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Last reviewed May 2019

Minnesota Issues Resource Guides
Legal Age in Minnesota

This guide is compiled by staff at the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library on a topic of interest to state legislators. It introduces the topic and points to sources for further research. It is not intended to be exhaustive.

Getting Started on Legal Age Research

Selected Age Provisions Relating to Youth

The following citations are from the Minnesota Statutes unless otherwise noted.

Adult Prosecution (Juvenile Transfer to Criminal Court)

Body Piercing

Cigarettes (Including Electronic Cigarettes)


Drinking Age




Candidates for public office


Emancipation of a Minor

  • Background: Emancipation means that a minor has the same legal rights and obligations as an 18-year-old adult. The Minnesota Statutes do not provide either the grounds or a procedure for emancipation. Minnesota case law has established that a minor can be emancipated by a legal marriage or by parental consent. For additional information see, Youth and the Law: A Guide for Legislators, p. 54-55.



Fishing and Hunting




Health Care

  • Consent for self when living apart from parents and managing financial affairs: 144.341
  • Marriage or giving birth, consent for health service for self or child: 144.342
  • Pregnancy, venereal disease, alcohol or drug abuse, abortion: 144.343
  • Emergency treatment: 144.344
  • Additional information: Minors' Consent for Health Care -- Minnesota House Research Department


Motor Vehicles (Licenses, Operation, & Registration)

On-Road & Farm Vehicles

  • Auto insurance for minors: 65B.136
  • Drivers license: 171.04
  • Provisional license: 171.055
  • Instructional permit: 171.05
  • Ownership, registration by person under age 18: 168.101
  • Motorcycle, motor scooter, motor bike, motorized bicycle: 169.974; 169.223
  • Seat belts: 169.685 (passenger restraint system for children); 169.686 (seat belt requirements)
  • Restricted license for farm work: 171.041

Off-Road & Recreational

Additional information on Minnesota motor vehicle laws

Sexual Conduct (Criminal)

Tanning Beds

  • Tanning facility restrictions: 325H.085

Tattoos (Body Art)

Tobacco Products

  • Age limitations: 609.685
  • As of mid-May 2019, 29 Minnesota communities have raised the legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21. Cities include: Albert Lea, Arden Hills, Bemidji, Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Duluth, Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Falcon Heights, Hermantown, Lauderdale, Mendota Heights, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, North Mankato, North Oaks, Plymouth, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Roseville, Shoreview, St. Louis Park, St. Peter, Waseca.  (For more information, see: City ordinances)
  • Four counties: Beltrami, Isanti, Otter Tail, and Pope have also raised the legal age for purchasing tobacco from 18 to 21.
  • Seven Minnesota cities restrict the sale of all flavored tobacco products to adult-only tobacco stores: Duluth, Falcon Heights, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Shoreview, Saint Louis Park, and Robbinsdale.
  • Three other cities, Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Duluth, have restricted menthol.
  • Additional information: Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes -- Minnesota House Research Department

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