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Questions about I.D in America

  • #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 5,080 ✭✭✭ McChubbin


    Howdy.
    Just wanted to ask this in relation to a trip I'm hoping to undertake next year.
    It will be my first time visiting the States and I'll be heading to New York/Manhatten. I'm 26 years of age and thus of legal drinking age but to be on the safe side I want to bring a valid ID with me in case I'm carded during the trip.
    However, I'm uncomfortable with the idea of carrying my passport around with me and would prefer to use an ID such as the Garda National Age Card.
    My questions are as followed:

    Will the age card be accepted in most bars in New York?

    If not, are there any other alternative forms of ID I can use besides my passport?

    I don't drive so I don't have a valid driver's license. If push comes to shove, I will use my passport but I'd prefer not to over safety issues. I'd be paranoid about it getting lost or stolen.

    Any help on the matter would be greatly appreciated. :)


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Comments



  • From my personal experience, it's passports only for foreigners (state IDs / drivers license for the Americans also suffice). How on earth do the door people in the US know a Garda Age Card from the next piece of plastic?




  • You'll have to bring your passport. I spent 5 weeks in the states when I was 23 and was kicked out of a bar in Hawai'i as I only had my age card.




  • Ahh, okay. No worries. I guess I'll just have to be extra vigilant when I'm over there. Thanks for the replies.




  • McChubbin wrote: »
    Ahh, okay. No worries. I guess I'll just have to be extra vigilant when I'm over there. Thanks for the replies.

    Make sure scan/photocopy the important pages and email them to yourself and someone who'll still be at home.




  • I got back from the us two weeks ago. I'm 25 I was carded for every drink I got, in bars in restraunts. Day or night. They're very strict. If you look younger then 30 they card you.


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  • empacher wrote: »
    I got back from the us two weeks ago. I'm 25 I was carded for every drink I got, in bars in restraunts. Day or night. They're very strict. If you look younger then 30 they card you.

    I've been out with much older people including some over sixty and we've all been carded, some places have an all or nothing policy.

    OP I've travelled all over the world and never had an issue with my passport, a little common sense in taking care of it and it's totally safe to carry it with you 24/7. Unless you're going somewhere totally dodgy you'll be fine and safer to have it with you.




  • I'd bring my passport if I were you.

    I ordered a cocktail with dinner a few months ago in a restaurant in Oregon and I wasn't served because the only ID I had was my Irish driving license (which is a piece of pink paper to be fair!) and a student card from an Irish college. I'm 25 btw.




  • you won't get away with anything but a passport. i am 37 and was asked for id all over new orleans in april and they wouldn't accept anything but a passport even to walk onto the casino floor.




  • McChubbin wrote: »
    It will be my first time visiting the States and I'll be heading to New York/Manhatten. I'm 26 years of age and thus of legal drinking age but to be on the safe side I want to bring a valid ID with me in case I'm carded during the trip.

    There is no "in case" you get asked for ID. You WILL be asked for ID every where you go, every time you order alcohol. How old you are or look, is irrelevant. You'll still get asked, so bring the passport. As you don't have a drivers license, nothing else will be accepted. They would just laugh at you if you presented a Garda ID card.

    I understand your safety concerns about the passport, but start figuring out now, where you will put it, or how you will keep it safe on a night out, as you'll definitely be needing it.




  • ProudDUB wrote: »
    They would just laugh at you if you presented a Garda ID card.

    And in case anyone is suspicious of that, I worked in LA in 1999 and ordered food online to be delivered to my hotel. I wasn't given the beer though as the driver had never seen a passport before and had no idea if it was fake or not. He was only allowed to hand over alcohol with a drivers license.

    Last year in Nebraska I booked into a hotel and again used my passport for ID. The girl behind the counter said "Well I guess that I can accept this" :)

    The passport will be fine but some places will almost expect a drivers license.


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  • OP is heading for NYC/Manhattan so shouldn't be any problem with staff accepting a passport as ID. Other threads here have also highlighted the problem of staff in redneck states who don't know what a passport looks like and demand a driver's licence, that should not happen in Manhattan (fingers firmly crossed).

