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How to Properly Check Illinois Driver License & ID Cards

Keeping Your Business Safe—How to Properly Check Illinois IDs

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One of the biggest threats posed to any alcohol seller/server establishment is the possibility of selling or serving to a minor. With strict laws throughout the state and the nation preventing anyone under the age of 21 years from buying or consuming alcohol, licensed businesses stand to lose a great deal if they unknowingly break those laws.

If you want to make absolutely sure that your sellers and servers know how to properly check Illinois IDs, require them to take an Illinois-approved BASSET course. This alcohol server training course not only provides instruction in how to thoroughly check customer identification, but it also serves as a liability shield for businesses that require mandatory certification. Business owners are able to claim full compliance with the law by making sure they provided adequate opportunity for their employees to learn and execute Illinois alcohol regulations on the job. If the employee makes a mistake, the business will not be held criminally liable.

Below you will also find a quick reference guide on the basic things to look out for when checking IDs in Illinois.

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How to Properly Check IDs

Any state-provided, authentic Illinois driver's license will feature all of the following:

  • A photo of the person in question
  • A driver's license number in the top left corner (the driver's first initial of their last name should then be followed by 11 digits)
  • A blue Illinois state logo
  • The name of the Secretary of State in the top left
  • The expiration date, which should be the driver's birthday

Questions to Ask Your Customer

Obviously, the server should make sure that the photo matches the person using the ID. However, with today's technology, this has become quite easy to fake. So there are other measures that employees can use to make sure that they've covered their bases and done everything possible to prevent themselves from selling or serving to an underage patron.

  • Ask the customer their birthday, and make sure it matches the date on their ID card.
  • Look to see if the last name on their card also matches the initial before their driver's license number.
  • Ask them their height and weight—this information is also featured on any Illinois ID.
  • Pay attention to the customer's body language when you ask for their ID. Often, if they are trying to sneak a fake ID past you, they will be nervous or look uncomfortable.
  • Make sure the ID feels like genuine material, and not just cheap cardboard or flimsy plastic.
  • Ask the customer a random question not featured on the ID, so they won't have a chance to rehearse an answer. Ask them their Zodiac sign in order to match it to their birthday, and gauge their response.

If an employee is still unsure about the status of the ID, they should always pass the buck to their supervisor. Let the manager make the call—it's better to be safe than sorry!