Age Verification Reminders for DtC Shippers

Rachel Hoffman
December 16, 2022

States have recently announced an uptick in age verification checks, including Massachusetts, which will be focusing on direct-to-consumer (DtC) wine shippers through the end of the year. At the same time, wine, beer and spirits drinkers are more willing than ever to receive their favorite beverages via DtC  shipping, which makes now a great time to review your age verification processes.
The most important alcohol regulation in the United States is that it is illegal to provide alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. In every state, minors are prohibited from purchasing, possessing or consuming any beverage alcohol.  Following age verification protocols is an essential way to prevent underage drinking and to protect your business. Here are three age verification reminders to ensure that your brewery, cidery, distillery or winery remains compliant.

Accidents aren’t an excuse

Sales to minors are always illegal; even accidentally providing a minor with alcohol can bring serious consequences. Even if the sale happened inadvertently, the seller can be charged. State regulators are ready to take action against anyone who flagrantly violates the law.

Consider an online verification service

Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio and South Dakota require licensed DtC shippers to take specific action prescribed by statute, including using online verification services (like LexisNexis or IDology, or a solution that leverages those services, such as ShipCompliant Direct), seeing the consumer’s ID in person or getting a facsimile of the ID at the time of purchase. Even in states where it’s not required by law, it’s always best practice to do point of sale age verification.

Carriers are your last line of defense

Alcohol shipments always require ID verification and an adult’s signature, so work with carriers that fully commit to following the law. While the burden is levied on the carriers, your shipping license is the one on the line.
States see age verification as a perennial issue, so even if they don’t announce compliance checks, they’re always vigilant when it comes to enforcement. By ensuring that you properly verify the age of each customer for each purchase, you are protecting against underage drinking, as well as protecting your business.

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Rachel Hoffman

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