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!


Checking I.D. – Do You Know How To Quickly and Easily Spot a Minor?

Nevada_DL_MinorNevada_DL_AdultUnderage drinking is a serious concern in Nevada, and police agencies are always hard at work to remind retailers, beverage servers, and teens that if they do not abide by the laws, they will face consequences. One of the front line defenses used to combat teen drinking is the issuance of driver licenses that not only contain standard information such as a photo and birthdate, but also contain additional clues that the I.D. holder is a minor. Do you know what to look for on a driver’s license to determine if you can legally and safely serve the card holder?

Like other states across the country, Nevada redesigned their driver licenses several years ago to make it easier to spot a minor. Nevada made it easier to spot a minor by switching from horizontal to vertical printing. While driver licenses and identification cards for drivers over the age of 21 follow the traditional horizontal format, driver licenses for those under the age of 21 are printed vertically on the front, and horizontally on the back. Additionally, the DMV imprints an age restriction notice on a minor’s license for any individuals who are aged 18 and under. If the card holder is under 18 at the time of issuance, the card will feature a red banner with the words “Under 18 Until” followed by the date the cardholder will turn 18. Cards issued at ages 18-20 are in the vertical format but do not include the red banner.

When checking a driver license, a hospitality worker should make sure not to always equate the vertically printed with minors only. Remember, 19 and 20 year olds will still hold a vertically printed I.D. card. While they may not be of an age to legally purchase and consume alcoholic beverages, they may still be legally of age to enter 18+ clubs and other venues. Your TAM training will teach you how to use proper diligent inquiry to determine if you’re looking at valid identification. Don’t send revenue somewhere else because you didn’t properly check I.D. Always refer to the birthdate on the front of an I.D. card, and determine if the license is expired or still valid, to correctly determine the card holder’s age, and if you are able to serve them.

For additional tips and tricks for checking I.D. and spotting minors using fake I.D., make sure to complete your mandatory alcohol awareness course with TAM of Nevada. Our seasoned instructors will teach you what to look for, and how to react. Also remember:

  • When checking a customer’s birth date, don’t rely solely on the birth year to confirm someone is of legal drinking age. Minors may count on busy servers to only check for the year of birth on an I.D. and try to order alcoholic beverages months before their 21st birthdays.
  • Would it be helpful to you to know what to look for on identification from all 50 states and Canada? Most establishments also have a guidebook, like the I.D. Checking Guide, for validating various forms of identification. Ask your manager if you have a guide like this in your establishment and refer to it as needed.


Why Most Employers Want You to Go To TAM®: Three Reasons to Choose a TAM Card

TAM CARDOften imitated, never duplicated, TAM® of Nevada has been the sole provider of official TAM® Cards to the Nevada community for over 25 years. Although there may be some other providers of credible alcohol awareness training classes in Nevada, not all courses are created equal. Rest assured, more employers recommend TAM® of Nevada for their employees’ alcohol education than any other provider, and for good reason. TAM® of Nevada students handle over 17 million sales transactions each year, and they’ve been trained to do it safely and effectively.

We know that hospitality professionals are busy, so we go above and beyond to provide you will the most effective and streamlined experience possible when it comes to obtaining a TAM® Card every four years. So what sets us apart from the competition? Here are a few reasons you can be happy you chose TAM® for your alcohol education card:

  1. Our training is engaging and valuable. Don’t settle for subpar training with pages of text and clip art or dull videos played by bored instructors. Our online and classroom course options both include fresh content with industry-specific scenarios for all types of employees. You can be sure your training is as up-to-date as possible, as reviews and updates are made to course material as necessary to keep pace with local and state laws and statutes. We also diligently review student feedback for anything we can do to further improve your class experience. Additionally, if you choose to complete your course in the classroom, you’ll get valuable instruction from fun and entertaining instructors with decades of industry experience.
  2. We don’t take shortcuts; be proud that your alcohol training and TAM® Card meet or exceed all state requirements. We work with state officials to make sure you receive the best education possible, touching on all required content. Additionally, we leverage our relationships with local employers and police agencies to make sure you learn about topics that are important to you, important to those who make hiring decisions and important in helping to keep consumers safe.
  3. Be proud that your card can’t be duplicated or obtained by cheating. Your TAM® Card will include your photo on the front of the card, just like a driver’s license. Not all alcohol awareness providers include a photo on their cards. We take this extra step to protect you, to verify your legitimate course completion, and to show your employer that you’ve completed the official TAM-branded course. Visit our website to see an example of a TAM Card, and steps on what to look for to make sure your TAM® Card is official!
    1. Additionally, the State of Nevada requires that all students must physically go to a course provider’s approved school location to take an exam that is proctored, and pass the proctored exam with a score of at least 75% to obtain a card. This means that you’ll either take your test at the conclusion of your classroom course, or you’ll have to visit our office after completing the online course to take your exam. This step ensures that cheaters aren’t able to obtain a card or let someone else take their exam for them.  Be wary of any provider that promises to mail you an alcohol awareness card after completing an online exam, this is in violation of state law!

