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Alabama Legal Ages Laws

A minor is anyone under the age of majority (18 in most states) and thus not considered an adult. Upon reaching the age of majority, or becoming emancipated from one's parents, an individual is an adult in the eyes of the law. Legally, an adult is an individual subject to all privileges and responsibilities that come with adulthood.

For instance, adults may purchase cigarettes, but they may also be sued in a court of law or drafted into the military. An emancipated minor is one who has been deemed by the court to have the means and maturity to live apart from one's parents or legal guardians and support oneself. Children seeking emancipation also must have a place to live and a legal source of income.

While minors have limited privileges and responsibilities, they still need to access the law every once in a while. State legal age laws address these needs, such as the ability to consent to and access birth control or drug treatment, or to petition the court for emancipation.

This article provides a brief overview of legal age statutes in the state of Alabama.

Alabama Legal Age Laws: At a Glance

Every state has minor laws that dictate the "age of majority," or the age at which a citizen is considered an adult in the eyes of the law. Alabama draws that line at 19 years old, although minors still have certain legal rights and responsibilities. For example, under Alabama law, a 15-year-old can enter into an insurance contract.

Additional provisions of Alabama laws setting legal ages for minors are listed in the table below. You can also visit FindLaw's Family Law section for additional articles and information on this topic.

Age of Majority

19 (Ala. Code § 26-1-1: Age of Majority Designated as 19 Years)

Age of Majority Exceptions Under Ala. Code § 26-1-5, there are certain exceptions to the age of majority:
  • For purposes of contracting educational loans, the age of majority is 17 years old
  • For purposes of contracting with a bank, credit union, or similar savings and loan institution, including obtaining a loan or opening a checking or savings account, a member of any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States shall be deemed to have attained the age of majority

Eligibility for Emancipation

18 (Ala. Code § 26-13-1: Relief of Minor Children for Nonage)

Contracts by Minors

Minors age 15 or older may contract for life, health, accident, and annuity insurance; however, they are not bound by any unperformed agreement to pay a premium (Ala. Code § 27-14-5: Power of Contract)

Minors' Ability to Sue

May sue through a personal representative, next friend, or guardian ad litem; if the minor is age 14 or over, they have 30 days to choose guardian ad litem (ARCP, Rule 17 (c), (d))

Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment

  • 14 (Ala. Code § 22-8-4: When Minor May Give Consent Generally)
  • No individual under the age of 19 can consent to a COVID-19 vaccination without the written consent of a parent or legal guardian (Ala. Code § 22-8-11)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Legal Responsibilities of Minors and Parents

Alabama provides for a legal process, referred to as the “emancipation of a minor," by which a person under the age of 19 can become an adult in the eyes of the law. While the age of majority in Alabama is 19, emancipation can allow an 18-year-old minor to be responsible for their own decisions regarding education and other matters. In medical care cases, minors aged 14 and above may consent to treatment. Generally, juveniles will be treated as such in criminal cases, including age and status offenses, until they turn 19 or are emancipated.

Alabama Legal Ages Laws: Related Resources

Talk to an Attorney About Your Legal Age Questions

Whether you are a minor considering emancipation from your parents or have age-related questions about other legal processes, talking to an attorney is the best way to get the answers you seek.

Get started today by reaching out to an Alabama family law attorney near you.

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