Age of Majority Act 1972

Reprint 2: The Act as at 22 August 2003

Guide for using this reprint

What the reprint includes

Endnotes, Compilation table, and Table of provisions that have not come into operation

1.Details about the original Act and legislation that has amended its text are shown in the Compilation table in endnote 1, at the back of the reprint. The table also shows any previous reprint.

2.Validation, transitional, savings, or other provisions identified in the Compilation table may be important. The table may refer to another endnote setting out the text of these provisions in full.

3.A table of provisions that have not come into operation, to be found in endnote 1a if it is needed, lists any provisions of the Act being reprinted that have not come into operation and any amendments that have not come into operation. The full text is set out in another endnote that is referred to in the table.

Notes amongst text (italicised and within square brackets)

1.If the reprint includes a section that was inserted, or has been amended, since the Act being reprinted was passed, editorial notes at the foot of the section give some history of how the section came to be as it is. If the section replaced an earlier section, no history of the earlier section is given (the full history of the Act is in the Compilation table).

Notes of this kind may also be at the foot of Schedules or headings.

2.The other kind of editorial note shows something has been —

removed (because it was repealed or deleted from the law); or

omitted under the Reprints Act 1984 s. 7(4) (because, although still technically part of the text, it no longer has any effect).

The text of anything removed or omitted can be found in an earlier reprint (if there is one) or one of the written laws identified in the Compilation table.

Reprint numbering and date

1.The reprint number (in the footer of each page of the document) shows how many times the Act has been reprinted. For example, numbering a reprint as “Reprint 3” would mean that the reprint was the 3rd reprint since the Act was passed. Reprint numbering was implemented as from 1 January 2003.

2.The information in the reprint is current on the date shown as the date as at which the Act is reprinted. That date is not the date when the reprint was published by the State Law Publisher and it is probably not the date when the most recent amendment had effect.





Reprinted under the Reprints Act 1984 as

at 22 August 2003

Age of Majority Act 1972


1.Short title1



4.Attainment of a particular age2

5.Persons of age of 18 years or more to have full legal capacity2


Compilation table5




Reprinted under the Reprints Act 1984 as

at 22 August 2003

Age of Majority Act 1972

An Act to amend the law relating to the age of majority; to make certain consequential amendments to several Acts; to repeal the Housing Advances (Contracts with Infants) Act 1968; and for incidental and other purposes 2.

1.Short title

This Act may cited as the Age of Majority Act 1972 1.


This Act shall come into operation on a date to be fixed by proclamation 1.


In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears — 

commencing day means the date fixed by proclamation under section 2 to be the date on which this Act comes into operation;

enactment means — 

(a)an Act or a provision of an Act; and

(b)an Imperial Act that applies in the State or a provision of such an Imperial Act,

and includes a regulation, rule, local law, by‑law, order in Council, proclamation, notice or other like document made or issued in the exercise of a power conferred by an Act, or by an Imperial Act, or by such a provision;

instrument means any written document of whatsoever nature, not being — 

(a)an enactment; or

(b)a law of the Commonwealth or of a State other than this State, or any document made or having effect under such a law;

laws of the State does not include any law of the Commonwealth or any document made or having effect under such a law.

[Section 3 amended by No. 14 of 1996 s. 4.]

4.Attainment of a particular age

(1)For all the purposes of the laws of the State, the time at which a person attains a particular age expressed in years shall be the commencement of the relevant anniversary of the date of his birth.

(2)This section has effect only where the relevant anniversary falls on the commencing day or on a subsequent day.

5.Persons of age of 18 years or more to have full legal capacity

(1)Subject to the succeeding provisions of this section, for all the purposes of the laws of the State — 

(a)a person who, on or after the commencing day, attains the age of 18 years attains full age and full capacity on attaining that age; and

(b)a person who, on the commencing day, is of or over the age of 18 years but under the age of 21 years attains full age and full capacity on that day.

(2)Subsection (1) applies and has effect, in the absence of a definition or of an indication of a contrary intention, for the purposes of the construction of the expressions “majority”, “full age”, “adult”, “full capacity”, “sui juris”, and similar expressions, and the expressions “infant”, “infancy”, “minor”, “nonage”, “minority”, and similar expressions in — 

(a)an enactment, whether passed or made before, on, or after the commencing day; and

(b)an instrument executed or made on or after that day.

(3)This section does not apply so as to affect the operation or construction of any reference in an enactment or instrument to an age expressed in years.

(4)This section does not affect any deficiency of juristic competence or capacity that is attributable to insanity, or mental infirmity, or any other factor distinct from age.

(5)For the purposes of subsection (2)(b) and notwithstanding any rule of law, a will or codicil executed before the commencing day shall not be treated as made on or after that day by reason only that the will or codicil is confirmed by a codicil executed on or after that day.

(6)Any order or direction in force immediately before the commencing day made pursuant to any enactment relating to the control of money recovered by or otherwise payable to a minor in any proceedings or as a result of the compromise or settlement of any claim for money or damages, shall have effect as if any reference to the minor’s attaining the age of 21 years or full age, however expressed, were a reference to his attaining the age of 18 years, or in relation to a person who by virtue of subsection (1)(b) attains full age on the commencing day, to that day.

(7)This section does not apply so as to affect the operation or construction of — 

(a)any industrial award, order, determination or agreement;

(b)any instrument made or entered into pursuant to any enactment prescribing wages and other conditions of or relating to apprenticeship;

(c)any provisions of any enactment governing or relating to conditions of employment or rights or obligations arising from employment.

(8)Nothing in this Act shall affect any estate, right or interest in any real or personal property to which any person has become absolutely entitled whether beneficially or otherwise, before the commencing day.

(9)This Act, other than section 4, shall not affect the construction of any enactment where the enactment is incorporated in and has effect as part of any instrument, the construction of which is not affected by this Act, other than section 4.

(10)Nothing in this Act or in any amendment made by section 5 affects the time for bringing proceedings in respect of a cause of action that arose before the commencing day.

(11)Subsection (10) is deemed to have come into operation on 1 November 1972.

[Section 5 amended by No. 33 of 1973 s. 2.]

[6.Omitted under the Reprints Act 1984 s. 7(4)(e) and (f).]

[Schedule omitted under the Reprints Act 1984 s. 7(4)(e).]




1This reprint is a compilation as at 22 August 2003 of the Age of Majority Act 1972 and includes the amendments made by the other written laws referred to in the following table. The table also contains information about any reprint.

Compilation table

Short title

Number and year



Age of Majority Act 1972

46 of 1972

18 Sep 1972

1 Nov 1972 (see s. 2 and Gazette 13 Oct 1972 p. 4069)

Age of Majority Act Amendment Act 1973

33 of 1973

9 Oct 1973

1 Nov 1972 (see s. 2)

Reprint of the Age of Majority Act 1972 approved 24 Jun 1981 (includes amendments listed above)

Local Government (Consequential Amendments) Act 1996 s. 4

14 of 1996

28 Jun 1996

1 Jul 1996 (see s. 2)

Reprint 2: The Age of Majority Act 1972 as at 22 Aug 2003 (includes amendments listed above)

2The provisions in this Act amending other Acts and repealing the Housing Advances (Contracts with Infants) Act 1968 have been omitted under s. 7(4)(e) and (f) of the Reprints Act 1984.


















By Authority: JOHN A. STRIJK, Government Printer