Heads up, bar owners and businesses selling age-restricted products!
You know the importance of checking customer IDs, but do you know how to handle an ID that’s expired?
Here’s the short answer: Expired IDs scan. However, ID scanners will typically inform a cashier that the ID is expired. Depending on the state, you may or may not be able to use an expired ID to buy alcohol, enter a bar, or shop at a dispensary.
Now, you may be wondering: Which states have laws against expired IDs? And is an expired ID a valid form of identification? This guide covers those questions and touches on the legal requirements of expired IDs for bar and retail shop owners.
How Do ID Scanners Catch Expired IDs?
ID scanners may be able to catch fake IDs and invalid driver’s licenses (although many fake IDs still scan). Typically, scanners capture vital information from ID cards like:
- Date of birth
- Expiration date
- Physical details
Some of this data is generally available when scanning an ID barcode. If an ID is deemed fraudulent or invalid (e.g. fake or expired), the scanning technology will alert the operator. For example, after scanning an expired ID, the scanning tool might say: “This ID expired on [expiration date].”
In other words, ID scanners are very useful in bars, dispensaries, and retail locations that sell age-restricted products ( especially if it’s against state law to accept an expired ID).
Avoiding Human Error
The expiration date on driver’s licenses is typically passed over during manual ID checks. This is especially true in venues that serve high volumes of customers.
Unfortunately, bars and retail venues may have a legal obligation to deny expired IDs. This is typically dependent on state law.
ID Expiration Laws: What to Know
Every state has its own laws regarding the use of expired IDs. Here’s a sample of some state laws regarding expired IDs:
- Texas – You can use an expired ID at a bar in Texas or to purchase alcohol, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
- New York – New York law prohibits the purchase of alcohol with an expired ID.
- California – California says an expired ID is not a valid form of identification.
- Washington – Washington State require IDs to be valid (not expired) to purchase alcohol or shop at a dispensary.
- For Flying – The TSA will accept an expired ID up to one year after the expiration date.
- Grub Hub – Grub Hub says drivers should not accept an expired ID.
In Texas, rules may be set by the business owner. Therefore, a certain bar or restaurant may accept an expired ID, while other venues in Texas will deny them.
Ultimately, you should be aware of the laws in your state. Check your state’s alcohol control board website for more information or contact a local legal professional for a definitive answer.
Avoid Legal Issues with Expired IDs
If it turns out that a customer purchased alcohol using an expired ID, they may be subject to legal repercussions.
For businesses, failing to check an ID’s expiration date could result in:
- Suspension or cancellation of your liquor license
- Possibly even criminal charges, depending on the laws and regulations of your state
Ultimately, it’s still crucial to conduct your research and be aware of any potential legal repercussions associated with accepting an expired ID.
Expired IDs and Identity Fraud
Accepting expired IDs can create a black market for the IDs. For example, the owner of an expired ID might sell it to a minor, if the ID is still valid.
Therefore, if it’s legal to accept expired IDs in your state, you should consider implementing rules for your business for accepting expired IDs like:
- Offer a warning to owners of expired IDs (and accept it the first time)
- Set a time limit for expiration (e.g. you won’t accept an expired ID that’s over 3 months expired)
- You perform additional checks for expired IDs
For more tips, see our guide to driver’s license verification, which provides tips and strategies business owners can use to prevent invalid IDs from being used on premises.
Why Bars Should Use an ID Scanner
Using an age verification app or online ID scanner mitigates potential risks to business owners that sell or serve alcohol or age-restricted products. An online ID scanner helps you 1) reduce liability, 2) enhance security, and 3) improve customer experiences.
Additionally, many local police departments recommend ID scanning technology, because it reduces human error and raises your level of compliance. Some of the key benefits of ID scanners include:
- It Beats Manual Entry: When an ID’s age and expiration date are checked, scanning it instead of manually entering it into a system only takes a few seconds. For a person, it takes much longer because they have to manually type in all the information without making any mistakes.
- Less Accident-Prone: When it comes to high volume and repetitive work, technology and algorithms perform better. Since there is no possibility of mistakes, the data is accurate and consistent throughout the system.
- Cuts Down on the Workload of Workers: When there is a lot of customer traffic, it is more likely that mistakes will be made, and suspicious/fake/expired IDs will be overlooked.
FTx Identity offers a comprehensive ID checking solution for bars that guarantees their customers’ privacy and stops fake IDs. Need some more help? See our Fake ID guide for more tips.
Our identity verification process ensures a hassle-free experience for your patrons. To learn more about how we can help your bar, be sure to give us a call to set up a consultation and experience a demo today!