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25 of Your Most Popular Alcohol Serving Questions Answered

We have included 25 of the most frequently asked questions with answers that will assist you and your staff with identification.

The tips below will provide you with insights on pitfalls that you can avoid and allow you to better monitor and qualify those who are entering your establishment to consume alcohol.


US Passports 1. What questions do you ask with passports, state-issued identification cards, and tribal identification? 

    • How was the drive over today? ( Because they can not be operating a vehicle on these types of documents).

2. What questions do you ask without state identification with younger people? 

    • Have you lived here all your life?
    •  What is the state capital?  
    • Are you a donor? 
    • What year did you graduate high school? 
    • What is your zip code? 

3. Do I need to get a manager involved if I feel that I may need help? 

    • Yes!   

4. What is the easiest way to remove an unwanted guest? 

    • Card them

5. When carding and checking younger patrons’ IDs ask to see if they have two valid documents because?

      • They usually have real identification under their fake IDs. As you ask, look for other forms of identification or credit cards that they are searching through.
      • How do you properly ask for identification?
      • May I please have your valid identification?

California RBS drivers license as graphic file

6. How do you properly ask for identification?

    • May I please have your valid identification?

7. Do you confiscate fake identification? 

    • No, you do not take IDs. If it was left but never confiscated, then it's considered abandoned by the patron.  

8. How should servers know when to check someone's identification? 

    • It would be best if you carded everyone at the door as a condition of entry upon request. Servers should card if they suspect the patron is underage, intoxicated, or is causing an issue.

9. What is the most common fake identification used by underage adults to get alcoholic beverages? 

    • Real identification but not for that person, maybe an older brother or sister.

10. What are the standard ways to find fake identification? 

    • Look for holograms and seals.

11. What are the questions you ask a person with a b-card?

    • Do you mind if we check with the police to see if it is okay if we serve you tonight? 

12. When do driving permits and provisional licenses expire?

    • License expiration depends on the state. Some are on the date of the birthday, others are at the end of the birth month.

13. When do most people fail an identification compliance test?   

    • People fail almost immediately after reading the identification because they forget to check every detail.

14. Why do groups pose a risk?

    • You must card everyone to ensure that no one is a minor even if not everyone orders.

15. When refusing service to customers, what comment should the employee make? 

    • We find the ID to be not satisfactory. Your identification doesn't meet our requirements. 

friends drinking beers at the bar on tables

16. How would you describe your actions when carding to the police?  

    • “I reasonably and in good faith, accepted a valid state-issued identification to an adult over the age of 21. I never served a person  under the age of 21," I served a legal adult over 21 years of age."

17. When do we card people? 

    • A firm house policy gives you the right to card anyone at any time as a condition of entry.

18. How do employees create defensible actions in court by making the statement?

    • 'We do not serve minors; everyone was carded and had valid identification." "We only serve adults."

19. What is the best way to find other people using someone else's identification? 

    • Checking height is the best way to find people using other people’s real identification.

20. How many times should an employee check the facial features and match the person to the identification picture by looking across at the person and matching the image? 

    • Twice.

21. Why should you look at the back of an ID? 

    • State alcohol restrictions are typically on the back of IDs.

22. What are the questions that employees can ask to determine if the identification is legal? 

    • Ask for their middle name, zodiac sign, or year of high school graduation, and ask what their zip code is for their address.

23. Why do you card people who are obviously older than the drinking age? 

    • You card older people as a housing policy to ensure that no one entering the establishment should not be drinking.

24. What are the penalties for serving minors?

    • Each state varies, but the range is from $500 to $5000 per incident with the majority landing in between $500 to $1000.

25. What facial feature is the most helpful in identifying if the customer in front of you is the same as the person in the photo identification they provided to you?

    • The nose.


For more safety tips and tricks please check out one of our state-level Alcohol Seller and Server courses provided by Serving Alcohol, Inc.  

For answers to more frequently asked questions, go to our FAQ page and Knowledge Base.

*This article is not meant to be legal advice. Each state varies and statutes, laws, and regulations change regularly.  Please refer to your local liquor authority, alcohol beverage control act, or government agency in charge of alcohol for more information.*