GED Requirements for Underage Students by State

GED and HiSET age requirements may vary slightly by state.

In most states, the exams are open to students 18 years old and older. If you are an underage student (usually 16 and 17 years old) and want to take the GED® or HiSET® test, you must comply with additional requirements.

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This article shows you these requirements. Remember that rules might change, so it’s a good idea to confirm them with the test providers: GED.com or hiset.org. Here at Onsego, we would be happy to help you get prepared for your tests. We invite you to check our online GED prep classes.

All states require that:

  • You cannot already hold a high school or equivalent diploma.
  • You cannot be signed up for any other education program.

Additional requirements: 

State Minimum Age Residency required?
Alabama 16 Yes, underage GED testers must be Alabama residents and meet more conditions. The residency requirement doesn’t apply to applicants 18 and over. Learn more here.
Alaska 16 No, in Alaska, there is no residence requirement. Underage testers (those 16 or 17 years of age) may only be eligible for GED testing if they meet strict conditions. Learn more here.
Arizona 16 No, in Arizona, there is no residency requirement. Test-taker 16 or 17 years old only qualify for GED testing if they meet additional strict conditions. Learn more here.
Arkansas 16 Yes, Arkansas requires state residency. Candidates 16 or 17 years of age are required to meet pretty strict additional conditions. Learn more here.
California 17 Yes, GED testers must be California residents or members of the Armed Forces. California has strict and complex rules for underage testers. Learn more here.
Colorado 16 No, there is no residency requirement in Colorado. 16-year-olds must, however, apply for an Age Waiver and have approval from GED Testing Service. Learn more here.
Connecticut 17 Yes, GED test-takers must be Connecticut residents. Testers 17 and 18 years old must submit additional information. Learn more here.
Delaware 16 Yes, in Delaware, the GED test is only open to state residents. 16 and 17-year-old test-takers must meet additional requirements. Learn more here.
District of Columbia 16 Yes, GED test-takers must be D.C. residents as the District subsidizes GED testing considerably. GED testers 16 and 17 years old must meet additional requirements. Learn more here.
Florida 16 No, there is no state residency requirement in Florida. Testers 16 and 17 years of age must provide additional documentation and obtain an age waiver. Learn more here.
Georgia 16 No, there is no Georgia residency requirement, but underage testers (16-17 years of age) must attend a state-approved adult education program and meet more requirements. Learn more here. 
Hawaii 16 No, there is no Hawaii residency requirement. 16 and 17-year-olds only qualify if they meet strict additional requirements. Learn more here.
Idaho 16 No, Idaho has no state residency requirements for GED test-takers. Applicants 16 and 17 years old must meet additional, strict conditions. Learn more here.
Illinois 17 Yes, Illinois requires GED testers to be state residents. 17-year-olds must meet strict criteria, and 16-year-olds may only take the test if they are enrolled in a Regional Safe Schools Program, an Alternative Learning Opportunities Program, or the Lincoln’s Challenge Academy. Learn more here.
Indiana (HiSET) 16 Yes, the HiSET exam is open to Indiana residents only. Candidates 16 and 17 years old, however, must meet additional requirements. Learn more here.
Iowa (HiSET) 16 No, Iowa residency is not required. HiSET candidates 16 or 17 years of age only qualify if they meet strict requirements. Learn more here.
Kansas 16 No, GED testers don’t need to be Kansas residents. GED candidates 16 and 17 years old qualify only if they meet additional requirements. Learn more here.
Kentucky 18 Yes, GED test-takers must be Kentucky residents. 18-year-olds must meet additional requirements, also for taking the GED test online. Learn more here.
Louisiana (HiSET) 16 No, there is no Louisiana residency requirement, but candidates 16-18 years old must take the HiSET Official Practice Test (OPT) to qualify and be approved by a WorkReady U literacy provider and meet more requirements. Learn more here.
Maine (HiSET) 17 No, Maine residency is not required. Non-residents can also write the HiSET exam in Maine, but the exam is only free for state residents. Learn more about HiSET testing in Maine here.
Maryland 16 Yes, in Maryland, the GED test is open to state residents only. Candidates 16, 17, and 18 years of age are required, however, to meet strict criteria. Learn more here.
Massachusetts 16 Yes, GED candidates must have a valid Massachusetts address. Testers 16 or 17 years of age need to meet strict additional requirements. Learn more here.
Michigan 16 No, there is no Michigan state residency requirement. Like in most states, underage candidates, 16 or 17, need to meet additional, strict criteria. Learn more here.
Minnesota 17 No, there is no Minnesota residency requirement. GED applicants 17 and 18 years old are required to meet additional criteria. Learn more here.
Mississippi 16 No, Mississippi doesn’t require GED testers to be state residents. Underage candidates 16 and 17 years of age must, however, comply with additional requirements. Learn more here.
Missouri (HiSET) 16 Yes, Missouri residency is required. HiSET candidates must be withdrawn from school, and 16-year-olds qualify only if they have completed 16 or more units toward high school graduation. Learn more here.
Montana (HiSET) 16 Yes, in Montana, state residency is required for HiSET candidates. Test-takers 16 and 17 years old must comply with additional strict criteria. Learn more here. 
Nebraska 16 No, Nebraska has no state residency requirement, but to earn the GED diploma, applicants must have resided in the state for at least 30 days. 16 and 17-year-olds must meet additional requirements. Learn more here.
Nevada 16 Yes, In Nevada, the GED exam is open to state residents only. Candidates 16 or 17 years old only qualify if they meet additional requirements. Learn more here. In Nevada, online GED testing is only available to candidates at least 18 years old.
