The government has recommended that retailers accept Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) cards from customers buying age-restricted products.

Lord Henley, minister of state for crime prevention and antisocial behaviour said “The government fully endorses the PASS scheme and would strongly encourage all retailers and door supervisors to accept PASS hologrammed cards as valid proof of age. All those responsible for checking proof of age, including retailers and door supervisors, should be reassured that asking for and accepting a card with a PASS hologram and which carries the bearer’s photo and acceptable date of birth is due diligence.

“Young people who have taken the trouble to equip themselves with valid ID, such as a PASS card, should have confidence that it will be accepted as valid proof of age by retailers and door supervisors,” added Henley. “Therefore, the government encourages all licensed premises to accept PASS cards as their preferred proof of age.”

Introduced in 2003, all PASS cards contain the holder’s date of birth, full name, a passport standard photograph, an image of the holder’s signature and a PASS hologram.

The PASS scheme is supported by all the major trade associations, including the Association of Convenience Stores, the British Beer and Pub Association, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association and the British Retail Consortium.