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According to the Connecticut General Statutes Section 1-1d, "Except as otherwise provided by statute, on and after October 1, 1972, the terms "minor", "infant" and "infancy" shall be deemed to refer to a person under the age of eighteen years and any person eighteen years of age or over shall be an adult for all purposes whatsoever and have the same legal capacity, rights, powers, privileges, duties, liabilities and responsibilities as persons heretofore had at twenty-one years of age, and "age of majority" shall be deemed to be eighteen years. "In simple terms, this means that once a person reaches age 18, he/she is an adult and has all the rights of an adult, unless the legislature makes a law creating an exception for certain privileges. Some areas of exception are, driving a car, drinking, voting, marriage, and leaving high school.

  • Driving: The minimum age for obtaining a driver’s license is 16, but people under the age of 18 must obtain a Learner's Permit and hold it for 180 days (120 days if completing a commercial or secondary driver training course) prior to being able to test for a driver's license. Effective August 1, 2008, 16 and 17 year olds must pass a 25 question knowledge test before they can obtain a learner's permit.
  • Drinking: As of September 1, 1985, the age of majority for purchasing alcoholic beverages was set at 21 years.
  • Voting: Minimum age to vote is 18.
  • Marriage: The age of majority for getting a marriage license is 18, but people age 16 or 17 can get a marriage license with the written consent of a parent or legal guardian. People under age 16 can only get a marriage license with an order from a probate court judge granting permission to marry.
  • Leaving high school: Beginning in the 2001-02 school year, students will have to stay in school until they turn age 18, unless they graduate or their parents agree to their leaving sooner. If a student wants to drop out, his or her parent or guardian will have to go to the school district office for an explanation of the educational options available in the school system and the community. The student cannot legally withdraw until the parent signs an agreement. Students whose parents do not agree will be subject to truancy laws if they have four unexcused absences in a month or 10 in a school year.

For more information on minors rights, see the Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries webpage on "Connecticut Law About Rights of Minors".


SOURCES: Connecticut General Statutes §1-1d; Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles: Learner’s Permit (for 16 and 17 year olds)