30 Things That You Can Do When You Turn 18

SOME Things That You Can Do When You Turn 18

Hey! You are 18 years old or right about, and you are probably wondering what things you can do when you turn 18. In this post, I have taken the liberty to bring to you over 30 things you can do when your turn 18. Do bookmark this page, because even though the title says “30 things”, I will continue to update the post with new items as I encounter or dig them out.

So, what can you do when you turn 18? The answer is almost everything you will be allowed to do as an adult in most states of the US. This is simply because, for most states, 18 years old is considered the age of majority. This means that you become an adult and are treated as one.

I love to tell my kids that in turning 18, you will enjoy all the benefits that are available to adults, excluding one or two things, but that also means that you are held to a higher standard of care, which simply means, you can be held responsible, and even liable for neglect, harm, or other actions that you take.

In this post, we will dive deep in to discover those things you can do when you turn 18. And we will also look at a few activities you may wish to avoid.

Below are 32 Things That You Can Do When You Turn 18, Legally

You Can Change Your Name When You Turn 18

In most of the states in the US, you can legally get your name changed at the age of 18 or the age of majority in your state. In Mississippi, you need to be 21 years old, Alabama and Nebraska, 19, but in States like Indiana, you can be as young as 17, and in New Mexico and Wisconsin 14-year-olds can change their name.

At Age 18, You Can Join the Army

One of the things you can do when you turn 18 is to join the military on your own. You can join the military at the age of 17 with parental consent. But if you turn 18, you do not need parental consent to do so.


You Can Get a Credit Card

At 18, you can sign a credit card contract and get a credit card in your own name, if you can show proof of income. This is very different from getting a debit card, which you can get once you open up a bank account.

Open a Bank Account

You can open up a bank account with a parent or legal guardian when you are 17, this is usually a joint account, where the joint account holder has access to your account, and where you may need them to close the account. Once your turn 18 years old, however, you can open up a bank account for yourself.

You Can Buy and Sell Stocks Online

You will need a brokerage account to buy and sell stocks, and if you are 18, you can get one.

Are you interested in selling stocks? At the age of 18, you can do so on your own. Before you turn 18, you can buy and sell stocks, but only with a custodial account. Even banks like Fidelity that advertise teenage accounts where you can buy and sell stocks and EFTs still need you to have a parent account with the bank.

You Can Book a Hotel Room

While some hotels may allow individuals who are 17 years old or younger to book a hotel room, they cannot enter a binding contract with them. As a result, you must be 18 years old to check into a hotel.

You Can Become a Bartender

Alcohol is a very regulated industry and as a bartender, you will be handling and selling alcohol. In most states in the US, you have to be between the ages of 18 – 21 to become a bartender.

You Can Get a Real Estate License

If you are interested in selling homes, you are going to need a real estate license to do so. Guess what, once you turn 18, you can get a real estate license that allows you to represent people in buying and selling property.

You Can Buy Real Estate

If you are interested in buying property for your own self, you can do so when you turn 18 without needing a parent to sign legal documents for you. You can also buy the property in your own name, as compared to buying in your parent’s name.

Donate Plasma

Now, why would an 18-year-old want to donate plasma? Apart from the fact that plasma helps save lives, people donate plasma because they are well compensated to do so.

If you are 18 years of age, in generally good health, weigh at least 110 pounds, possess a valid ID, and pass other screening examinations, you may qualify to donate plasma.

Here are other ways to make money as a young adult.

Things That You Can Do When You Turn 18

Become an Organ Donor

To make the decision to become an organ donor, you must be 18 years or older. If you are less than 18 years, a parent must make the decision for you.

Register to Vote

You must be 18 years old to register. Some states will allow pre-registration for minors between the ages of 16-17.

Enter a Binding Contract

Once you are 18 years old, the law considers you old enough to enter into a binding contract. Contracts you sign can be enforced against you and if you breach a contract, the

Open a PayPal Account

PayPal is a great account for individuals who want to send or receive money. PayPal easily integrates into websites and other platforms making it possible for you to complete transactions. You can

Open a Roth IRA Account

A Roth IRA account is an individual retirement account where you make contributions of after-tax dollars. While this is an attractive way to start saving for your retirement at an early age, you can open such an account only after you turn 18 years of age. Before 18 you can open this account with a custodian only.

