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Maryland SB 1056 | Age verification for tobacco sales

Person scanning ID for tobacco sales

Maryland recently passed a new law, SB 1056,  that will require certain licensed retailers to verify an individual’s date of birth before selling cigarettes, other tobacco products, vapes, or electronic smoking devices in a certain manner. A person may verify age using a government issued photo ID and in direct face-to-face exchange including the assistance of any electronic or mechanical device. The new law goes into effect October 1, 2024.

What does this mean?

Simply, you can use an ID scanner to check a customer’s ID as a means of verifying age prior to tobacco purchases. Any person appearing to be under thirty should have their age verified either manually by the attendant at the retail store, or by using age verification technology. While it is not required to scan IDs as a means of age verification, it can help you avoid hefty fines if prosecuted in court.

“In a prosecution for a violation of this section, it is a defense that the defendant examined the purchaser’s or recipients driver’s license or other valid identification issued by a government unit that positively identified the purchaser or recipient is at least 21 years of age or at least 18 years of age and an active duty member of the military”

Fines for noncompliance of Maryland SB 1056

  • First violation results in a $300 fine
  • Second violation within a 24 month period results in a $1000 fine
  • Each subsequent violation in a 24 month period results in a $3000 fine

How does ID scanning help avoid fines?

By implementing ID scanning into your establishment for tobacco or vape sales, it will allow you to properly verify every ID in question, it also provides a timestamped visitor log. This log is exportable and can be sent to necessary parties in the event that an underage person slips through the cracks. 

Can ID scanning be implemented into an existing POS?

Yes. The VeriScan or ParseLink solutions can both be tailored to work with existing point of sale systems should your business prefer to send data into your existing POS. However, VeriScan offers more features including custom lists, unique visitor profiles and even has the ability to work with the new Maryland ID version in the Apple Wallet. It also has data retention settings to maintain control of PII.

Conclusion

Maryland has passed several new laws pertaining to ID scanning, but we can ensure your business remains compliant. Our wide selection of ID scanners assures that we have an option that can be customized to fit your specific needs. To help prevent fines and avoid selling to minors, be sure to get your age verification system set up before SB 1056 goes into effect on October 1, 2024