


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Did you know that at any age you can ask to see your school or college records or your medical files?

1. From ages 10 - 13

At age 10 - you have full criminal responsibility for your actions and can be convicted of a criminal offence.

At age 12 - if you are getting a new passport, you must sign it rather than your parents or carers.

At age 13 - if you are in care you can be placed in a secure unit of a children's home for up to 72 hours, or longer by court order. This could happen if you have a history of running away, or you are likely to injure yourself or others. 

At age 13  - you can get a 'light-work' part-time job, but there are restrictions. You can only work between 7am and 7pm; on school days you can only work for two hours, but not during the school day; and you can only work for a maximum of 12 hours each week.

There's more information about the rules around young people and part-time employment up to the age of 15 on the Suffolk County Council website

2. At age 16 you can

This is NOT a comprehensive list but a range of things we think you may find useful!

Age of consent (sexual)
The age of consent is the age at which a young person is legally able to understand and agree to consensual sex. However, it is also important to make sure you are ready to have sex.

Armed Forces
You may join the Armed Services at a non-commissioned rank or rating, with parental consent. You cannot leave in the first 28 days. After that, at any time during the first 6 months you can leave on 14 days notice. After sixth months, you must serve four years.

Employment and education

You are now required to stay in some form of learning until you are 18. When you leave school at 16, you will be able to do part-time work, get an apprenticeship or be employed with accredited training. Find out more on our page on Raising the Participation Age.
At 16 there are also some restrictions on the work you can do. For example, you cannot work in a betting shop or in a bar during opening hours.

Transport
You can hold a licence to drive a moped. If you are disabled, you may also hold a licence to drive a car. Find out which vehicles you can drive on the Gov website.

 

Need proof of age? We suggest the CitizenCard.

3. At age 17 you can

This is NOT a comprehensive list but a range of things we think you may find useful!

Armed Forces 
With parental consent, join at officer level:

  • the Royal Air Force at 17 years and 6 months
  • the Army at 17 years and 9 months
  • The Royal Navy at 17. 

Education and training
You are now required to stay in some form of learning until you are 18. At 17, you are able to do part-time work, get an apprenticeship or be employed with accredited training. Find out more on our page on Raising the Participation Age.
At 17 there are also some restrictions on the work you can do. For example, you cannot work in a betting shop or in a bar during opening hours.

Health 
You can donate blood without parental consent.

Legal 
You can be interviewed by the police, given a reprimand or a warning without an appropriate adult being present. If you have been charged with an offence and not granted bail, you will be sent to a remand centre or prison.

Transport 
You can hold a licence to drive a car, small goods vehicle and an agricultural tractor on the road. Find out which vehicles you can drive

Need proof of age? We suggest the CitizenCard.

 

4. At age 18 you can

This is NOT a comprehensive list but an overview of things you may find useful!

Adoption
If you are adopted, you can apply for a copy of your original birth certificate on application to the Registrar General. If you are adopted you can apply to have your name and address put on the Adoption Contact Register.

Alcohol
You can buy and drink alcohol in a bar.

Armed Forces
You can join the Armed Forces.

Education and training
You are required to stay in some form of learning until you are 18. After this you are free to work full-time. 

Legal

  • You can enter a betting shop and place a bet. You can also work in one.
  • You can buy a house, flat, hold a tenancy, apply for a mortgage or buy land.
  • Criminal charges against you will be dealt with in the adult courts.
  • You can serve on a jury.
  • You can make a will.
  • You can get married.
  • You can open a bank or building society account.
  • You can vote in general and local elections.
  • You can be tattooed.
  • You can apply for your own passport.
  • You can buy cigarettes, tobacco and cigarette paper.

Need proof of age? We suggest the CitizenCard.

5. At age 21 you can

This is NOT a comprehensive list but just a few pointers that you may find useful

Adoption
You can adopt a child.

Legal
If you were ‘looked after’ by the local authority between ages of 16 and 18, the local authority continues to be under a duty to advise and ‘befriend’ you, and in exceptional circumstances, to assist you financially up to the age of 24.

Political participation
You can become a Member of Parliament, a local councillor or a local mayor.

Need proof of age? We suggest the CitizenCard.

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