Alcohol-serving restaurants have a competitive advantage in the highly competitive foodservice market. In 2019, beer sales totaled about $35 billion, while spirits sales were more than $29 billion. Although bars and breweries are the most reliant on alcohol sales, full-service restaurants may earn up to 25% of their revenue from the sale of alcohol.

Obtaining a liquor license is the key to accessing the lucrative liquor sales industry. The biggest threat to your liquor license is failing to detect fraudulent IDs and supplying minors.

How to Handle Carding During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Restaurants and bars have pioneered novel tactics to function amid the COVID-19 epidemic, from introducing alcohol delivery services to making takeaway cocktail kits. Maintaining correct social distance and adhering to CDC requirements make carding guests difficult, but not impossible.

How to Check Photo IDs When Customers Are Wearing Face Masks

  • Check to see whether the person’s eye color matches their ID.
  • While physical characteristics such as weight and hair color might vary, it is still necessary to check the individual and determine if they resemble their ID photo.
  • If you are unsure, ask the ID holder questions regarding their identification.
  • Request that the ID holder removes their face mask so you may examine their entire face.
  • If you cannot verify whether the disguised ID holder matches their card clearly, remember that you have the legal authority to refuse the sale of alcohol in good faith. It will cost you significantly less to lose that one sale than it will lose your liquor license.

How to Reduce Touch Points When Checking IDs

  • Customers should place their ID face up on a serving dish for inspection. It allows your employees to check it without having to touch it.
  • If the ID appears tainted, pick it up and study it while wearing gloves.
  • Purchase an ID scanner or a smartphone app that allows consumers to self-scan.

Most Common Fake IDs

Borrowed IDs, manufactured fake IDs, and forged IDs are the three most frequent types of phony IDs. Understanding the many types of false IDs can help you identify them when you come across them.

Borrowed IDs. Borrowed fake IDs are the most frequent type of fake ID, accounting for around 95 percent of all ID fraud instances. Minors get borrowed identification cards from older siblings, acquaintances, and strangers in their networks.

How to Spot a Borrowed ID

  • Examine the ID photo and the ID holder for any irregularities.
  • Compare the ID’s physical description to the person in front of you.
  • Check that the license is still active and hasn’t expired.
  • If you are unsure whether the license truly belongs to the individual presenting it, search for your state’s duplicate stamp to discover if it is a duplicate. While a duplicated license does not always indicate a stolen license, it is an extra red flag in an already questionable case.

Forged Fake IDs. A forged ID is any identification used to construct a fraudulent identity. Forged IDs are classified into front forged IDs and front and back forged IDs. Front forged IDs, as the name implies, seem valid on the front, but their barcodes are either unscannable or do not display encoded information when scanned.

Front forged IDs often include stolen personal information and a photo of the falsified ID bearer. Forged IDs are becoming more common as technology develops. Over 60% of forged IDs seem genuine on the front and include barcodes embedded with matching information.

How to Spot Front Forged IDs

  • Basic ID scanners can determine if a barcode on an ID is scannable or encoded information. It is known as ID parsing, and it is the most accessible approach to detect a front forged ID.
  • IDs should, in most situations, have rounded edges all the way around. If the ID you’re holding has square edges or ragged edges, it may have a fake front.

How to Spot Front and Back Forged IDs

  • To ensure that the ID’s barcode information is correct, run it via a trustworthy ID database.

Altered Fake IDs. Usually, altered fake ids are the authentic ID of the person presenting it with some details changed. To obtain entry to bars and purchase alcohol, underage people will change the date of birth on their ID. Detecting forged identification at the entrance can help you operate a profitable bar.

How to Spot Altered IDs

  • Changing an ID frequently changes the security aspects of the ID.
  • Examine the ID’s particular color printing, surface texture, and your state’s specialized security features for any alterations.

How to Spot a Fake ID by State

Familiarize your personnel with your state’s ID security features to teach them how to recognize a false ID. Here are the main things to keep an eye out for:

Holograms. When held up to the light, holographic pictures appear on IDs. Each state has its image, and understanding yours will help you identify fraudulent IDs.

Cheap Laminate. State IDs are laminated with a professional lamination to seal the UV images and safeguard the IDs. Gently bend the ID card into a “U” form to see if it has professional-grade lamination. When cheap, unprofessional laminate is bent, it bubbles.

Laser Perforation. ID cards include small laser-perforated holes that produce images that aren’t visible to the human eye unless held up to bright light. Each state has its own set of laser-perforated pictures.

Laser Embossing. Many states use a laser to emboss their IDs, which raises the plastic on the front of the ID. The laser embossing does not change the back of the ID, but it allows you to feel it and confirm if the embossing is present/compliant with requirements.

UV Imagery. While the UV imagery on IDs differs by state, most feature a second, lighter picture that emerges only when exposed to UV light.

While it’s tempting to rush through the ID check, especially on busy nights like Blackout Wednesday, failing to identify a fake ID might cost you your liquor license.

Too many organizations face harsh fines because they neglect to teach their employees to identify a fake ID. Use this article as a guide to protect your business from the sting of hefty penalties or, worse, the loss of a liquor license.