ID requirements for bars

Old Sep 18, 15, 8:58 pm
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ID requirements for bars

I'm a Canadian citizen, and I've been living in California for almost three years. I'm here on an H-1B.

I just went to a bar, and handed over my Ontario (Canada) driver's license. The bouncer asked if I had a passport. I asked if US issued ID would be fine, she said yes, so I handed over my NEXUS card.

She called her manager, who told me they'd make an exception, but for establishments that only serve alcohol, I have to use my passport.

Is there any truth to this? I've never run into an issue anywhere else, ever, and I'm certainly not going to start carrying my passport around everywhere I go.
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Old Sep 18, 15, 9:05 pm
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Remember that the bouncers and waitresses are minimum wage people who could lose their job if they let someone in with fake ID. Not being travelers, the only "travel" ID they are likely to be familiar with is a passport. Even the manager is likely a fairly low level employee who knows only what she's been told, not what the law really is.

If this is the first time in three years you've had any hassles, I'd say you are probably not going get hassled much in the future.

You could just get a California drivers license. I think you are supposed to anyway if you reside here more than a month or two.
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Old Sep 18, 15, 9:06 pm
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I've seen this happen before. I have a CA DL so not a problem for me, and 99% of places are ok with foreign picture ID, but I've seen establishments that have recently been audited by the alcohol board suddenly only accept passports or US ID.
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Old Sep 18, 15, 9:07 pm
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I think it's just this bar, based on what a friend told me about another Canadian who was denied entry.
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Old Sep 18, 15, 9:08 pm
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Originally Posted by ajnz View Post
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I've seen this happen before. I have a CA DL so not a problem for me, and 99% of places are ok with foreign picture ID, but I've seen establishments that have recently been audited by the alcohol board suddenly only accept passports or US ID.
A NEXUS card is US ID
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Old Sep 18, 15, 9:23 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
I just went to a bar, and handed over my Ontario (Canada) driver's license. The bouncer asked if I had a passport. I asked if US issued ID would be fine, she said yes, so I handed over my NEXUS card.
This is the law:
California Business and Professions Code:

25660.

(a) Bona fide evidence of majority and identity of the
person is any of the following:
(1) A document issued by a federal, state, county, or municipal
government, or subdivision or agency thereof, including, but not
limited to, a valid motor vehicle operator's license, that contains
the name, date of birth, description, and picture of the person.
(2) A valid passport issued by the United States or by a foreign
government.
(3) A valid identification card issued to a member of the Armed
Forces that includes a date of birth and a picture of the person.
(b) Proof that the defendant-licensee, or his or her employee or
agent, demanded, was shown, and acted in reliance upon bona fide
evidence in any transaction, employment, use, or permission forbidden
by Section 25658, 25663, or 25665 shall be a defense to any criminal
prosecution therefor or to any proceedings for the suspension or
revocation of any license based thereon.
It would appear that a driver's license issued by a foreign government is not an acceptable proof of age.
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Old Sep 18, 15, 10:41 pm
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
This is the law:
California Business and Professions Code:

It would appear that a driver's license issued by a foreign government is not an acceptable proof of age.
But the NEXUS card is issued by the US federal government.
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Old Sep 18, 15, 10:44 pm
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Cool

Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
But the NEXUS card is issued by the US federal government.
But if the bar people don't know what it is, they are going to reject you. It seems like it happens pretty rarely, dude, and you do look pretty young.
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Old Sep 18, 15, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
But if the bar people don't know what it is, they are going to reject you. It seems like it happens pretty rarely, dude, and you do look pretty young.

I guess.

But I was the oldest person in my group
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Old Sep 18, 15, 10:50 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
But the NEXUS card is issued by the US federal government.
I fully understand that. However, I don't have one, so I'm not familiar with the identifying information on it. If it's like my Global Entry card, it has a photo, but no physical description, i.e., height, weight and color of eyes and hair. That appears to be a requirement for all documents except for passports and military identifications.
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Old Dec 3, 15, 9:38 am
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Weird, I was in New York just recently and went to four such places. Simply showed my Swedish ID card to the entrance guards and they didn't even raise an eyebrow (I had just turned 21). In fact, it was perfectly accepted for all purposes other than entering the country.

Maybe it would've been a different Story in California? I honestly don't know.

Last edited by Crazydre; Dec 3, 15 at 9:44 am
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Old Dec 3, 15, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by Crazydre View Post
Weird, I was in New York just recently and went to four such places. Simply showed my Swedish ID card to the entrance guards and they didn't even raise an eyebrow (I had just turned 21). In fact, it was perfectly accepted for all purposes other than entering the country.

Maybe it would've been a different Story in California? I honestly don't know.
Each of the 50 states has its own laws concerning such matters.
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Old Dec 3, 15, 1:59 pm
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It's also up to the private business to enforce its own requirements. All the BPC provision does is state the minimum standard which will permit a business to avoid liability in California.

The unfortunate problem, as others point out, is that the people who do the grunt work are minimum (or close to it) workers. Sure Nexus is a USG-issued ID. But, if you want to make it simple, you tell your people State DL or Passport and that's it.
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Old Dec 3, 15, 5:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Sure Nexus is a USG-issued ID. But, if you want to make it simple, you tell your people State DL or Passport and that's it.
Does the Nexus card list identifying physical description such as height, weight and color of eyes and hair? Except for passports and US military identifications, that's required to be included on documents presented to prove age and identification by California Business and Professions Code 25660 that I linked above.
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Old Dec 3, 15, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
Does the Nexus card list identifying physical description such as height, weight and color of eyes and hair? Except for passports and US military identifications, that's required to be included on documents presented to prove age and identification by California Business and Professions Code 25660 that I linked above.
But that's stupid.

My passport doesn't list any of that. And why should it? It has my picture on it...
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