New Hampshire (HiSET) 18 Yes, HiSET testing is available for New Hampshire residents of at least 18 only, though, in exceptional situations, underage candidates may qualify as well. Online HiSET testing is not open to any candidate under the age of 18. Learn more here.
New Jersey 16 Yes, to qualify for the GED or HiSET exam, applicants must be New Jersey residents. Underage candidates (16 or 17 years of age) are required to meet additional requirements. Learn more here.
New Mexico 16 No, New Mexico has no state residency requirement. Underage GED test-takers are required, however, to meet additional, strict criteria. Learn more here.
New York 16 Yes, New York State offers the GED exam for free but only to state residents. Test-takers 16, 17, and 18 years of age must obtain approval to write the GED test and complete an Age Eligibility Form. Learn more here.
North Carolina 16 No, North Carolina doesn’t have a state residency requirement, but to earn the state’s GED diploma, testers must pass their last GED subtest in the state. Underage candidates (16-17 years old) must meet additional requirements. Learn more here.
North Dakota 16 No, there is no North Dakota residency requirement. In North Dakota, the GED test is open to all test-takers 16 years old or older. To take the GED exam online, a parent or guardian must authorize an underage tester to be recorded during the exam. Learn more here.
Ohio 16 Yes, Ohio residency is required. Test-takers 16 and 17 years old If you are 16 or 17 years old must be officially withdrawn from school, as is required in all states for GED candidates. Learn more here.
Oklahoma 16 No, Oklahoma residency is not required. GED candidates 16 and 17 years old must meet additional criteria. To take the GED test online in Oklahoma, candidates must be at least 18 years old. Learn more here.
Oregon 16 No, in Oregon, there is no state residency requirement. However, candidates 16 or 17 years old need to comply with some additional requirements. Underage students who want to take the exam online must be authorized by a parent or guardian to do so. Learn more here.
Pennsylvania 16 Yes, Pennsylvania residency is required. Underage test-takers (16 and 17 years old) must hold an age waiver from Pennsylvania’s Department of Education. In Pennsylvania, the minimum age for online GED testing is 18 years old, and candidates must be authorized to do so by a parent or guardian. Learn more here.
Rhode Island 16 Yes, Rhode Island residency is required. GED applicants 16 or 17 years old can take the GED exam if they provide an Alternative Learning Plan. Underage online GED testers must be authorized by a parent or legal guardian to do so. Learn more here.
South Carolina 16 Yes, the GED exam is open to South Carolina residents only. 17 and 18-year-old candidates may qualify if they hold an SC Verification of School Withdrawal form and meet some additional requirements. 16-year-olds may also take the exam if they are under a court order or the jurisdiction of the state’s DJJ. Learn more here.
South Dakota 16 No, in South Dakota, there is no state residency requirement. Candidates 16 and 17 years old must meet some strict requirements, and to take the test online, a parent or guardian needs to be present upon check-in to authorize an underage test-taker to be recorded during the exam. Learn more here.
Tennessee (HiSET) 17 No, there is no Tennessee residency requirement. HiSET candidates 17 years old must hold an age waiver signed by their last school’s principal. Upon taking the HiSET exam, proper identification is, just like in all states, required. Learn more here.
Texas 16 Yes, in Texas, state residency is required. Underage GED testers (16 or 17 years of age) need to meet some strict additional criteria. When an underage candidate wants to sit for the online GED exam, a parent or legal guardian must give consent and authorize the candidate to be recorded. Learn more here.
Utah 16 No, there is no state residency requirement in Utah to take the GED exam. Candidates 16 and 17 years of age need to meet some rather strict additional criteria. Underage testers can take the online GED exam in Utah, but a parent or guardian must approve that the student is recorded during the test. Learn more here.
Vermont 16 Yes, In Vermont, only residents can choose Vermont as their jurisdiction. Candidates 16 or 17 must hold written and signed consent from a parent or legal guardian. To qualify for online GED testing, underage applicants must be authorized by a parent or guardian to be recorded. Learn more here.
Virginia 16 No, Virginia doesn’t require GED testers to be state residents. Underage test-takers (those 16 or 17 years of age) are required to meet some pretty strict additional requirements. If they want to take the online GED test, a parent or guardian must give permission that the candidate will be recorded during the exam. Learn more here.
Washington 16 Yes, state residency is required in Washington State. 16, 17, and 18-year-olds may also qualify if they meet strict additional requirements such as not being enrolled in a high school program. Exceptions to this rule are military personnel, incarcerated candidates, and those in the state’s Options Program (Open Doors). Underage online testers must be authorized by a parent or guardian to be recorded. Learn more here.
West Virginia (HiSET) 16 Yes, state residency is required to take the HiSET exam for free in West Virginia, but the exam is also open to non-residents. 16, 17, and 18-year-olds may also be eligible to take the HiSET in West Virginia if they meet specific conditions and attain sufficient results on the HiSET OPT (Official Practice Test). Learn more here.
Wisconsin 17 Yes, GED candidates must have been Wisconsin residents for at least 10 days. Applicants must be 18.5 years of age, but 17-year-olds may also qualify if they hold an s.118.15 form from their local high school, a correctional facility, or Wisconsin’s Challenge Academy. Learn more here.
Wyoming 16 No, state residency is not required in Wyoming. Candidates 16 or 17 years old may qualify only if they meet strict conditions and hold an age waiver. Underage testers must spend at least 12 hours at a Wyoming Adult Basic Education (ABE) center to be able to apply for an Age Waiver. Learn more here.