We often get questions like, “can I move out if I’m 17?” In…

Can I Move Out if I'm 17? - Basic Information about Youth Considering Running Away

photo by Ham Hock via flickr

We often get questions like, “can I move out if I’m 17?” In most states 18 is the age of majority. This means that once you reach this age you are now legally recognized as an adult by that state. The age of majority does vary from state to state; in some states it’s 19 or even 21. Although 18 may be the age of majority for most states that does not necessarily mean you have to wait until the age of 18 or the age of majority to move out. In some states, 17 year old’s are allowed to legally move out of the house. The water does get murky in this area because this seems to vary greatly by state and even in some cases by county. The best way to determine if you can legally move out of the house at the age of 17 is to contact your local law enforcement non-emergency hotline.

Remember even if you are allowed to move out of your house legally at the age of 17 doesn’t mean that you are emancipated. In some cases, you may still require an adult or legal guardian to enroll or transfer you to another school.


– Dyanne

Update: In order to provide more information, we have created a blog series on U.S. runaway laws by state. Find your state and the related information below:

Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho

Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona

Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana

West Virginia, Virginia, North & South Carolina, Georgia and Florida

Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania

Nevada, Utah and Colorado



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