All bartenders are TIPS certified, which means that they are trained to prevent alcohol abuse and drunk driving, and, importantly, only serving customers of age. Serving people under 21 could cost a bartender their job; therefore, checking for authentic identification is extremely important.
Here is a list of things to look for on an identification card before you serve alcohol:
- The card’s expiration date – do not accept the card if it is expired!
- Glue lines or bumpy surfaces – they usually indicate tampering!
- The word “duplicate” on the card – someone else may have the original!
- Text consistency – the typeset for the birth date and the expiration date should match the lettering used on the rest of the card!
- The state logo – a state seal or logo that is partially missing or appears altered is another clue to a fake card!
- Pin holes on the surface – bleach may have been inserted to “white out” certain dates!
- The card’s reverse side lettering – even though the front may look flawless, often counterfeiters merely photocopy the reverse side!
- The card’s size, color, lettering, thickness, and corners – compare it to your own identification card!
- Make sure the photo, height, and weight on the card match the person who you may be serving.
- For out-of-state identification cards, use and I.D. checking guide – especially in college and tourist communities!
If you spot one of these problems:
- Ask for a second piece of I.D. People with fake identification rarely carry back-up I.D.
- Quiz the card holder about the basic information on the card, such as the birth date, middle initial (give the wrong one and look for hesitation), zip code, etc.
- If you are not absolutely convinced that the card is authentic, DO NOT serve the customer for both safety and job security purposes!!!
This is a good deal of information to remember for a new bartender, but it’s extremely important!