What's the big deal with turning 18?

When you reach age 18, you get most of the legal rights and responsibilities of an adult in Minnesota.

You get to make legal decisions about such things as:

  • Voting
  • Where to live
  • School
  • Marriage
  • Making a will
  • Getting a loan
  • Signing a contract

However, here are some exceptions:

  • You can’t buy or have alcohol until age 21.
  • You can’t rent a car until age 25.
  • You can’t buy tobacco products until age 21 in some counties.

Can I rent an apartment before turning 18?

Minors can’t legally enter a contract.

  • Even if your parent/guardian lets you live on your own before you turn 18, you can’t legally enter into a contract like a lease or rental agreement. Youth have the same problem with getting services like electricity, water, phone, internet, or cable.
  • If minors sign a contract, they can’t be forced to follow the terms. For this reason, most companies will not make contracts with youth.

To live in an apartment without their parents, youth under the age of 18 would need to find an adult to co-sign any contract.
This means the adult agrees to be responsible if the youth doesn’t pay rent or service fees, damages the apartment, or doesn’t return equipment.

Only emancipated youth can sign contracts like an adult.

Emancipation is when a minor has the legal rights and responsibilities of an adult. When a minor is emancipated, their parents do not have control of their child and are not required to provide support. 


Disclaimer: This document is intended to be informational. It is not legal advice concerning your specific situation. Please see a lawyer if you need advice about a specific situation.