New York state considers biometric scanning for alcohol and tobacco purchases

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Last updated on December 6th, 2023 at 01:05 pm

What you need to know:

On March 4th, 2021 during a regular New York congress assembly session, a new paragraph was suggested in relation to additional verification measures before the sale of alcohol, tobacco, or electronic cigarette products. This bill would allow retailers to require some form of biometric scanning such as fingerprinting, iris scanning, facial scanning, etc. before permitting the transaction for alcohol or tobacco.

Why do they want to start biometric scanning?

Not only would this be “the new frontier of age verification”, but it would also “advance the interests of convenience,” said state Sen. James Skoufis, who is sponsoring the bill. The state Senator is not only hoping to cut down on the number of fake IDs being sold, but by using facial recognition and fingerprint scanning, it could lead to a future of convenience. Skoufis is hopeful that one day, customers won’t even have to take their ID out at previously visited establishments. 

When does it go into effect?

While it remains unclear as to when the new law will go into effect, we do know that the New York State lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn for the year of 2022 on June 2 to further discuss items on the agenda. However, although it remains undetermined when the new ruling will go into effect, it does not mean businesses should wait. With global supply chain shortages, the invasion of Ukraine (the supplier of around half the world’s supply of neon needles needed to create chips) and another lockdown in the province of China responsible for the product of most of the world’s microchips, the time to prepare is now. 


Although this new bill would allow businesses to require biometric data, it does not mean they are required to do so. Simple age verification measures such as ID Scanning are still acceptable for those that wish, but anyone under the age of 21 should still be denied purchase. However, why stay stuck in the “Middle Ages”, as one senator stated. This new ruling could not only put a strain on the fake ID realm, but could prevent the sale of harmful substances to minors. By analyzing unique facial shapes and features, sophisticated algorithms are able to create a specific signature for an individual’s face, much like a unique fingerprint.


ID Scanning and Biometric Scanning not only eliminates human error, but they also help to speed up processes in an already time consuming process. This technology allows you to quickly identify individuals who are underage, catch fake IDs, create specific profiles, and much more. All of the major companies of the future are already using biometric scanning as a means of visitor management, so why not join them in the future.

IDScan.net’s age verification and biometric solutions can help retailers verify age for every customer and catch fake IDs. We offer ID scanning, facial scanning, and fingerprint scanning solutions currently, while striving for innovation of new verification solutions as well. Contact a member of our team to learn more: 888.430.8936.