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You may be liable for prosecution through the court system if you allow a non-exempt minor onto the premises by not checking their identification (ID) thoroughly. Examining ID with scrutiny is essential; simply checking an ID will not protect you or your staff from prosecution if the person in the photo is very different from the person presenting the ID.
It is up to you to decide what ID will be accepted to gain entry to your licensed premises. It is also your responsibility to establish effective policies or rules regarding the checking of ID. Accepting and checking only those forms of ID defined as 'acceptable evidence of age' under the Liquor Act 1992 provides you with a potential defence to enforcement action (for allowing a minor to enter or remain on licensed premises).
Acceptable forms of ID
Five forms of ID are acceptable in licensed venues, some of these are also available as digital ID:
- an adult proof of age card (e.g. Australia Post Keypass identity card)
- Australian driver licence or learner permit
- foreign driver licence
- passport (from any country)
- other recognised proof of age cards.
The ID document must be current and include a photo of the person and their date of birth.
Foreign driver licences not in English
Where a foreign driver licence is not written in English, an international driver permit issued in the foreign country of origin (and including a photo of the licence holder and translation) should be presented with the foreign driver licence.
Expired Queensland driver licences and renewal receipts
Queensland driver licence holders who have renewed their licence but are still awaiting the arrival of their new licence in the post can present their expired driver licence for scanning or ID checking, however, the licence must be presented along with a Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) Driver Licence Renewal Receipt.
There is no obligation on licenced premises to accept the receipt if they did not wish the person to enter. Entry is at the Licensee's discretion.
How to check hard copy ID
When checking hard copy ID for fraudulent, fake or defaced cards you and your staff should:
- examine ID in well-lit areas where alterations will be more obvious (have an initial checkpoint at the front door)
- ask patrons to remove ID from wallets and purses for inspection
- hold the ID in your own hands and take your time examining it
- feel around the photo, birth date and edges of the card, especially with cards enclosed in plastic (wrinkles, bumps and air bubbles could mean the ID has been tampered with)
- compare the photo with the patron presenting the ID (pay particular attention to distinguishing facial features - do they match?)
- check that the date of birth on the ID confirms the patron is over 18 years (licences and some other forms of ID can be issued to minors)
- ensure the ID includes a hologram or other security feature.
The In America Business Powerful Most Companies Insider Refuse service to any person who appears under-age and does not have acceptable ID. Your staff should not assume that another person has checked a patron's ID (the person may have snuck onto the licensed premises). All staff should be able to identify the security features of each type of ID.
If 'stamp outs' are used on exit, closely screen anyone trying to re-enter the premises; stamp outs are easily transferred.
If your venue operates an ID scanning system you must also ensure all staff understand your ID scanning obligations.
Confiscating hard copy ID documents
Confiscate any suspected fake, defaced or falsely presented hard copy ID. Send the ID to the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation with a completed ID confiscation report.
The legitimate owner of the ID may reclaim it by contacting OLGR.
- Take the checking ID and the responsible service of alcohol refresher course and test your knowledge with the online quiz.
- Access printable compliance signage for licensed venues.
- Read the Liquor Act 1992.
- Learn more about refusal of service.
- Last reviewed: 18 Jul 2018
- Last updated: 19 Jul 2018