Below you will find a list of life events that are governed in some
way by US laws, including some obscure events that are not necessarily
mandated, but are interesting (and common). As far as I know, the
years are correct. I searched every possible word and phrase I could
think of, check out my search strategy on the bottom!
Human Life Events by Age, United States:
Birth - you may apply for SSN
5 Kindergarden, enter public (or private) school
8 Age of reason - legal age to know right from wrong/lie vs.truth in court of law
12 Most airlines allow child to travel alone
13 May apply for emancipation in most states
13-18 May Marry with consent (some special circumstances can apply)
13 May view PG-rated films
14 Child Work Permit
14 May Set-up IRA
14-18 varies by state --Abortion w/o consent
14-18 varies by state --Body modification with parental consent
13-18 varies by state and sexual orientation --Age of consent, sexual
13-18 City curfews enforced, varies by city, some have none, some are strict
15 May get Learners Permit to Drive
15.5 May Drive with adult in vehicle
16 Driver's License
16 Work as adult, with limits if in school
17 May view R-rated films
17 May Join Military with consent
18 May travel outside the US without
18 May rent hotel/motel room
18 May apply for credit card
18 May open checking account
18 May take out a loan or mortgage
18 May sign a legal contract
18 May give own consent for medical procedure
18 Body modification without consent
18 Join Military without consent (or be drafted if applicable)
18 May hold public office
18 May Vote
18 May Marry
18 May View and Buy Porn
18 May Buy and Smoke cigarettes
18 May purchase Lottery tickets
18 Graduate High School, usually
18 May own Real Property
18 May Drink Liquor (Military)
18-21 varies by state - Take possession of "Uniform Gift to Minors"
18 Work in a liquor serving establishment, with restrictions
18 varies by state --Purchase long knife, prior to this there are restrictions
18 Earns right to trial by jury!
18 Right to have legal representation of choice, without parental consent
19 Parents lose IRS deduction, unless FT student -then age 24
21 May Drink liquor
21 May Enter Gambling establishment, Gamble
21 May Purchase firearm
21-25 depends on rental company --you may rent a car
24 Maximum age to begin filing IRS if never before, --even if student
25 Mens insurance rates go down (not a "right" but it happens)
25 You can enter the Red Rooster (don't ask)
35 Minimum age to run for President of the United States
35 Women may wear red lipstick (my Mom said so, and I waited)
36 Too late to join military, subject to change soon
50 Senior Discounts if member of AARP
59.5 Federal tax law allows withdrawals from pension and IRA accounts
without imposing the annoying 10% penalty tax.
62 First opportunity to get SS distribution, discounted
65 All senior discounts
65 100% of SS distributed, if you waited
70.5 deadline for starting a minimum distribution from all tax
qualified retirement plans
Child Entertainment Work Laws
This is an area of complex law, I did not include any dates from this
Financial Birthday Milestones
..."The important financial birthdays: Day 1, Age 14, Age 18, Age 19,
Age 50, Age 59 1/2, Age 62, Age 65, and Age 70 1/2. Nine birthdays in
all that require some thought and advance financial planning..."
Age of Consent
State Marriage Statutes
Pentagon wants to raise age limit for recruits
Declaration of Principles
Marking Coming-of-Age Milestones Is An American Family Tradition
There are some additional religious and ethnic milestones here that I
did not include above.
I hope this satisfies your curiousity!
If I have omitted anything glaring, or if you would like me to search
for something in particular that I have not mentioned, please don't
hesitate to ask for a clarification...
Search terms used at Google in the reverse order searched, copied
directly from Google's Search History:
"minimum age" "blue laws", "maximum age" "age restriction" , "age
restriction" "united states" foreign travel, US Military "age limit",
American "age restrictions", "must be * years old to *", "must be * to
*", "must be * to rent a car", american "birthday milestones" ,
"american birthday milestones" , "american birthday milestones"
timeline, "* birthday milestones" timeline, "* birthday milestones",
birthday milestones, "drive at 16" "smoke at 18" "drink at 21",
"timeline of human milestones", "timeline of a human lifetime" ,
"milestones in a human lifetime" , "milestones in a human lifetime"
timeline, Human Lifetime Timeline Milestones, Human Timeline
Milestones, "Human Timeline" events, "Human events" , "Human events by
age" , "Human events by age" , milestone event , "Human Milestones"
age event , "Human Milestones" age event 18 21 65, "Human Milestones"
age event, "Human Milestones"
~~Note, I know some of these milestones from personal experience and I
did not search for those.