Age of Majority

Age of Majority and Emancipation

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In Alaska, the age of majority is 18.  This means that an 18 year old is considered an adult for most legal purposes.  An important exception is that an 18 year old does not have the right to possess and consume alcohol, which is legal only for those who have reached the age of 21.  Another exception is that persons under the age of 19 are not legally allowed to buy or use tobacco.

Minor is a legal word used to mean a person who has not yet turned 18.  Some of the things a minor is not allowed to do are:

  • Vote
  • Join the military
  • Sign contracts
  • Buy or sell real estate
  • Sign a lease to rent a house
  • Serve on a jury
  • Buy and use tobacco or alcohol
  • Get a tattoo

A minor needs a parent’s permission to:

  • Get married
  • Go to a doctor or dentist, except in certain circumstances
  • Get a driver’s license
  • Get a body piercing

Emancipation is a process that gives a person who is between the ages of 16 and 18, the legal status of an adult for many purposes.  An emancipated minor is no longer subject to the authority of a parent or guardian, and has the legal right to do certain things—but not drink alcohol or use tobacco– that are otherwise prohibited for a person under the age of 18.  Emancipation also takes away some benefits of being a minor, such as the right to parental support.  A minor may become emancipated by going to court for an order of emancipation, or by getting married.

For more information about emancipation, including rights that are affected, when you may be eligible for emancipation, and the court process to become emancipated, see the Emancipation page under Family Life.