How do you get your parents' approval

Depending on the age

The older you get, the more rights, but also responsibilities and duties you have. Between the ages of seven and 18 you have only limited legal capacity. You need the consent of your parents to open an account, as well as to take out subscriptions. Sales contracts are only valid if you can deny them with your pocket money.

If you are 14 or 15 years old:

  • You have the right to choose your religion freely.
  • For you, the criminal responsibility begins after juvenile criminal law.
  • From the age of 15 you can drive a moped with a moped test certificate.
  • If the film is approved for your age, you can go to the cinema alone until 10 p.m. Age ratings also apply to videos and PC games.
  • If you want to go out, you still need your parents or another legal guardian over the age of 18 to accompany you. You are only allowed to go to the pub if you want to have a quick meal or drink. The disco is also taboo. An exception is the party in the youth center or in the sports club. Here you can celebrate alone under 14 years of age until 10 p.m. and under 16 years of age until midnight.
  • You may not buy beer, wine and sparkling wine yet, but you can drink it in the presence of your parents. Smoking in public is prohibited just like buying cigarettes.

If you are 16 or 17 years old:

  • Now you are under oath, i.e. a judge can ask you to swear that you will tell the truth as a witness in court.
  • You have an identity card. Every German over the age of 16 is obliged to do so, unless you have a valid passport. You will not receive your identity card automatically, you have to apply for it personally at the registration office. You are not obliged to always carry your identity card with you, but you must be able to show it to an authority or the police upon request.
  • If the film is approved for your age, you can now go to the cinema alone until midnight. Age ratings also still apply to videos and PC games.
  • Now you can go to the disco or pub alone until midnight.
  • You can buy beer, wine, and champagne. Hard liquor and alcopops are still forbidden, as is smoking in public.
  • From the age of 17 you can get the "driver's license at 17", which is officially called "accompanied driving". You are only allowed to drive up to your 18th birthday if you are accompanied by a person who is at least 30, whose name is entered on the test certificate and who has had his or her driver's license for at least 5 years. However, this driving license is not valid abroad. At 18 you can then apply for a full driver's license.

From the age of 18, all the rights and obligations of an adult apply to you: 

  • The full legal capacity. You can now make all sales and contracts yourself. However, you are also responsible for the consequences and any debts.
  • You are fully capable of tort and litigation. Between the ages of 18 and 21, the judge will decide whether you will still be treated as a teenager or as an adult. From the 21st birthday, the general criminal law for adults applies without restriction.
  • You can get the driver's license for the car.
  • You are free to choose who you want to marry.
  • There are no longer any limits due to the Youth Protection Act or Youth Labor Protection Act. You can smoke in public, buy cigarettes. There are no longer any restrictions on alcohol, going out, watching movies or playing PC games.
  • You can vote.