Can I See Your I.D? What You Can and Can’t Accept As Valid Identification

Nevada_DL_AdultI.D. checking is one of the most important jobs of a hospitality professional. Checking I.D. keeps patrons safe, and it keeps things legal. Here at the TAM of Nevada office, we often get questions from students about which documents can be used as valid forms of identification for the purpose of selling alcohol. In a town like Las Vegas, full of tourists from around the world, with varying forms of I.D., do you know what you can accept?

Valid identification must be government-issued, contain the person’s photo, contain their birth date, and not be expired. Depending on the type of I.D. being presented, and which state or country it is issued from, it may also contain other information such as signature, mailing address, or gender. Nevada driver licenses, for example, also contain a signature.

Accepted forms of I.D. include:

  • Driver License or State Identification Card – These are the most commons forms of I.D. that hospitality professionals will be presented with.
  • Military ID – You may also see these, particularly around military bases.
  • Passport or Immigration Card – A passport is another common form of identification, particularly in a tourist town such as Las Vegas. Likewise, a Green Card (permanent resident card) is also acceptable I.D.

Forms of I.D. that are NOT acceptable for making alcohol sales include:

  • Concealed Firearm Permit – While a concealed weapon permit is a form of state-issued identification, it is not an acceptable identification for serving or selling alcohol. According to Nevada law at NRS 202.3653 – 202.369, Concealed Firearm Permits are valid for a period of 5 years and can be renewed for additional 5 year periods. A permit holder must carry the permit together with proper identification whenever they are in actual possession of the concealed firearm(s). For I.D. checking purposes, the permit is only good when you are also carrying another acceptable form of identification, so the point is moot for alcohol sales. A gun permit holder must also have another form of identification on their person. If you are presented with a concealed firearm permit to check I.D., simply ask to see their driver license or other form of identification.
  • Driver’s Authorization Card (DAC) – In Nevada, a Driver’s Authorization Card looks like a lot like driver’s license, but is not valid for serving alcohol, entering facilities where I.D. is required, or boarding an airplane.
  • Student ID, TAM® Card, and other non-government issued Photo I.D. – While a valid TAM® Card includes a photo of the card holder, that’s not enough to confirm identification. The same holds for student I.D.s and similar forms of membership identification.

When in doubt or if you have questions about I.D. checking, speak with your supervisor and review company policy for acceptable forms of identification. Your establishment may have an identification guide like the I.D. Checking Guide  for you to use – this will show you what to look for on various forms of I.D. to confirm authenticity. Additionally, your TAM® alcohol awareness class will teach you how to spot valid and bogus identification. For more information, visit our blog post on I.D. checking.

Questions or feedback? Head to the Comments section below and let us know about your I.D. checking experiences!


6 thoughts on “Can I See Your I.D? What You Can and Can’t Accept As Valid Identification

  1. So I recently took the tam class, and I’m pretty sure I read that an expired ID can be accepted. Am I missing something?

    1. Hi Ashley – Thanks for the question. Per the TAM course, and also at the direction of the DMV, an expired ID cannot be accepted as valid identification. We like to give use this analogy in class: A person is driving and is pulled over by a police officer. If the person gives the officer an expired driver license, what is the officer likely going to give back? A ticket (or a warning ticket).

  2. My casino allows guests in without a valid ID as long as they have a casino players card. In my 26 years working in casino I’ve never had this be acceptable before. Is it legal for the guest to not have a valid legal ID and be on the casino floor or be served by the waitress or bartender?

    1. Hi Laura – That’s a great question. We have reached out to our colleagues at the Gaming Board for their input on this question. We’ll get back to you as soon as we have their response.

  3. Hello, i recently went to a grocery store and i showed them my passport to buy beer. They told me they couldn’t sell me beer because a new law just passed in Nevada saying they can’t accept a passport anymore to buy beer. Is this true?

    1. Hello – We are not familiar with any information about new laws regarding different forms of government ID necessary for the sale of alcoholic beverages. There is, however, a new law regarding tobacco sales. All IDs must be scanned if someone purchases tobacco, no matter the person’s age.

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