Can you scan an ID in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island law regulates a business’s ability to scan IDs and retain information obtained from the scan.
Overview of Rhode Island ID Scanning Laws
Rhode Island law allows a nongovernmental entity (other than entities allowed to renew driver’s licenses and financial institutions for verifying information for financial transactions) to scan a driver’s license only for the purpose of verifying the age of an individual and to access only the following information: (a) name, (b) age, (c) date of birth, (d) signature, (e) photo, and (f) ID expiration date.
Such information so accessed cannot be stored, recorded, or retained.
Rhode Island law governing issues associated with a business’s practice of scanning IDs is broad and unlikely allows the business to scan IDs for the purposes of loyalty enrollment, check acceptance, refunds, or access control at distribution centers because a consumer/individual’s minimum age is not a requisite in these transactions. To the extent verifying a consumer’s minimum age is required in connection with picking up purchased (and age-restricted) merchandise, the business is likely allowed to scan the consumer’s ID for the purpose of verifying the consumer’s age; however, even then, the business is not allowed to retain any information accessed.
An interesting exception/exemption to the statute applies to “financial institutions engaged in the verification of information for financial transactions.” Based on the language of the statute, financial institutions appear to be allowed to scan IDs to access any kind of information and to retain such information subject only to applicable privacy laws. To the extent a retailer processing private label credit card applications can be deemed a financial institution, the retailer may arguably be exempt from the statute.
Does Rhode Island offer affirmative defense for ID scanning?
Yes. Rhode Island offers affirmative defense for ID scanning for tobacco sales.
Rhode Island General Laws Title 31 – Motor and Other vehicles
Chapter 31-10 – Operators’ and Chauffeurs’ Licenses Section 31-10-26 – Issuance of license.
(a) The division of motor vehicles shall, upon payment of the required fee, issue to every qualifying applicant an operator’s or chauffeur’s license. The license shall be approximately two and one-half inches (2 1/2″) wide and three and one-half inches (3 1/2″) long and shall bear on it a distinguishing number assigned to the licensee, the full name, date of birth, residence address, brief description of the licensee, a photograph of the licensee, whether the licensee has indicated a desire to donate tissue or organs pursuant to the provisions of chapter 18.6 of title 23, and either a space upon which the licensee shall write his or her usual signature with pen and ink or a facsimile of the signature of the licensee. No license shall be valid until it has been so signed by the licensee designated on it. A negative file of all photographs of licensees shall be maintained by the division of motor vehicles for a period of five (5) years.
(b) The division of motor vehicles shall issue special licenses to those licensees who have indicated that they desire to donate tissue or organs, which conform to the provisions of the Rhode Island Anatomical Gift Act, chapter 18.6 of title 23.
(c) Any person who is a law enforcement officer, meaning any permanently employed member of the state, city, or town police departments, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, members of the marshal’s unit, capitol police, and the state fire marshal and deputy fire marshals of the division of fire safety or a member of the department of attorney general, any permanently employed federal law enforcement officer assigned in Rhode Island, or any member of the United States Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island or any employee of the R.I. department of corrections, as recommended by the director of the department of corrections, upon request of the applicant, shall be issued a license which contains the applicant’s official business address in lieu of a residence address as required under the general provisions of this section.
(d) The license issued to a person applying for the first time shall be designated as a “first license”. A first license shall be issued for a one year period after which time a permanent driver’s license shall be issued according to this section.
(e) If an applicant has been adjudicated for committing one moving motor vehicle violation, has been involved in one reportable motor vehicle accident, or both, he or she shall be summoned for a hearing before a judge of the traffic tribunal at which time the driving record will be reviewed. The traffic tribunal judge shall determine if the person should be granted an operator’s license, be reissued a first license, or be denied a license to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Rhode Island.
(f) Any person who is under the age of twenty-one (21) years shall, upon payment of the required fee and upon meeting the qualifications for the receipt of an operator’s or chauffeur’s license, be issued a license which shall be readily distinguishable in color from those licenses issued to persons who are twenty-one (21) years of age or older. When a person under the age of twenty-one (21) years to whom a license has been issued and whose license is in full force and effect, attains his or her twenty-first birthday, he or she shall be entitled to receive a new license of the type issued to persons who are older than the age of twenty-one (21) years from the administrator of the division of motor vehicles upon demand at no expense. Every person shall supply to the division of motor vehicles satisfactory proof of his or her date of birth.
(g) The division of motor vehicles shall issue special licenses upon the request of a licensee which conform to the provisions of the Rhode Island Anatomical Gift Act, chapter 18.6 of title 23.
(h) The division of motor vehicles shall note in an appropriate manner a restriction on any person’s license who is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock system as provided in chapter 27 of this title.
(i) Any personal digitized information contained within an operator’s or chauffeur’s license shall be limited to: (a) the licensee’s name, age, date of birth, address, gender, physical description such as weight, height, hair color and eye color, signature and organ donor status; and (b) the license number, commercial endorsements, expiration date, issue date, restriction and class.
