Age verification

Age Verification Policy

The Alcohol Etc. (Scotland) Act 2010 introduces a new mandatory condition for all premises licences and occasional licences requiring an age verification policy to be in place on the premises in relation to the sale of alcohol.  The law has set a minimum age of 25 years for the policy where it appears to the person selling the alcohol that the customer may be under the age of 25 years.

As a result, customers in any premises in Scotland licensed for the sale of alcohol, including pubs, clubs, restaurants, supermarkets and convenience stores may be asked to produce identification where they appear under the age of twenty-five to prove that they are over the age of eighteen and can lawfully purchase alcohol.

A specimen Age Verification Policy for use on licensed premises can be accessed via the link at the foot of this page. 

Refusals Register

Although not a requirement of the 2005 Act it is considered good practice to record refusals to sell alcohol in a refusals register or refusals book.  The keeping of such a register or book also shows that the premises licence holder has an effective system in place for checking ages of those presenting to purchase alcohol where there is concern that they may be underage.   

The information to be included in any refusals book or refusals register should include:

  1. The date and time of the attempted purchase;
  2. Name and address of customer (if staff are uncomfortable asking for these details, then don’t);
  3. The alcohol product requested;
  4. Staff member details; and
  5. Any other comments thought pertinent to the purchase.

Young Scot PASS Scheme

The Sale of Alcohol to Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2013 include the PASS Scheme as a source of valid identification.  The Young Scot National Entitlement Card with the PASS hologram is a legal and trusted way for young people to prove their age and access those goods and services to which they are entitled. It is supported by a number of organisations including, the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, the Retail Consortium, and Scottish Grocers Federation.

Young Scot launched its new  PASS Pack on 3rd October 2017.  The pack has been endorsed by  SCOTSS (Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards) and circulated to Trading Standards within all Local Authorities.  Young Scot is keen to get the message out to retailers and the licensed trade.  It is also keen to dispel any myths about PASS and encourage responsible retailers who use PASS to allow young people to access the goods and services they are entitled to. 

For more information, or to order a Young Scot PASS Pack, your local Young Scot contact is Roanna Clark and Roanna can be contacted by phone on 01546-604752 or by e-mail at or visit the Argyll and Bute Young Scot web page.