    Was in Orlando with a gang from work at a sales convention a few years ago, the youngest of us (he was about 26) was always asked for ID in bars so we never left our hotel without checking that he had it on him.




  • Ponster wrote: »
    And in case anyone is suspicious of that, I worked in LA in 1999 and ordered food online to be delivered to my hotel. I wasn't given the beer though as the driver had never seen a passport before and had no idea if it was fake or not. He was only allowed to hand over alcohol with a drivers license.

    Last year in Nebraska I booked into a hotel and again used my passport for ID. The girl behind the counter said "Well I guess that I can accept this" :)

    The passport will be fine but some places will almost expect a drivers license.

    Some places won't even take a license if it from out of state. As each states has their own license, they all look different, so fakes are relatively easy to pass off on an unsuspecting waiter or bartender. A waiter in Maine won't necessarily know what an Illinois license looks like, and vice versa. So its either a passport, an instate license or nothing. But an Irish person who looks and sounds foreign should generally be ok with their Irish license, especially with the new credit card style. However, I'd say only the passport is 100% guaranteed, as I know people who only had the old paper license and they were refused liquor.

    It's also quite common for everyone at a restaurant table to be asked for ID, even if only one of them is ordering booze. This is to prevent someone ordering a drink for themselves and passing it over to the underage person, once the waiters back is turned.




  • I've even had issues with my passport in a few supermarkets. Some have a policy where they can only accept an ID which has your physical attributes (height, weight, eye/hair colour) on it.




  • Because of the legal drinking age being 21, there's a thriving trade amongst college students producing fake ID's. Every college kid would know how to get one.

    Thats one of the reasons weird foreign ID's like garda age cards wont work.




  • I have grey hair, but I still get asked for ID sometimes.

    If the law says ALL patrons much produce ID then thats what you have to do. The establishment could lose their license if they dont enforce it.




  • jaymcg91 wrote: »
    From my personal experience, it's passports only for foreigners (state IDs / drivers license for the Americans also suffice). How on earth do the door people in the US know a Garda Age Card from the next piece of plastic?
    rossie1977 wrote: »
    you won't get away with anything but a passport. i am 37 and was asked for id all over new orleans in april and they wouldn't accept anything but a passport even to walk onto the casino floor.

    I used my drivers licence everywhere in NYC and never had a problem.

    Seeing as you don't have one, just bring your passport, use your common sense and you will be fine.

    New York is relatively safe these days anyway.




  • keith16 wrote: »
    I used my drivers licence everywhere in NYC and never had a problem.

    Seeing as you don't have one, just bring your passport, use your common sense and you will be fine.

    New York is relatively safe these days anyway.

    Yup.

    Its more about accidentally losing your passport than having it stolen. I really dont think your average american criminal would have any interest in a passport.




  • InTheTrees wrote: »
    Yup.

    Its more about accidentally losing your passport than having it stolen. I really dont think your average american criminal would have any interest in a passport.

    I disagree. A passport would have a fair amount of value on the black market. A criminal could do all sorts of things with one, as its such a widely accepted form of ID. They could open fake bank accounts & do God knows what else, in other peoples names.




  • ProudDUB wrote: »
    I disagree. A passport would have a fair amount of value on the black market. A criminal could do all sorts of things with one, as its such a widely accepted form of ID. They could open fake bank accounts & do God knows what else, in other peoples names.

    I suppose so. But given only a small proportion of americans even have a passport I just meant your average mugger in New york City may not appreciate the value as much as criminals in europe would.

    I mean its not like an irish passport would get you a bank account in america for instance or help with immigration in any way.

    Maybe you're right though.




  • ProudDUB wrote: »
    I disagree. A passport would have a fair amount of value on the black market. A criminal could do all sorts of things with one, as its such a widely accepted form of ID. They could open fake bank accounts & do God knows what else, in other peoples names.

    Maybe in Nigeria Zambia Zimbabwe yes but in America unlikely.


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  • Chris___ wrote: »
    Maybe in Nigeria Zambia Zimbabwe yes but in America unlikely.

