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Gas Pumping Call

Hi all,

I was just listening to the call about turning the engine off while pumping gas, and I couldn’t help but notice the question at the end, asking if it’s legal for a 14-year-old to pump. The guys said they couldn’t see why not. Now, I realize these are rebroadcasts, so I have no idea when this was recorded, or what the law is where the caller is from, but here in Michigan, only licensed drivers are authorized to dispense fuel. (It even says so on the placard on every pump.) Anyone know if this is the case elsewhere, or just a Michigan policy (and how long it’s been this way)?

In my state…you have to be 16 in order to pump gas. Years ago…I pumped gas at my dad’s Sunoco station from the age of 12 to the age of 16. Times have changed.

There may be a law about it here in Calif – seems there are laws about most everything here – but I’ve never seen it posted anywhere. If there is a law, it would probably only come into use if a minor were pumping gas and an accident occurred.

I pumped gas at 14 but that was a long time ago. Now it would be child abuse to expose your child to the harmful fumes around a gas station.

I don’t recall any signs on our pumps in Wisconsin, but I never looked for them either.


Don’t know, but here in Massachusetts the law was just changed to allow “hold open” clips back in gas pumps. Those are the metal pawls that can be locked in place on the nozzle handles to keep the gas flowing when you let go of the handle. They were banned here in the '70’s as a fire hazard. Someone finally figured out that they’re not.

I’m here in the land of self service and nothing more.
Imagine my big eyed surprize when visiting Oregon a few years ago…
’‘huh ? ‘’
’‘Step away from the pump…NO self service here…we have to do it for you !’’

Not sure what the law is in NH. Not sure there are any restrictions. I don’t remember seeing any signs. You can start driving in NH at 15.5 with a licensed driver over 21. So I would assume that 15yo’s can pump their own gas.

Dad let me pump gas when I was about 8 years old. I thought was a hoot.

It may well have been illegal back then like it is now, but then so was hooking a tow rope to a kid’s bike and towing him up mountains with the car, but dad did that too until mom caught him.

Where I live now, it’s illegal for anyone under 16 to pump gas. But you’re also supposed to turn off your engine at the gas pump, and stop smoking, and I see people do those two things all the time and the attendant can’t be bothered to make them stop, so I can’t imagine you’d catch any flak for letting your kid pump gas.

I am showing all my kids how to pump gas…as I stand there too…10, 12, and 15, they all know something about it…includuing discuusion of the dangers.

This need came to light yeeeears ago when my oldest son ( now 32 ) was with my wife as she realized her dire need for gas and I was not available to do it for her as usual.
As she stared at the pump, perplexed, he piped up ‘‘I’ll show you how…here…’‘
They pumped in the gas and went merrily on their way as she asked him…in somewhat disbelief at his knowledge…
’‘How do you know how to pump gas at 8 years old ?’’
’‘oh, dad showed me ( all proud ).’’

The truth is that I did not ‘‘show him’’ per-se’,…as in , I did not set out to teach him nor instruct him…he simply watched me each time we did it , asking a few questions along the way.
Remembering this…I knew I should actually instruct this set of kids.

@“ken green” … your comment about Oregon full service gas stations reminds me of when visited Thailand on a business trip about 10 years ago. I pulled into the gas station, and 4 attendants all sporting the same style of freshly laundered, brightly colored uniform, and matching hats, were out to my car before I could even open the door. One washed the windows, one checked the air in the tires, including the spare, one checked things under the hood, and the last person filled the tank with gasoline.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! It was like a flashback to the early 1960s America!!

I don’t know about age in Minnesota but probably 16 if any. We like to copy other states though as soon as someone else passes a law, we follow right away if we can. (I saw no sticker today listing a minimum age at all.)

I used to just use the knife on my money clip to keep the nozzle engaged but now the clips are back. One thing that happened to me though is that the nozzle was stuck on from the last customer when I pushed the on button. I hadn’t put the nozzle in the tank yet and gas sprayed all over the back of the car. So now I always make sure the nozzle is actually off when I put it back and always make sure its off when when I put it in the tank again. Only had it happen once in 50 years but actually did find one still clicked on again.

ken green: I am a native Oregonian and have experienced the opposite. A few years ago I had just crossed the Idaho border and decided to make a fuel stop. I pulled into a station parked at the pumps and waited, and waited… It took 2 or 3 minutes for me to realize why the employees were ignoring me. LOL

I made a stop at a totally unmanned station , self serve, no one around, kind of creep y.

Its kinda nice having pumps available all night long now using a debit/credit card. I always take note though of anyone hanging around.

As a kid we were driving though a lonely area in Wisconsin over night. We were low on gas and the only station around was closed. We had to roust the local constable who had a key for the place and the pumps, so it happened before. Maybe that’s why I keep a full tank most of the time.

I made a stop at a totally unmanned station , self serve, no one around, kind of creep y. <<<<

Some of the stations where I live leave the pumps operational after they close. Pull up, get gas and they are closed! Of course CC only.