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New Jersey Legal Ages Laws

State laws dictate what age individuals must be to get married, enter contracts, take out student loans, or make other legal decisions. Those under the "age of majority," or minors, are considered incapable of making such decisions in the eyes of the law.

The state of New Jersey recognizes the age of majority as age 18. When a minor reaches age 18, they are considered an adult thereafter. State laws also govern a minor's ability to become emancipated from their parents or legal guardians, give consent for medical treatment, purchase and consume alcohol, and other legal matters.

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

New Jersey Legal Age Statutes: At a Glance

Learn more about New Jersey's legal age laws below. See Emancipation of Minors and Parental Liability Basics for related information.

Age of Majority

18 (N.J. Rev. Stat. § 9:17B-3)

Eligibility for Emancipation


Contracts by Minors

  • A married minor, who is at least 17 years old, may contract for the sale of real property (N.J. Rev. Stat. § 37:2-30)
  • A minor who is at least 15 years old may contract for insurance (N.J. Rev. Stat. § 17B:24-2)
  • Minors may take out student loans (N.J. Rev. Stat. § 9:17A-2)

Minors' Ability to Sue

If a minor is entitled to commence an action, they must wait until they reach the age of majority to commence the action; however, actions accrued for medical malpractice for injuries sustained at birth shall be commenced prior to the minor's 13th birthday (N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2A:14-21)

Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment

Minors may consent to medical care or treatment for sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, sexual assault, substance use disorder involving drugs, alcohol use disorder, or behavioral health care services (N.J. Rev. Stat. § 9:17A-4)

Legal Age for Alcohol and Tobacco/E-cigarette Purchase and/or Consumption

21 (N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2C:33-15)

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.

Research the Law

New Jersey Legal Ages Laws: Related Resources

Next Step: Speak with a Skilled Lawyer

The legal age laws explain the role of minors when it comes to legal matters. If you're a minor with concerns about your ability to sue or enter into contracts, then you should talk to a family law attorney in New Jersey who can help you with these and other related issues.

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