As Hollywood Moms, we’ve all been there (some of us more than once) – the last minute dash in 405 and 101 rush-hour traffic to (hopefully) make it to the Entertainment Work Permit Office in Van Nuys before they close. As government institutions go, I must give the Work Permit office it’s due props as one of the most polite, well-run government offices I’ve encountered. I’ve never had to wait more than 15 minutes and the staff is very friendly and proficient. However, the California Department of Industrial Relations just announced something I think we can all revel in – they will now allow child performers to apply for work permits online! No more wasted time! No more wasted gas money! No more scrounging through the bottom of my purse for quarters to feed the meter! And seriously – no more excuses about not having a valid and up to date work permit at all times.
The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) Entertainment Work Permit site was launched on April 4, 2012, to provide a more convenient alternative to applying for an entertainment work permit in person or by mail, which were previously the only options. While the new system is only for first-time users as of now, let’s hope that this is taking us one step closer to a time when permit renewals are available online.
*Please note that parents who have previously applied for or currently have a valid permit for their kidlets are advised to wait until the new web page is fully functional before they attempt to renew permits online. The DLSE will be sending the permit numbers and link IDs, which are required to log in to the new system, to existing permit-holders via snail mail about 30 days before their permit expires.
So who needs an Entertainment Work Permit? Minors ages 15 days to 18 years old who wish to be employed in the entertainment industry in California must have an entertainment work permit issued by the DLSE. An entertainment work permit is valid for six months, and is renewable every six months, while a minor is under 18 years old. There is no fee for this permit although there was a threat of implementing a $50 charge not too long ago.
Temporary 10-to-15-day child performer permit applications can also be submitted online in California and New York, but New York does not currently allow online applications for its standard 12-month work permits.