    US banks require two forms of government issued photo ID. A stolen passport and one of the widely available fake drivers licenses & you are on your way. As passports last 10 years, there is often a huge discrepancy in the photo on the inside, versus the physical appearance of the person presenting it. So you don't even need to look like the person in the photo, for it to be accepted.




  • I was refused entry into a niteclub in San Francisco with a passport. According to the idiot at the door it wasn't a valid I.D.




  • I know plenty of people who've got away with drivers licences and plenty who've gotten denied with them on occasion too, you've a much better chance with the new licence than the old one though.

    Passport is the only thing that they'll definitely accept though, on the rare occasion that they turn that down there's not much you can do! Although one friend who got turned away was told by the bouncer to get back in line and next time hand up his drivers licence with a twenty dollar bill slipped in behind it, worked too!!

    Getting asked for ID is much more commonplace over here but plenty of small local bars and restaurants won't ask, especially if you're away from student areas. I celebrated my 21st over here in a bar that I had frequented on several occasions!




  • ProudDUB wrote: »
    There is no "in case" you get asked for ID. You WILL be asked for ID every where you go, every time you order alcohol. How old you are or look, is irrelevant. You'll still get asked, so bring the passport. As you don't have a drivers license, nothing else will be accepted. They would just laugh at you if you presented a Garda ID card.

    I understand your safety concerns about the passport, but start figuring out now, where you will put it, or how you will keep it safe on a night out, as you'll definitely be needing it.

    No you wont be asked for ID everywhere you go. In Manhattan only in places where there are bouncers on the door and these are generally in the village. Unless you look like a child you'll have no problem getting served.




  • I was refused entry into a niteclub in San Francisco with a passport. According to the idiot at the door it wasn't a valid I.D.

    Well to them it isn't :)

    Some nightclubs in NYC will only take a US drivers license. Nothing else will work, not even a US passport if you're a citizen. The bouncers sometimes have card readers that they use to scan the license to check if it's real. If you don't have a scannable card then no entry.




  • When i was in new york i was never asked for id to buy drinks but most shops where i used a bank or credit card to pay asked for id.




  • I was refused entry into a niteclub in San Francisco with a passport. According to the idiot at the door it wasn't a valid I.D.

    When we moved, we only used our passports for ID while waiting for our drivers licenses. Only had a problem once, getting into a concert at the fillmore, and the wife wanted to get the wristband for being over 21. The bouncer told us that it wasn't a valid and ID and not to try it again. Fortunately, his supervisor was there looked at it and said it was just as valid as an out of state license, and let her in.

    Now, even though I don't drink I always carry either my license or state ID as it can come up at anytime going into places.




  • SHOVELLER wrote: »
    No you wont be asked for ID everywhere you go. In Manhattan only in places where there are bouncers on the door and these are generally in the village. Unless you look like a child you'll have no problem getting served.

    That's bull****. I'm 42 and live in nyc. I was last carded on Friday night in my local neighborhood. A guy in his 20s will be cardred in just about every bar he goes to and most restaurants too, bouncer or not.




  • I've heard of some places not accepting passports in the States. Although I know that they don't really use their passports as a form of ID to buy alcohol or get into clubs. But when I was there I only had my passport and got by with it whenever it was needed. Granted, I was in Florida; maybe it varies from state to state.


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  • I've heard of some places not accepting passports in the States. Although I know that they don't really use their passports as a form of ID to buy alcohol or get into clubs. But when I was there I only had my passport and got by with it whenever it was needed. Granted, I was in Florida; maybe it varies from state to state.

    I don't think that it varies from state to state. I think that it varies from person to person (that is doing the IDing) and the circumstances of where you are. A person who is obviously a tourist, dresses like a tourist, looks like a tourist, talks like a tourist and is in a location that gets a lot of tourists, is not going to be held to the same standard as your average American. A foreign tourist will still be asked for ID, but no one is going to expect someone who is obviously foreign, to have an American drivers license.

    However, there are lots of bars, restaurants & nightclubs all over the US that would not normally get a lot of tourists or foreigners. Door staff, serving staff and management would not have a lot of experience with dealing with passports or non US forms of ID. So to make their life simple, they accept US issued drivers licenses, or nothing at all.


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