Checking hard copy identification (ID) for all patrons

You must carefully check each person's identification (ID) so you don't allow non-exempt minors onto your premises. Otherwise, you may be liable for prosecution.

Careful checking is essential—a quick check won't protect you or your staff from prosecution if the person in the photo is very different from the person presenting the ID.

Which ID you accept is your decision.

The Liquor Act 1992 defines what's considered acceptable evidence of age. This could help with your defence if any enforcement action is taken for allowing a minor to enter or remain on your licensed premises.

You also have a responsibility to establish effective policies or rules about checking ID.

Acceptable forms of ID

These 5 forms of ID are acceptable in licensed venues—some are also available as digital ID:

  1. a photo ID card
  2. an Australian driver licence or learner permit, including a Queensland digital licence
  3. a foreign driver licence
  4. a passport from any country
  5. a recognised proof-of-age card.

The ID document must be current and include a photo of the person and their date of birth.

Foreign driver licences that aren't in English

Where a foreign driver licence isn't in English, the person should also present an international driver permit issued in their country of origin, which is in English and includes a photo of the licence holder.

Expired Queensland driver licences and renewal receipts

A Queenslander who has renewed their driver licence but is still waiting for it to arrive can show a Department of Transport and Main Roads driver licence renewal receipt with their expired licence for ID checking or scanning.

You don't have to accept the receipt if you don't want the person to enter—this choice is at your discretion.

How to check hard copy ID

To properly check hard copy ID, you and your staff should:

  • examine the ID in a well-lit area where alterations will be more obvious—have an initial checkpoint at the front door
  • ask the patron to remove the ID from their wallet for inspection
  • hold the ID in your hands and take your time examining it
  • feel around the photo, date of birth and edges of the card, especially with cards in plastic—wrinkles, bumps and air bubbles could mean the ID has been tampered with
  • compare the photo ID with the patron—make sure any distinguishing facial features match
  • check the date of birth confirms the patron is over 18—licences and other forms of ID can be issued to minors
  • ensure the ID includes a hologram or other security feature—all staff should be able to identify the security features of different IDs.

Refuse entry and service to anyone who appears under-age and doesn't have acceptable ID.

Staff shouldn't assume that someone else has checked a patron's ID—the person might have snuck in.

If you use re-entry stamps, closely screen anyone trying to re-enter the premises as these can be easily transferred.

If your venue operates an ID scanning system you must also ensure all staff understand their ID scanning obligations.

Read more about what to look for when checking ID.

Confiscating hard copy ID

Confiscate any hard copy ID you suspect is fake, defaced or doesn't belong to the patron. Send the ID to the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) with a completed ID confiscation report.

A legitimate owner of the physical ID could reclaim it by contacting OLGR.

You mustn't confiscate a phone or device even if it displays a digital ID that concerns you. The Liquor Act doesn't allow, or require, licensees to do so.

Record the details and report the information on the ID confiscation report.

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