So you're 18

Eighteen, The Magic Number

Age of Majority: This is the age when a person is no longer a legal minor and now has full legal responsibility. In Virginia, 18 is the age of majority. 

But what does that even mean? Turning 18 does not come with a set of instructions. That is why the Virginia State Bar and its Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations created this handbook – to help you understand some of your rights and obligations as an adult and to help you avoid some of the pitfalls facing young adults as you take on legal responsibilities. 

So You’re 18 is intended to be an initial resource of information regarding basic law-related references and a good summary of the various legal issues you may encounter. However, if you have more detailed questions about a particular subject or if you need legal advice about a specific case, you should contact an attorney to discuss your specific issues. Remember that the law changes over time. 

The information in So You’re 18 was accurate at the time of publication but may change in the future. The information in So You’re 18 is updated regularly at, and the booklet is published yearly. You can watch the So You’re 18 video, download a copy of the booklet, and order printed booklets at You can also suggest additional topics and questions you want answered in this resource. Help U.S. spread the word about So You’re 18 with #SY18.

American Citizenship
The Basics
Criminal Charges
Drinking and Smoking
Drunk Driving
Health Insurance
Hiring a Lawyer
Jury Duty
Landlords and Tenants
Marriage, Divorce, and Children
Military Service
Persons with Disabilities
Public Assistance
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