Posted in Law

Rights on becoming 18 years old

Becoming eighteen years of age in the UK means that you are then considered to be an adult… more or less. There are a few rights which have to wait until you are twenty-one, but all the major ones now come into play. At eighteen you can:

  • get married without parental permission
  • join the Armed Forces without parental permission
  • donate your body or organs after death
  • buy, drink and sell alcohol
  • buy crossbows, knives, tobacco, tattoos, fireworks
  • buy or rent property, since you can now enter into legal contracts
  • move up a level on the Minimum Wage scale, to the 18-20 band
  • vote and stand in elections
  • leave education or vocational training
  • fly a commercial aeroplane if qualified
  • watch adult films (rated ’18’)
  • serve on a jury
  • apply for Legal Aid
  • be treated as an adult by the judiciary system

It is one of the major ‘milestone’ birthdays, as it is seen as the passing from childhood to adulthood. Some eighteen-year-olds leave home for the first time, at least temporarily, to go to university for a few years, thereby experiencing some measure of adult independence. Others enter the world of work and learn how to handle income and expenses for themselves.

(Image (cropped): City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College at / CC BY 2.0)