Can you scan an ID in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law does not regulate a business’s practice of scanning IDs or retaining information obtained from a scan.
Pennsylvania requires ID scanning for the purchase of to-go alcohol.
There are some instances in which merchants are required to record information related to identity, such as sale of controlled substances, scrap metal recycling, and firearms sales. ID scanning can improve the ease and accuracy of record keeping in these scenarios.
Overview of Pennsylvania ID Scanning Laws
In the absence of any statute governing issues associated with a business’s practice of scanning IDs, a business is likely allowed to scan IDs and to retain information obtained from a scan, subject to applicable privacy laws. However, information obtained from an ID scan cannot be sold or given to any third party entities.
Does Pennsylvania offer affirmative defense for ID scanning?
Yes. Pennsylvania offers affirmative defense for ID scanning for alcohol sales. However, there is no reference to affirmative defense for ID scanning for tobacco sales.
Pennsylvania Section 4-495 – Identification cards; licensees and state liquor store employes saved from prosecution
(a) The valid photo driver’s license or identification card issued by the Department of Transportation or by any other state, or Canadian driver’s license or other bona fide Canadian identification such as a Canadian-issued passport, or a valid armed forces of the United States identification card, a valid passport or a travel visa issued by the United States or a foreign country that contains the holder’s photograph shall, for the purpose of this act, be accepted as an identification card.(b) Such identification card shall be presented by the holder thereof upon request of any State Liquor Store or any licensee, or the servant, agent or employe thereof, for the purpose of aiding such store, licensee, or the servant, agent or employe to determine whether or not such person is twenty-one years of age and upwards, when such person desires alcoholic beverage at a State Liquor Store or licensed establishment.(c) In addition to the presentation of such identification card, the agent of the State Liquor Store or the licensee, or his servant, agent or employe, may require the person whose age may be in question to fill in and sign a form containing language approved by the board or containing the following:
I,………. hereby represent to ………., a State Store or licensee of the board, that I am of full age and discretion and over the age of 21 years, having been born on ………. 19… at ……….
This statement is made to induce said store or licensee above named to sell or otherwise furnish alcoholic beverages to the undersigned.
Serial Number of Identification Card:
I understand that I am subject to a fine of $300.00 and sixty days imprisonment for any misrepresentation herein.
The forms shall be printed in a manner approved by the board and shall be filed alphabetically by the State Liquor Store or licensee in a file box containing a suitable alphabetical index at or before the close of business on the day that the form is executed, and any such form shall be subject to examination by any officer, agent or employe of the enforcement bureau at any and all times.(d) Repealed. 1988, March 25, P.L. 262, No. 31, § 15(b) effective in 60 days.(e) No penalty shall be imposed on a licensee, licensee’s employe or State Liquor Store employe for serving alcohol to a minor if the licensee or employe can establish that the minor was required to produce an identification card as set forth in subsection (a), the minor completed and signed the form as set forth in subsection (c) and these documents were relied upon in good faith. This defense shall apply to all civil and criminal prosecutions.(f) In addition to the defense set forth in subsection (e), no penalty shall be imposed on a licensee, licensee’s employe or State Liquor Store employe for serving alcohol to a minor if the licensee or employe can establish that the minor was required to produce an identification card as set forth in subsection (a), a photograph, photocopy or other visual or video presentation of the identification card was made and those documents were relied upon in good faith. This defense shall apply to all civil and criminal prosecutions.(g) In addition to the defenses set forth in subsections (e) and (f), no penalty shall be imposed on a licensee, licensee’s employe or Pennsylvania Liquor Store employe for serving alcohol to a minor if the licensee or employe can establish that the minor was required to produce an identification card as set forth in subsection (a), the identification card is identified as a valid card by a transaction scan device and the identification card and transaction scan results were relied upon in good faith. This defense shall apply to all civil and criminal prosecutions. For purposes of this section, a “transaction scan device” is a device capable of deciphering in an electronically readable format the information encoded on the magnetic strip or bar code of an identification card set forth in subsection (a).(h) No licensee or licensee’s agent or employe shall sell or otherwise disseminate the information derived from a transaction scan to any third party, except to the board, the bureau or other law enforcement official, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, any marketing, advertising or promotional activities, except that a licensee or licensee’s agent or employe may release that information pursuant to a court order. Any person who violates this subsection commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) for the first offense and to pay a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) for subsequent offenses.
(a.1) Purchase.–A minor is guilty of a summary offense if the minor:
(1) purchases or attempts to purchase a tobacco product; or
(2) knowingly falsely represents himself to be at least 21 years of age or if the minor is a member of the active or reserve components of any branch or unit of the armed forces of the United States or a veteran who received an honorable discharge from any branch or unit of the active or reserve components of the armed forces of the United States, at least 18 years of age to a person for the purpose of purchasing or receiving a tobacco product.
