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Can an OLCC Licensee Accept a Canadian Driver’s License?

Can an OLCC Licensee Accept a Canadian Driver’s License?

Acceptable Forms of ID. Under Oregon law, licensees may accept only the following forms of identification alone as proof of age:

1. A valid state driver’s license with a photo;
2. A valid ID card issued by a state with photo, name, date of birth, & physical description;
3. A valid passport; or
4. A valid U.S. military ID card.
ORS 471.130

Foreign Driver Licensees. The OLCC interprets the word “state” in ORS 471.130(1)(b) to include driver’s licenses issued by US territories and states/provinces of foreign countries including Canada and Mexico. However, if a licensee cannot determine from the license the person’s age or whether the ID is a valid/authentic license from another country, the OLCC recommends that the licensee require another form of ID such as a passport.

The Licensee Assumes the Risk. In short, a licensee takes on the risk when it accepts a foreign driver’s license as the only evidence of age. If it turns out the identification is not authentic, the licensee is at risk of receiving a violation from the OLCC. For this reason, some establishments will not accept foreign driver’s licenses as a matter of policy, but they will accept passports. Generally speaking, most out-of-country visitors to the United States should have a valid passport that they used to gain entry to the US and that can be used as proof of age.

Take Away and Best Practices. In summary, a licensee can accept foreign driver’s licenses as proof of age, but it likely involves more risk because it is more difficult to determine if a foreign driver’s license is authentic or not. If a licensee decides to accept foreign driver’s licenses as acceptable identification, a best practice is to require a manager sign off to ensure that there are at least two sets of eyes on the identification. In addition, or alternatively, a licensee may decide to accept only foreign driver’s licenses for a limited number of countries, such as Canada and Mexico, and obtain resources that describe these forms of identification. The ID book that you currently use may include a section on some foreign forms of identification.

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