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What Counts as Proof of Age in NSW?

If you work in an industry that requires customers to show ID for service or have already completed a Responsible Service of Alcohol course in NSW, then you may know all about acceptable forms of ID in NSW. However, those who are new to the industry, who are yet to complete an RSA may be a little confused about just what counts as proof of age in NSW.

In this blog, we look to answer your questions and outline just what counts as valid forms of ID (both primary and secondary evidence of proof of age) in the state of New South Wales. 

Primary evidence of age in NSW

As most people know, NSW requires a person to be 18 years of age or over to lawfully consume alcohol and enter licensed premises. In order for a person to prove they are above the legal drinking age, they may be asked to present evidence showing so. In fact, anyone who looks to be under the age of 25 must be asked to present ID before being admitted to a licensed establishment, purchasing, or consuming alcohol. 

Liquor & Gaming NSW lists the following documents as primary evidence of age:

  • A driver or rider licence or permit that has been issued by either an Australian State or Territory or by any foreign country
  • An NSW Digital Driver Licence
  • An NSW photo card
  • An Australian passport, or a passport from any foreign country
  • A proof of age card that has been issued by a public authority of the Commonwealth, or of another State or Territory with the purpose of attesting to a person’s identity and age
  • A Keypass identity card issued by Australia post that shows the person is over 18

Secondary evidence

Secondary evidence refers to documentation that can be used to support a patron’s identity, in conjunction with their primary evidence. Secondary evidence cannot be used as a primary photo ID. Examples of secondary ID include:

  • A valid credit card
  • A workplace ID card
  • A valid entitlement card that has been issued by either a state or commonwealth government department, such as a Medicare Card

Tips for checking ID

If you are working in a liquor store, bar, restaurant, or another place that sells and serves alcohol, it is important to be familiar with good practices of checking ID. The regulatory body, Liquor & Gaming NSW offers some helpful tips for checking ID and proof of age documentation:

  • Examine ID in a well-lit area that allows you to spot any alterations more easily
  • Ask the person to remove their ID from the window face of their wallet, rather than inspecting it through the wallet window
  • Once you have taken the ID from the person, take your time examining it. This only applies to physical identification. It is recommended that you do not handle a person’s phone when presented with an NSW Digital Driver Licence
  • Calculate that the patron’s date of birth listed on the ID confirms them to be at least 18 years old
  • Check the ID to ensure it includes a hologram or other security feature relevant to that particular document
  • Compare the patron in front of you with the photo on the presented ID to check that they match. Pay attention to distinguishing facial features
  • Be sure to feel around different areas of the card, including the photo, birth date, and edges. If a card is enclosed in plastic or laminate that has wrinkles, bumps, or air bubbles, then it could mean that the ID has been altered

We hope this blog has been helpful in showing you examples of acceptable forms of ID in NSW. If you wish to complete an RSA course to work in the industry, get in touch with Express Online Training today! Express Online Training is a nationally accredited Registered Training Organisation (RTO). We offer online, fully accredited RSA, White Card, and RSG courses that you can complete at home, and at your own pace!


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