ID Scanner Laws

The use of an ID Scanner or Drivers License Age Verification Scanners is permitted and encouraged for merchants selling age-sensitive products such as alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.    Many jurisdictions have ID Scanner Laws which provide an Affirmative Defense and clauses to protect consumer privacy by regulating the collection and use of scanned data.  With the recent legalization of Cannabis, new laws have been enacted that specifies the penalty for selling Marijuana to a minor and the use of an electronic ID scanner for age verification.  These articles list, by jurisdiction the ID Scanner legislation. These posts are not intended to be legal advice and are only provided as a reference.  Readers are asked to comment below if they find additional information or errors in this material.  Readers are also advised to consult local legal authorities before scanning IDs with an ID Scanner.  The author is NOT a lawyer nor is this information intended to serve as legal advice.

ID Scanner – Affirmative Defense

As of August 2018, ten states have Affirmative Defense ID Scanner laws on the books.  An affirmative defense exonerates a defendant of a charge, even if the defendant is basically guilty.  One basically admits to breaking the law but a claim is made that a reasonable person would not know it at the time and all reasonable precautions were taken to ensure one did not break the law.   Note: This is where the ID Scanner’s function of checking the ID and recording the data come into play. The data in memory allows the merchant to prove they checked the Identification and therefore were taken reasonable precautions to ensure they complied with the law. This means, in theory, a merchant might be able to avoid the fine and penalties associated for serving a minor who for example uses an older siblings driver license or a high-quality fake ID when using an ID Scanner to check their age.  The use of an ID Scanner by itself is not sufficient to claim an affirmative defense.  The merchant or operator must also follow some common sense procedures like making sure the person matches the one-inch photo on the ID, ensuring the ID does not look or feel altered, the person does not look underage, and other steps normally performed when checking IDs. The 10 states which have ID Scanner affirmative defense provisions which protect a merchant against a serving a minor infraction.  Please email with errors and omissions to these posts or comment below. The states are

  1. Arizona
  2. Connecticut
  3. Texas
  4. Nevada – Tobacco Age Verification Scanner Requirement effect 1/1/2023 – No Affirmative Defense
  5. New York
  6. North Carolina
  7. Ohio
  8. Oregon
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Utah
  11. West Virginia

Note: This information is not legal advice.  Please consult with licensing authorities and legal counsel about using an ID Scanner to verify age in your jurisdiction.

ID Scanner – Privacy

Privacy is a concern when personal information is stored in an ID Scanner.  Consumers often ask what data is being stored, how long will it be stored and what will it be used for.  Many jurisdictions have specific Privacy Laws on the capture and use of data which comes from drivers licenses and identification documents.   Please contact us with errors and omissions to this list.

  1. Alberta Canada
  2. Hawaii
  3. New Hampshire
  4. New York
  5. Ohio
  6. Oregon
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Texas
  9. Utah
  10. West Virginia
  11. California

Canadian Privacy Regulation Again – all of the above information is provided as reference material and readers are advised to consult local legal authorities before scanning IDs with an ID Scanner.  We are not lawyers nor is this information intended to serve as legal advice. Please comment below to add or correct this list.


Click here to see states offering take-out, curbside pick-up, or delivery for alcohol amidst COVID-10 pandemic.

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