Evidence of age

In NSW, you must be at least 18 years of age to enter a licensed venue and drink alcohol.

When entering a licensed venue or buying or consuming alcohol from that venue you may be asked to provide proof of your age.

The following forms of identification (ID) can be accepted as evidence of age by licensed venues in NSW:

  • A driver's or rider's licence or permit (issued by an Australian State or Territory or any foreign country)
  • Australian passport or a foreign passport issued by another country,
  • NSW photo card (issued by Roads and Maritime Services NSW)
  • proof of age card issued by a public authority of the Commonwealth or of another State or Territory for the purpose of attesting to a person's identity and age
  • Keypass (over-18) identity card issued by Australia Post.

False ID

If you're a minor and you use false ID in order to gain entry to, remain in, or buy alcohol from a licensed venue, you may be issued with a $220 on-the-spot penalty and fined up to $2,200 by a court. You may also have 6 months added to your provisional driver's licence.

You should also be aware that if you are suspected of being a minor and committing an offence, licensees, staff, security, police officers and inspectors can ask you to state your full name, home address and date of birth. You may also be required to immediately produce, or at a police station within a reasonable time, an acceptable proof of age document.

If you refuse or fail to state your name, address and date of birth, or without reasonable excuse, refuse or fail to produce an acceptable proof of age document, you may be issued with a $220 on-the-spot penalty and fined up to $2,200 by a court.

Its not just a risk for you. If you are found drinking in a licensed venue and you are underage, the venue can be fined and could lose it's liquor licence.

Tips for licensed venues when checking evidence of age

Regardless of what document you or your staff accept, it is important your venue has practices in place to assist with accepting proof of age / ID documents.

Tips for establishing if a document is genuine may include:

  • examine all ID in a well-lit area where alterations will be spotted more easily
  • do not inspect an ID through the window face in a person's wallet - ask them to remove it
  • take the ID from the patron and take your time examining it
  • make sure the ID includes a hologram or other security feature
  • compare the photo with the patron presenting the ID – do they match? Pay particular attention to distinguishing facial features
  • feel around the photo, birth date and edges of the card, especially a card enclosed in plastic (laminate) – wrinkles, bumps and air bubbles could mean the ID has been altered
  • calculate that the date of birth of the ID does in fact confirm the person is at least 18

It is important to note that photo cards, driver licences, passports and Keypass identity cards ​can be issued to persons under 18 years of age (minors).