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Our TABC certification online and on-site course teaches you how to ID the right way

May 12, 2014
How to spot a fake ID

We talk about this all the time, but there are two primary issues taught in our TABC certification online and on-site course: Avoiding alcohol sales to minors and intoxicated people. The funny thing is sales to minors is, in my opinion, the easier one to avoid yet we see it most in the media. We constantly see news stories about servers, bartenders, and store clerks getting arrested for selling alcohol to a minor. So how do you avoid it? Learn how to ID customers the right way

Examining IDs the right way takes more than just glancing at the customer’s date of birth. According to the TABC, here are the things you must check for when examining an ID:

1. The ID must be issued by a government agency. Enough said … If it’s not a government-issued document, it’s no good. 

2. The ID must contain a physical description and photograph that matches the customer’s appearance. What does this mean? It means you can not accept the ID if it’s missing either a photograph or physical description, such as height, sex, and eye color. It must have both a description and picture. You must also make sure the picture and description both match the customer making the purchase. If they don’t match the customer making the purchase, then you have good reason to believe they’re using someone else’s ID. 

3. The ID must contain a date of birth that shows the customer to be 21 years of age or older. Again, this is easy, but it requires you to actually do the math. You would be surprised at how many seller-servers fail TABC sting operations and get arrested because they checked an ID but didn’t accurately calculate age. I don’t feel sorry for them, and the TABC certainly doesn’t either. It is absolutely your responsibility to calculate age correctly. If you’re not good at math, then take steps to make your job easier … Get one of those tear-away calendars that tells you the date that must be on an ID in order to buy alcohol, or make a point to write down the date before your shift so you can easily check the date when making an alcohol sale. These things are not hard … They just take a little bit of effort and common sense. 

4. The ID must appear to be valid (Not expired, no obvious signs of alteration or forgery). This is also easy. All you have to do is check the expiration date and look for any obvious signs that the ID has been altered or is fake. 

The good news is checking for these things is not hard, and doesn’t take much time. You also have the comfort of knowing that if an ID meets all of these standards, even if the ID is fake, you will not be charged with a crime. 

TABC On The Fly is an official, state-approved provider of TABC certification online and on-site courses. 
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