The Basics

What are some of the rights that I have at age 18 that I didn’t have before?

  • You have the right to vote in national, state, and local elections.
  • You have the right to live independently from your parents and be free of their control.
  • You have the right to marry without your parents’ permission.
  • You have the right to enter into a contract.
  • You have the right to make a will.
  • You have the right to run for some elective offices.
  • You have the right to obtain medical treatment without the consent of your parents.
  • You have the right to apply for credit in your own name.
  • You have the right to work in all types of jobs.
  • You may enter military service without your parents’ permission.

What are some of the new responsibilities that I have when I become 18?

  • Your parents are no longer required to support you.
  • You are responsible for all your actions. If you violate the law, you will be tried and sentenced as an adult, not as a juvenile.
  • You may sue and be sued by others for contracts that you make.
  • You may be called for jury duty.
  • You can be sued for child support and the medical bills relating to your child’s birth.
  • If you are male, you must make sure you are registered with the Selective Service.

What doesn’t change after I turn 18?

Even though you are generally considered to be an adult at the age of 18, you cannot purchase, possess, or use alcohol, marijuana, or tobacco products. You cannot apply for a concealed weapon permit until you are 21 years old. However, this does not prevent you from having a weapon for legal hunting.

So You’re 18 is presented by the Virginia State Bar’s Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations.
For print copies of So You're 18 contact (804) 775-0521 or [email protected]