Retailer advice - fake IDs

How to identify fake and genuine ID

Read what is actually written on the card. Does it say Driving Licence or Provisional Driving Licence? Or does it say National Identity Card, Driving Permit etc?

  • Does it say European Identity Card or European Driving Permit?
  • Is the card too thick or too rigid/Is it too flexible?
  • Does it have a swipe bar on the back?
  • Is the person in front of you the same person in the photograph?
  • Has the date been altered?
  • What are the conditions on the alcohol licence about acceptable forms of ID?
  • National Identity Cards - do they exist? Are they an acceptable form of ID?

What is the problem with non UK ID?

The Licensing Act does place a burden on the sales person to check the age of the person they are selling to is over 18 unless no one would believe that the person was underage. The Act requires them to ask the person for evidence of their age and that evidence should convince or satisfy a reasonable person.

Remember it is important that sales assistants either take the ID off of the customer and / or take the ID out of any holder so that they can feel it and look at it closely. This also enables them to look closely at the photo on the print. It may also enable them to use a UV or black light to check security measures.

If you don’t know whether or not you have a problem with fake or novelty ID in your area, speak to either your Police Licensing Unit, Neighbourhood Support Teams or equivalent or SIA Door Staff. Also speak to your traders.

Children will often target premises at a time when they know staff will be busy and distracted. For instance Wednesday and Saturday evenings where the premises sells lottery tickets. They may come in as a large group then one or two will enter separately and will attempt to buy the age restricted products. There is the perception that the shop staff will be under pressure with the lottery products and will also be watching the group for shop-lifting etc.

Children may also enter a large premises then split-up and the older amongst the group or the one with ID both fake or genuine will attempt to buy the alcohol.

Examples of fake ID