(j) Except to the extent an entity is authorized to renew drivers’ licenses, or except for financial institutions engaged in the verification of information for financial transactions, nongovernmental entities shall not have access to any digitized information contained in an operator or chauffeur’s license other than the licensee’s name, age, date of birth, signature, and photographic image, and the license’s expiration date; nor shall they store, record or retain any such information obtained through a digital reading device. Access to digitized information by such entities shall be solely for the purpose of determining the age of an individual for a transaction, right or privilege available by law only to persons of a certain age.
(k) To the extent that nongovernmental entities shall have access to the digitized information stored on an operator’s or chauffeur’s license, the entity shall be civilly liable for the unauthorized access to, or retention or use of, such information by its agents or persons acting in the name of the entity.
(l) The division of motor vehicles shall collect from applicants and licensees their social security numbers and tax identification numbers only to the extent required by federal law. Such numbers shall not be included, either digitally or visually, on the operator’s or chauffeur’s license.
(a) As used in this section: (1) “furnish” means to provide with, supply, give or purchase; (2) “procure” means to get possession of, obtain by particular care and effort; and (3) “permit” means to give permission for, or approval of, the possession or consumption of an alcoholic beverage by any form of conduct, that would cause a reasonable person to believe that permission or approval has been given.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this section it is unlawful for any person twenty-one (21) years of age or older:
- (1) to purchase from any licensee or any employee of a licensee any alcoholic beverage for the sale, delivery, service of or giving away to, any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday;
- (2) to purchase from any licensee or any employee of any licensee any alcoholic beverage with the intent to cause or permit said alcoholic beverage to be sold, or given to any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday;
- (3) to knowingly furnish any alcoholic beverage for the sale, delivery, service of or giving to any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday;
- (4) to procure alcoholic beverages for the sale, delivery, service of or giving to any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday; or
- (5) to otherwise permit the consumption of alcohol by underaged persons in his or her residence or on his or her real property.
(c) Any person, between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-one (21) years of age, who violates subsection (b) herein, may, upon conviction, be subject to a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars ($500). In addition, any person convicted may be required to attend an educational program approved by the department of health designed to recognize the dangers of underaged drinking, and may be subject to up to thirty (30) hours of community service.
(d) This section does not apply to use, consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages by a minor for religious purposes; or to a parent or legal guardian procuring or furnishing alcohol to, or permitting the consumption of alcohol by, his or her minor child or ward.
(e) Any person who violates this section will be subject to the penalties provided in § 3-8-11.2. Prohibition on the sale or distribution of tobacco products or electronic nicotine-delivery systems through the mail to persons under twenty-one (21) — Proof of age of purchaser required — General rule.
The distribution, or sale of tobacco products to children under the of eighteen (18) or electronic nicotine-delivery systems by the seller of the products to persons under the age of twenty-one (21) via the United States Postal Service, or by any other public or private postal or package delivery service, shall be prohibited.
Any person selling or distributing tobacco products, tobacco, chewing tobacco, or snuff or electronic nicotine-delivery systems directly to a consumer via the United States Postal Service, or by any other public or private postal or package delivery service, including orders placed by mail, telephone, facsimile, or internet, shall:
- Before distributing or selling the tobacco product or electronic nicotine-delivery system through any of these means, receive both a copy of a valid form of government identification showing date of birth to verify the purchaser is age eighteen (18) twenty-one (21) years or over and an attestation from the purchaser certifying that the information on the government identification truly and correctly identifies the purchaser and the purchaser’s current address, and
- Deliver the tobacco product or electronic nicotine-delivery system to the address of the purchaser given on the valid form of government identification and by a postal or package delivery service method that either limits delivery to that purchaser and requires the purchaser to sign personally to receive the delivery or requires a signature of an adult a person age twenty-one (21) or over at the purchaser’s address to deliver the package.
Distribution, or sale or conveyance of a tobacco product or electronic nicotine-delivery system to a child person under eighteen (18) twenty-one (21) years of age via the United States Postal Service, or by any other public or private postal or package delivery service, shall be subject to an action against the distributor, or seller or conveyor by the attorney general of the state of Rhode Island. A minimum fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) shall be assessed against and distributor, or seller or conveyor convicted of distributing, or selling or conveying tobacco products or electronic nicotine-delivery systems via the United States postal service, or by any other public or private postal or package delivery service, for each delivery, or sale or conveyance of a tobacco product or electronic nicotine-delivery system to a child person under eighteen twenty-one (21) years of age.
Passed in 2021, the state of Rhode Island requires ID scanning for individuals under 27 years of age for the purchase of tobacco or vaping 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.
This law provides an affirmative defense. A retailer cannot be charged for underage tobacco sales if they proved they used an ID scanning device.
Every purchaser of ferrous or non-ferrous metals to require positive proof of identification, including photograph, current address, and date of birth, from every seller of metals to the purchaser. Buyers would be required to maintain records of purchases that would include the distinctive number from government issued photo identification. Copies of the records would be delivered weekly to the chief of police of the city or town in which the buyer’s business is located.
Introduced 1/26/2022. This act would take effect upon passage.
This act would prohibit the use of facial recognition technology and biometric recognition technology in video-lottery terminals at pari-mutuel licensees in the state or in online betting applications. This act would also prohibit the use of certain other technologies in state gaming operations. The prohibition would not apply to standardized rewards programs.