Rhode Island S 0920 | ID scanning for vapor products

Person blowing smoke after using vape

Last updated on March 19th, 2024 at 02:45 pm

Passed in 2021, the state of Rhode Island requires ID scanning for individuals under 27 years of age for the purchase of tobacco or vapor products.

(a) Before a retailer sells an e-liquid or vapor product to any purchaser, the person selling, offering for sale, giving, or furnishing the e-liquid or vapor product shall verify that the purchaser is of legal age by:
(1) For any sale by a brick and mortar retailer in this state, examining from any person that appears to be under twenty-seven (27) years of age a government-issued photographic identification that establishes the person is of legal age and verifying the identification presented using third-party identification fraud detection software, technology or scanner that confirms the authenticity of said identification; or
(2) For any delivery sale by a retailer to a purchaser in this state, performing an age verification through an independent, third-party age verification software, service or technology that compares information available from public records to the personal information entered by the purchaser during the ordering process that establishes the purchaser is of legal age or older.

Penalties for minors using a fake ID for vapor products

(d) If a minor violates subsections (b) or (c) of this section, he or she is guilty of a petty offense and the court may impose a sentence of twenty-five (25) hours of community service and a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) for a first violation. A second violation by a minor of subsections (b) or (c) of this section that occurs within twelve (12) months after the first violation is punishable by a fine of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) and fifty (50) hours of community service. A third or subsequent violation by a minor of subsections (b) or (c) of this section that occurs within twelve (12) months after the first violation is punishable by a two hundred dollar ($200) fine and fifty (50) hours of community service and shall result in a suspension of the minor’s driver’s license for a period not to exceed six (6) months, if applicable.

Does Rhode Island offer affirmative defense for ID scanning?

Yes.

(f) The following defenses are available to a retail permit holder or employee accused of selling or distributing e- liquids or vapor products to a person who is a minor:

(1) The purchaser produced a government-issued photographic identification bearing the purchaser’s photograph showing that the purchaser was of legal age to make the purchase and the third-party identification fraud detection scanner technology or software utilized confirmed the authenticity of the purchaser’s identification;
(2) The third-party age verification software or technology system used by the retailer confirmed that the purchaser was of above the age of twenty-one (21); and
(3) The appearance of the purchaser was such that an ordinary prudent person would believe that the purchaser does not appear to be under twenty-seven (27) years of age.