Under age 18? Know your rights. | Protecteur du Citoyen
January 20, 2016

Under age 18? Know your rights.



  • Teenagers.As of age 14, young people can see a health professional and consent to the care required by their health condition on their own.
  • However, if they have to be hospitalized for more than 12 hours, the institution must inform their parent or legal tutor.
  • The parents of a young person age 14 and over cannot access their child’s medical file without the child’s consent and the institution considers that access would be harmful to the minor’s health.


  • Employers cannot force a young person under age 16 to work during school hours.
  • In addition, employers cannot force them to work between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., with a few exceptions: newspaper delivery or a job at a summer camp with lodging on site.
  • A student who has a temporary or part-time job and who has an industrial accident is entitled to income replacement indemnities.
  • Full-time students whose main activity is school attendance do not qualify for employment insurance benefits even if they have a flexible schedule.


  • Young man.Minors who are arrested or detained must be informed of their right to an attorney by the arresting officer. The minor must then be given the opportunity to confer with an attorney without the officers being present.
  • At the time of the arrest or detention of minors, police officers must advise them that they have the right to remain silent. However, minors must provide their name, address and date of birth.
  • Attorneys are bound by solicitor-client privilege and cannot disclose anything that their young clients reveal in confidence.


  • All young people must attend school until the last day of the school year in which they reach 16 years of age.
  • School lockers are considered private, even if they are the property of the school. However, if school authorities have serious reason to believe that the student has broken a school rule, they can search the locker, even without a warrant.

Road safety

  • Driving a car.Under certain conditions, as of age 14, young people can have a licence for a moped or motorized scooter (vehicle having two or three wheels and a maximum speed of 70 km/h, equipped with an electric motor or a motor having a cylinder capacity of not more than 50 cc). The parent’s or legal tutor’s signature is required.
  • As of age 16, under certain conditions, young people are eligible for a learner’s licence. The parent’s or legal tutor’s signature is required.
  • A holder of either of these licences must not accumulate more than four demerit points. If they exceed this limit, their licence is revoked for a minimum of three months.


  • Minors who default on payments which they have agreed to make (e.g. credit cards) are liable for the debt.
  • Under certain conditions, the law protects minors who have signed a contract. This is the case when the young person’s financial obligation is disproportionate to the good or service to be received (e.g. a young person has to pay $1,000 for a car worth one quarter of that amount).


Whatever your age, the Québec Ombudsman can help you if you have problems concerning the quality of the services offered by the Government of Québec. Contact us.