Age Verifiers / ID Scanners
The Primary purpose of an ID Scanner is to warn when underage which is the number ONE cause for citations. In a busy retail environment, a clerk/server is motivated to rapidly complete the sales process. In this environment, it is easy for a new or tired clerk/server skipping important steps or making calculation errors. Undercover operations successfully generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in fine revenue every year from employees at merchants who don’t provide tools to help automate the ID checking process.
The Secondary purpose of an ID Scanner is to document the ID Check process and provide an affirmative defense. By recording the ID data, ID status (OK, under21, etc.) with a date/time stamp, an ID Scanner provides an affirmative defense and Several states have affirmative defense legislation which helps defend an organization’s liquor license if an ID scanner was used.
Fake or Altered IDs
All ID Scanners which only read the barcode or magnetic stripe will help detect some fake or altered IDs. Just having one will cause some people to think twice about presenting such an ID.
The ID scanner will help detect if the printed date of birth or expiration date has been altered using ink (e.g. changing a 3 to an 8). In most instances, the ID scanner will read the unaltered date encoded on the data stripe and display an underage/expired warning. Another possibility is the encoded data stripe doesn’t match the printed data on the front of the license (e.g. John Smith is printed on the front, but Mary Jones is encoded on the stripe). In this case, the ID scanner will NOT produce a warning but an operator who is cross-checking the displayed versus printed data should notice the discrepancy.
However, fake IDs are like counterfeit money in that if the person creating them has sufficient skill and resources, it is extremely difficult to detect without proper investigation resources. Merchants serving age sensitive products are expected to make a reasonable effort when checking IDs and using an ID scanner is a significant indicator of such effort. That is why many states have affirmative defense legislation for merchants who use an ID scanner.
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