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Designing a Carding Policy Employees and Customers Can Get Behind

Age is more than just a number. The chronological sequencing of digits bares rite of passage along the way as one’s age contributes a great deal to maturity, qualifications and so on. At The BARS Program, we’re partial to the number 35 and here’s why.


Many clients come to us asking for carding policy recommendations. Some are worried current practices aren’t strict enough, while others say operations follow a firm “ID Everyone” policy. If you’re in the business of selling age-sensitive products, on- or off-premise, finding middle ground between the two disciplines is good for business. Drawing upon BARS’ years of experience within the compliance field, our recommendation is ID under 35. The vast majority of people are able to visually identify the unassailable differences between a 21-year-old and a 35-year-old - after all, this is a 14-year difference. Also, not to be overlooked, is the tacit expectation among many 20- and 30-year-olds to be carded for many years to come when purchasing age-restricted products.


Remaining transparent about your carding policy helps to avoid awkward and/or heated situations for employees and customers. Tweaking your compliance training materials so your employees are well-aware of your carding policy is an absolute priority, while so too is pushing consistent use of the practice among employees, time and time again. Consider posting signs around your establishment and encouraging all servers and clerks to mention the policy to customers. These practices safeguard the customer experience and set expectations to protect your business from costly consequences associated with failed government-backed stings.


A flawlessly recorded policy that is consistently practiced does not discriminate against age, but rather upholds a positive, non-offensive customer experience. It sets expectations among employees, too. If you’d like assistance updating or re-writing your brand’s identification policy to include under 35 practices, contact The BARS Program at 1-877-540-5500 or We’ll work in tandem to develop a well-documented, error-proof policy your employees can follow and customers won’t take offense to.

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