Get Called for Jury Duty

No one looks forward to being selected for this, but getting called for jury duty is one of the things that you can do when you turn 18. Apart from being a citizen of the United States, you must be 18 years of age to be called for Jury Duty.

To Buy Lottery Tickets But Not To Win

You can only buy lottery tickets after you turn 18 years old. You can however get the proceeds of a winning ticket as a minor.

Sue and Be Sued

As an 18-year-old, you are liable for your own crimes and negligent actions. You may also be liable for the actions of those under your care. But on the other hand, you can also sue those that have wronged you in a court of law.


Buy or Adopt a Pet

You have to be 18 years old or the majority age for your state to buy or adopt a pet in the United States.

Place Bets and Gamble

If you want to place bets in Horse races or participate in gambling in the United States, you must be at least 18 years of age. Many states require you to be 21 years old to gamble, but some states allow those that have turned 18.

Get Married

You can get married in most states in the United States at the age of 18. In Nebraska, you must be 19, and in Mississippi, you must be 21.

Go to Clubs

One of the fun things that you can do when you turn 18 is to go to the club!

Get a Piercing

Finally! You can legally get a piercing without anybody’s approval! By anybody, I mean mom or dad. Do your research and make sure that you are using a reputable service for piercings as this is a quick way for young adults to get severe infections.

Buy Fireworks


In most places in the United States, you must be over 18 years of age to buy fireworks. In many states, you can buy fireworks at the age of 16-17, and in Tennessee, you can buy fireworks at the age of 17.

Get a Tattoo

You can get a tattoo without parental consent after your turn 18 years old.

Get a Gym Membership

Gyms have the potential for tons of liability, therefore they must do what they can to protect themselves. As a result, gyms sign contracts with their guests and they will like to be able to enforce these contracts. They cannot do this if you are under the age of 18.

Ride in a Taxi, Uber or Lyft Alone

Teenagers cannot ride on an Uber, Lyft, or Taxi alone if they are under the age of 18. 17-year-olds and younger passengers must be accompanied by an adult.

Give or Withhold Your Consent

At the age of 18, you can give your consent for multiple things such as organ donor, do not resuscitate, and anything else your want to consent to. You can also give or withhold your consent for your hospital or school records to be shared with your parents.

Buy Crypto

You must be at least 18 years old to buy crypto. This is now more thing to look forward to doing when you turn 18.

Get A Fishing License

When you turn 18, you are required to purchase a fishing license in most states in the United States.

Work At Certain Places

Many workplaces may require you to turn 18 years old before they will hire you. This is sometimes due to the potential for liability or the nature of the job.

Work With the CIA

The CIA requires its employees to be at least 18 years of age and also a citizen of the United States among other things.


Purchase a Firearms

According to the Gun Control Act (GCA), you must be 18 years or older to buy a shotgun or rifle. To purchase all other firearms, you must be 21 or older.

Things You Do Not Need to Be 18 Years to Do:

  • Get a Debit Card
  • Work in the United States
  • Get a CashApp Account
  • Watch Rated R Movies

Things You Can Do At 21 Years Old

  • You can vape
  • You can buy cigarettes, tobacco, and tobacco products
  • You can rent a car
  • You can work as a cop
  • You can work for the FBI (23 years old)
  • You can adopt a child

A Few Final Words

There are a number of things that you can do the minute you turn 18, and while the benefits can be fun, do not get caught up in

Christine Udeani, JD
Christine Udeani, JD

Christine is a dedicated mother of six young adults and a teenager who has made significant contributions to the online world through her writing and entrepreneurship. She attended Northwestern University, Strayer University, Thomas M Cooley School of Law, NWCULAW, and holds degrees in business, Law, and Communications. She shares tips and experiences to help young adults and their parents with this generation’s issues.

Find me on: Web | Twitter


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