(1) The following affirmative defense is available:
(i) It is an affirmative defense for a retailer to an offense under subsection (a)(1) and (2) that, prior to the date of the alleged violation, the retailer has complied with all of the following:
(A) adopted and implemented a written policy against selling tobacco products to minors which includes:
(I) a requirement that an employee ask an individual who appears to be 25 years of age or younger for a valid photoidentification as proof of age prior to making a sale of tobacco products;
(II) a list of all types of acceptable photoidentification;
(III) a list of factors to be examined in the photoidentification, including photo likeness, birth date, expiration date, bumps, tears or other damage and signature;
(IV) a requirement that, if the photoidentification is missing any of the items listed in subclause (III), it is not valid and cannot be accepted as proof of age for the sale of tobacco products. A second photoidentification may be required to make the sale of tobacco products, with questions referred to the manager; and
(V) a disciplinary policy which includes employee counseling and suspension for failure to require valid photoidentification and dismissal for repeat improper sales.
(B) informed all employees selling tobacco products through an established training program of the applicable Federal and State laws regarding the sale of tobacco products to minors;
(C) documented employee training indicating that all employees selling tobacco products have been informed of and understand the written policy referred to in clause (A);
(D) trained all employees selling tobacco products to verify that the purchaser is at least 21 years of age or if the minor is a member of the active or reserve components of any branch or unit of the armed forces of the United States or a veteran who received an honorable discharge from any branch or unit of the active or reserve components of the armed forces of the United States, at least 18 years of age before selling tobacco products;
(E) conspicuously posted a notice that selling tobacco products to a minor is illegal, that the purchase of tobacco products by a minor is illegal and that a violator is subject to penalties; and
(F) established and implemented disciplinary sanctions for noncompliance with the policy under clause (A).
(ii) An affirmative defense under this paragraph must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence.
(iii) An affirmative defense under this paragraph may be used by a retailer no more than three times at each retail location during any 24-month period.
The other business cash registers comply with the requirements of sections 415(a)(8) and (9) of the Liquor Code, 47 P.S. § 4-415(a)(8) and (9), which include the following:
- Cash registers must have signage posted to designate that alcohol may be purchased at said register.
- Cash registers cannot be registers where customers scan their own purchases.
- Cash registers must be staffed at all times when patrons are purchasing alcohol.
- Cash register clerks must be at least 18 years of age and have completed Responsible Alcohol Management Program training.
- Cash register clerks must use a transaction scan device to verify the age of any patron purchasing alcohol who appears to be under 35 years of age before a sale can occur.
- The licensee may not sell or share the data from the use of its transaction scan device, except for providing said data to the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement.
Section 3. Identification requirements for sale of scrap materials to scrap processors and recycling facility operators.
(a) General rule.–A scrap processor and recycling facility operator shall collect the following information for all transactions by a seller of restricted material under section 5 and from any other seller when the purchase of scrap material from the seller exceeds $100:
- A photocopy of the driver’s license of the seller.
- The seller’s and buyer’s signature for each transaction.
- The license plate number of the motor vehicle the seller operates at the time of the transaction.
- Written permission of the seller’s parent or legal guardian, if the seller is under 18 years of age.
(c) A retailer shall require any person purchasing anonprescription product that contains ephedrine orpseudoephedrine to present a valid government-issued photoidentification, or other document considered acceptable underFederal law for this purpose, at the point of sale. The retailershall record the following:
- Name and address of the purchaser.
- Name and quantity of product purchased.
- Date and time of purchase.
- Purchaser identification type and number, such as driver’s license state and number, and require the purchaser’s signature in a logbook.
(d) A retailer shall, before completing a sale under this section, electronically submit the required information to the real-time stop sale system administered by the department, provided that the system is available without a charge for retailers to access. Absent negligence, wantonness, recklessness or deliberate misconduct, any retailer using the electronic sales tracking system in accordance with this subsection shall not be civilly liable as a result of any act or omission in carrying out the duties required by this subsection and shall be immune from liability to any third party unless the retailer has violated any provision of this subsection in relation to a claim brought for such violation.
(2) Inspected photo identification of the potential purchaser or transferee, including, but not limited to, a driver’s license, official Pennsylvania photo identification card or official government photo identification card. In the case of a potential buyer or transferee who is a member of a recognized religious sect or community whose tenets forbid or discourage the taking of photographs of members of that sect or community, a seller shall accept a valid-without-photo driver’s license or a combination of documents, as prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police, containing the applicant’s name, address, date of birth and the signature of the applicant.