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 Utah recognizes the age of majority of 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, and other legal matters.
This article provides a brief overview of Utah's legal age statutes.
Utah Age Statutes: At a Glance
The following table details the primary legal age laws in Utah. See FindLaw's Emancipation of Minors section for additional articles and resources.
|Age of Majority
||18 (U.C.A. § 15-2-1)
|Eligibility for Emancipation
- Married minors or minors who are classified as active duty in the United States Armed Forces are emancipated and considered adults upon marriage (U.C.A. § 80-7)
- If a minor is 16 or 17 years old, they can petition the juvenile court for legal emancipation to be considered an adult; minors who are emancipated may enter contracts, buy and sell property, sue or be sued, retain their own earnings, borrow money for any purpose (including education), and obtain healthcare without parental consent (U.C.A. § 80-7-105)
- Emancipated minors may not be considered an adult under the criminal laws of the state, under the criminal laws of the state when they are the victim, or for specific constitutional and statutory age requirements regarding voting, use of alcoholic beverages, possession of tobacco or firearms, and other health and safety regulations (U.C.A. § 80-7-105)
|Contracts by Minors
- Minors are bound by contracts they make for necessaries, such as food, shelter, clothing, etc. (U.C.A. § 15-2-2)
- No contract can be disaffirmed in cases where, on account of the minor's own misrepresentations as to their majority or from having engaged in business as an adult, the other party has good reason to believe the minor is capable of contracting (U.C.A. § 15-2-3)
- When a contract for the personal services of the minor has been made, and those services are then performed, payment made to the minor in accordance with the contract is a full satisfaction for those services (U.C.A. § 15-2-4)
|Minors' Ability to Sue
||Minors may not bring a cause of action while under the age of 18 or mentally incompetent without a legal guardian (U.C.A. § 78B-2-108)
|Minor's Consent to Medical Treatment
||Minors can consent to sexually transmitted infection (STI or STD) testing and treatment. A minor can consent to immunizations, usually, if married, emancipated, a parent with custody of a minor child, or the minor is pregnant (U.C.A. § 26-10-9)
|Legal Age for Alcohol, Tobacco, or E-cigarette Purchase and/or Consumption
||21 (U.C.A. § 32B-4-409)
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.
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Utah Legal Age Laws: Related Resources
Learn More About Utah Legal Ages Laws by Speaking to a Lawyer
If you're under 18 and are interested in getting legally emancipated, you may need to hire an experienced Utah family law attorney to help draft your emancipation petition and represent you in court. Think it over and consult with a trusted adult because it may be easier and cheaper to just wait until you turn 18.