All in all, our students should all be proud once they’ve completed a TAM course. Carrying your card shows employees and coworkers that you’re committed to an important part of your job duties and responsibilities.

Promotions and Marketing: Host a Bar Trivia Night

bar trivia nightFall is right around the corner, and with it comes the opportunity for festive celebrations and a string of holiday events likely to increase sales, and entertain your guests. Aside from once-a-year events like holiday celebrations, a great way to increase sales and build a following among regulars, who will come back again and again, is to host a trivia or game night event – any time of the year!

Hosting a trivia night, also called a pub trivia night or quiz night at many establishments, is a great way to draw a crowd into your establishment. These events work especially well on slower nights as a way to get people coming back week after week. Patrons are able to enjoy a team-based event, a chance to hang out with friends, show off their knowledge of random facts, and enjoy food and beverage with others in a festive atmosphere. Thinking about hosting a trivia night at your bar? Here are some first steps you can complete to run a successful event:

Determine the best date to host your event. Choose one that you can make a standing date. For example, if your patrons know that every Wednesday is trivia night, there’s no question about the best time to stop in for dinner and drinks! A great strategy is to choose a slower night where increased sales would be a bonus. A busy Friday or Saturday night may not be the best time to add a trivia game to the regular mix, but a slower weekday night might be perfect.

Determine who will be the M.C. Do you have a particularly outgoing or charismatic team member on your staff? They might be perfect for the job to act as “master of ceremonies” for the event.

Determine where you will find your contestants. You’ll need to spread the word among regulars and new guests alike for the best chance at getting an active group to participate. For the biggest buzz, try a multi-pronged approach to advertising your event. As with any other promotional event, make sure to share all of the pertinent details about your event on your establishment’s social media channels. Also make sure you advertise on-site before the event with menu inserts, table tents or other promotional tools. Use word-of-mouth marketing with your regular patrons and staff. You can even ask your staff to help build momentum for your first event by spreading the word among their friends.

Determine what format and theme you should use. Having a theme, where all the questions are based on a specific topic, will help to keep things simple. You can change up the theme once in a while, or if it’s successful, have a recurring theme night each month. Need some inspiration? Sports-themed, movie-themed, and 80’s-themed trivia are always popular with a crowd. Want to cross promote themed-beverages at your bar? Try a cocktail-based trivia night! Refer to our blog post, “Cheers! Tracing the History of Classic Cocktails,” or the article, “Of Rum and Rumor,” from Nightclub & Bar for inspiration and fun facts.

Create a bank of trivia questions. If you’re looking for great questions to use, you can purchase a general trivia question book from a retailer like, or just do the research and create questions on your own. Make sure questions are intriguing enough to keep the mood fun and competitive, but not so difficult as to make it impossible to for anyone other than a complete whiz to answer correctly.

Set the ground rules. Keep it light and fun, but make sure to set the rules before the start of the event, and make sure participants are clear on what will and won’t be accepted. For example, make it clear if there will be time limits, who will act as judge or tiebreaker, and make sure that participants know they shouldn’t be looking up answers on their phones!

Award a prize. Everyone loves to win something! Distributing a prize will keep patrons coming back again and again. It can be something as simple as free appetizers or gift certificates that can be used toward futures purchases in your establishment, or you can create a trophy or other commemorative item that winners can display for “bragging rights” at your next trivia event.

Most importantly, be creative and have fun! As always, make sure that you are not over serving your guests if you are featuring special drinks or holding a special event, and that the atmosphere can remain light and fun for all of your patrons. TAM® of Nevada will train you and your co-workers to provide a great celebration that will keep your patrons safe and willing to come back and participate at your next event.

Have you hosted a trivia or game night at your establishment?