Theatrical Employment

Can a minor work in a theatrical or modeling job in Washington State?

A young person may be employed as an actor, performer or model in film, video, audio, or theatrical productions in Washington State under certain conditions. These conditions apply if the minor is working in Washington — regardless of where they live.

What the employer needs to do

  1. Complete a Master Business License (MBL) Application with a Minor Work Permit Endorsement for Washington State. (
    If you already have a business license, you must amend it to add a Minor Work Permit Endorsement. You may complete this application online through the Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service. The cost is $15. (
  2. Complete a Parent/School Authorization form, obtain parent signature, and if the child is attending school, a school signature is also required.
  3. Complete a Variance Application for Minors if any of the following apply:
    • The minor is under age 14.
    • The minor will be working during school hours.
    • The minor will be working additional hours beyond the limits allowed for those under age 18. See the chart for Hours of Work.
    Note: A variance will not be granted for the prohibited duties described in the regulations since they are considered to be dangerous for those under age 18. Review the list of Prohibited Duties to make sure you understand these restrictions.

Hours of Work - The hours the youth may work must adhere to those listed in the chart on the "Hours of Work" page.

Prohibited work activities - The minor must not be asked or allowed to perform any of the dangerous occupations or tasks listed on Restricted duties for teen workers.

To process your Variance Application request, submit the following information:

  1. Completed Variance Application form - a single application form may cover all minors involved; attach a separate page if needed with birthdate and age listed for each minor
  2. Signed Parent/School Authorization form for each minor.
  3. Proof of age for each minor (eg., copy of birth certificate, passport, driver's license).
  4. Schedule of production for the minor(s) - scheduled dates and work hours. A sample table is provided for your convenience (18 KB Word doc).


Labor & Industries recommends that the National Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG) guidance be followed for other conditions of work not addressed by Labor & Industries’ child labor regulations”.  Please see Table of Recommended Hours of Work (226 KB PDF) for more information.

L&I can prepare the variance within 24 hours. You may mail your completed paperwork to the Department of Labor & Industries, P.O. Box 44510 Olympia, WA 98501-4510. Or fax it to 360-902-5300 or by emailing For more questions call 1-866-219-7321.

For more information, see the Revised Code of Washington:
Actors or performers — Work permits and variances for minors (RCW 49.12.124).

If you have any questions, please call 360-902-5316 or email

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