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What is the age of majority in Nevada?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jan 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

Eighteen (18). Once a person reaches 18-years-old in Nevada, he/she is the "age of majority" and is considered an adult for all legal purposes. Some of the rights that belong to people who reach the age of majority include:

  • right to serve on a criminal or civil jury
  • right to vote
  • right to get married (learn more about marriage age requirements in Nevada)
  • right to enter into a contract that cannot be voided because of the person's age

Eighteen is also the age that children automatically become legally emancipated from their parents, and they can move through the world like other adults.

Rights that 18-year-olds do not have in Nevada

There are still many rights and privileges that 18-year-olds do not have in Nevada:

  • right to drink (age 21)
  • right to possess and use marijuana in a private residence (age 21)
  • right to gamble (age 21)
  • right to buy a handgun (age 21)
  • right to rent a car (age 21, in most cases)
  • right to run for a Nevada State House or Senate office (age 21)
  • right to run for Nevada governor (age 25)

Marrying under 18 in Nevada

A 16- or 17-year-old can marry in Nevada with a consenting parent or legal guardian present. Alternatively, the child can get the parent or guardian's written permission: This document must be notarized, and it must state:

  • the child's name,
  • the child's birthday,
  • the child's age, and
  • the signer's relationship to the child

Even a child under 16 can get married in Nevada as long as a parent or legal guardian files a request with the court, and the court issues an order authorizing it.

Legal emancipation of a child in Nevada

Children 16- or 17-years old can petition their local court to be emancipated from their parents if either:

  • they are married or
  • they are living apart from their parents or legal guardian

The court will then hold a hearing over whether to grant the petition. Note that the minor has to serve notice on the following parties:

  • his/her parents or legal guardians or nearest know relatives residing in Nevada; and
  • his/her probation or parole officer (if applicable); and
  • the county's district attorney

Filing an emancipation petition is costly: $270. Minors may be able to obtain a waiver, but note that the court is less likely to grant emancipation to children without financial independence.

The emancipation petition must contain specific information, including:

  • the child's name, age, and address;
  • the names and addresses of the child's parents or legal guardians (otherwise, the name and addresses of the nearest known relatives);
  • information regarding the child's education and employment;
  • the length of time that the child has resided separately from the parents or guardians;
  • whether the parents or guardians consent to the child living apart;
  • information regarding the child's finances, including management, and that no earnings are derived from breaking the law; and
  • that the child is going to school or has a legal excuse not to

Ultimately, the court considers various factors when determining whether to emancipate a child, including:

  • whether emancipation is in the best interest of the child;
  • whether emancipation would be with the consent of the parent or guardian;
  • whether the child can fend for him/herself financially;
  • whether the child demonstrates sufficient maturity and knowledge to manage his/her own affairs without the help of parents

However, emancipated minors are still tried for crimes in juvenile court unless they are certified for trial as an adult. Learn more about legal emancipation of a minor in Nevada.


Legal References:

NRS 129.010  Age of majority.  All persons of the age of 18 years who are under no legal disability, and all persons who have been declared emancipated pursuant to NRS 129.080 to 129.140, inclusive, are capable of entering into any contract, and are, to all intents and purposes, held and considered to be of lawful age.

NRs 129.120.

NRS 120.130.

NRS 293.485.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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