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How Old Do You Have To Be To Pump Gas? (Explained)

If you have been looking forward to pumping gas but are not sure whether you are of age or not, this article is helpful. It highlights the recommended age for pumping gas and answers some of the most popular questions about this topic.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Pump Gas?

How Old Do You Have To Be To Pump Gas

Most gas stations will have a sign on their pumps stating that ” only licensed drivers” can pump gas. As the legal driving age in the United States is 16, it would make sense that you should be 16 years old and a licensed driver to be able to pump gas.

Some gas stations might even have warning signs stating, “Persons Under The Age of 16 Should Not Be Permitted To Operate This Fuel Dispensing Equipment.”

However, this is merely intended to protect the company against liability in case of an incident, such as an accidental spill or fire.

Although there might not be a legal restriction that prohibits individuals under 16 from pumping gas, it is strongly advised for safety reasons that children under this age should avoid doing so, unless under supervision.

Toxic fumes from gasoline are dangerous and might trigger asthma attacks in kids under 16. Gasoline is one of the most toxic substances and if it splashes and gets to your child’schild’s eyes and mouth can cause serious health issues.

Breathing gas fumes is dangerous enough to affect the lungs, leading to severe conditions.

At 16, a person is considered old enough to handle the pump better and stay safe throughout the process.

If a child under 16 has to pump gas, then they should be with an adult to supervise the process. They should ensure the gas outlet are away from the child’schild’s face and properly secured to prevent coming into contact with the skin, mouth, or eyes.

If you’re not of legal driving age but still want to pump gas, ask an adult for help or seek assistance from gas station attendants.

Parents should teach their children how to pump gas safely, what grade of gasoline their car takes, as well as how to pay for it. 

🤓 Suggested reading 5 Important Tips To Teach Your Teen To Pump Gas

Is It Illegal To Pump Gas Under 16?

Is It Illegal To Pump Gas Under 16

Legally speaking, in most states, it’s not allowed to let someone who is under the minimum licensed age (16) to pump gas into a vehicle. However, based on what I’ve seen, it seems like these laws aren’t really enforced, and a kid could probably pump gas without facing any consequences.

There doesn’t seem to be a legal age requirement or law preventing children under 16 from pumping gas under supervision. We all have to learn somehow, right?  However, it can be seen as being technically illegal, as in order to pump gas into a car, you must be a licensed driver.

Since gasoline is considered harmful, most states recommend that people pumping gas be over 16 years old, which is the legal driving age.

In addition, some states do not allow self-service gas stations, and there you are not allowed to pump gas no matter how old you are.

🤓 Suggested reading: Can A 13 Year Old Have A Debit Card?

States Where You Can’t Pump Your Own Gas

Self-service pumps are still prohibited in New Jersey, some counties in Oregon, as well as in scattered municipalities across the country, particularly in Massachusetts.

These places prohibit residents from pumping their own gas because they consider self-service pumping of gas a potential health hazard to the public, as well as a fire hazard, and should be left to trained filling station attendants.

On that note, you are required to stay in your car and let gas station attendants pump gas for you.

Can you pump your own gas in New Jersey?

You cannot pump your own gas in New Jersey. The ban on self-service gas pumping was placed in 1949 and reinforced by law.

New Jersey placed this ban to provide full-service gas stations for its residents at the gas pumps. This was the major reason, but health and safety concerns also played a role in reinforcing the decision to ban self-service pumping.

This means an increase in the gas price in New Jersey, a little more than in other parts of the country. But New Jersey residents do not seem to get bothered by it since they get better service than if they were pumping themselves.

Can you pump your own gas in Oregon?

Oregan still has full-service stations in some counties, where you are not allowed to pump your own gas.

The reason Oregon placed the ban is to reduce fire hazards, reduce challenges for elderly citizens and people with disabilities and also create jobs for gas station attendants.

The ban has been on for years, but in recent years, Oregon relaxed its ban allowing self-service for drivers in rural counties that have a population of under 40,000. Residents in smaller towns can serve themselves at any time of day, while some counties restrict time to between 6 pm – 6 am.

The main reason is to maintain safety procedures in gas stations, although exceptions have had to be made in recent years. For example, in 2020, the ban was lifted temporarily in an attempt to slow down the transmission of Covid-19.

Can you pump your own gas in Huntington, New York?

You cannot pump your own gas in Huntington, New York. The state itself allows for self-service gas pump stations, but Huntington has banned the service, meaning all gas stations in the city are all full-service stations.

The reason self-service gas pumping is banned in Huntington is that the city is keen on ensuring fire safety for its residents. The law has been in effect since the 1980s, and violations of this law included hefty fines.

The main reason Huntington City placed this ban is to cut the risks of fire hazards associated with pumping gas. The aim was to protect the city’scity’s residents from potential harm resulting from gas explosions which were quite rampant back in the day.

Why can’t you pump your own gas in New Jersey?

New Jersey has a law that bans residents from pumping their own gas. This is entirely for the safety of its residents, requiring all gasoline station operators to provide full services. Violating this law attracts hefty fines and additional legal consequences.

Why can’t you pump your own gas in Oregon?

Oregon banned residents from pumping their own gas in 1949. The goal was to prevent fire hazards associated with gas stations. This followed the requirement of all gas station owners to provide full services for all retail customers.

How do gas pumps know when to stop?

Gas pumps use a mechanism called a “venturi” to automatically shut off the flow of gasoline when the tank is full. A venturi is a narrow tube that runs through the fuel nozzle. When you begin pumping gas, the venturi allows air to flow through it, which creates suction.

As the gasoline level in the tank rises, it covers the opening of the venturi, which reduces the airflow and suction. When the gasoline level reaches the point where the venturi is completely blocked, the suction is lost, and the pump automatically shuts off to prevent any overflow. This mechanism ensures that you do not overfill your gas tank and helps prevent dangerous spills.

Some pay-at-the-pump technology will set a cap of $100 dollars as a security measure on credit cards. If you pay with cash, you can avoid this.

Even with these safety precautions, if you’re filling up your car, you should always keep an eye on the dispenser nozzle to ensure it doesn’t overflow.

Can you pump gas with your car on?

You shouldn’tshouldn’t pump gas with your car running. Gasoline is super flammable, and if there’s a spark, it could start a fire. Plus, some cars have a check engine light that goes off if you take off the gas cap while the engine’sengine’s still on. So, be safe and turn off the engine, take out the keys, and chill for a sec while you fill up. And, of course, don’tdon’t smoke or use any gadgets that could cause a spark near the pump.

Another safety hint to remember is that it is against the law to pump gas into an unapproved container.

Can your car blow up while pumping gas?

While it is extremely rare, there is a possibility of a fire or explosion occurring when pumping gas. Gasoline is highly flammable, and if ignited, it can cause a fire or explosion.

However, the likelihood of this happening is very low, especially if you follow basic safety guidelines such as turning off your car’scar’s engine, not smoking, and avoiding any sparks or flames while refueling. In addition, gas pumps have various safety features built in, such as automatic shut-off valves, to prevent dangerous overfilling or spills.

So, while it’s always important to be cautious and aware of potential risks, there is no need to be overly concerned about your car blowing up while pumping gas.