Responsible service information sheet: checking ID

In order to be valid, identification must:

  • be issued by a government;
  • be current (expired ID is not valid);
  • include the person’s photograph; and
  • include the person’s date of birth.

Note: By law, no one can be required to produce the Ontario Health Card, nor can the health number be collected. Licensees should not ask for the Ontario Health Card as identification, but if offered voluntarily you may accept it at your discretion.

Any ID meeting these requirements may be accepted.

Ontario Driver's Licence with a photograph

Front FaceReverse Face

Photo card issued under the Photo Card Act

Front FaceFront Face with age banner

Permanent Resident Card (Canadian)

Front Face 

Secure Indian Status Card (Canadian)

Front Face 

Canadian Passport (issued prior to July 2013)


Canadian Passport (issued after July 2013)


(Passports issued after July 1, 2013, are valid for either five or ten years, and have hard covers.)

LCBO BYID photo card

Front FaceReverse Face

Canadian Armed Forces Identification Card

Front FaceReverse Face

Canadian Citizenship Card with a photograph

Front FaceReverse Face

(Valid only if issued before February 1, 2012)

Spotting Fake ID

It is important to provide an area with adequate lighting where ID will be checked; staff will be looking for alterations.

You may be required by the conditions of your liquor licence to check ID at the door to identify minors before they enter the establishment. Even if ID has been checked at the door, if your staff has any doubt about a patron’s age, they must also ask for ID just prior to sale or service.

Take your time and examine the ID closely. Check the photo, (is this the person standing in front of you?), the birth date, and the expiry date.

Never accept ID without a photo. Hold the ID in your hands, rather than allowing the patron to flash it at you. If it is in any sort of a case, take it out.
Feel for extra thickness around the photo and the edge of the lamination. This may be an indication of a second photo placed on top of an original and re-laminated.

Look for consistency between numbers and letters. Are the numbers and letters consistent and the same thickness, weight, and colour? If they have been altered, they may be thicker, heavier, or darker.

Some Features of Ontario’s Driver’s Licence

Driver’s licences issued by Ontario’s Ministry of  Transportation include various security features.

The following features are common to all drivers’ licences:

  • The licence number starts with the first letter of the last name e.g., Jane Q. Public’s licence number starts with a “P”.
  • The 9th and 10th number (separated by a dash) are the same as the last two numbers of the person’s year of birth.
  • The last two numbers indicate the day of birth.

Additional security features include:

  • Raised laser-engraved secondary photo, signature and personal information on bottom right corner of the card.
  • A fine line background of continuous Ontario logos that partly cover the borders of the photo.
  • A machine-readable bar code containing licensee-related data on the reverse face of the card.
  • Micro and rainbow printing.
  • Ultraviolet features.

Ontario driver’s licences and photo ID cards issued to individuals aged 16 to 18 will clearly show when card holders turn 19. The cards will have an “AGE 19” banner, followed by the exact date the card holder turns 19. The banner will be located near the bottom of the card, beside the date of birth.

Checking a Driver’s Licence


  1. Ultraviolet inks are used during the manufacturing process to enhance the security background and also to add two distinct UV features, an Ontario logo on the front and a stylized Trillium flower on the back. Both are visible only under an ultraviolet (blacklight) source.
  2. Raised lettering on driver’s licence number and date of birth.
  3. Protected secondary photo and signature at the bottom right corner.
  4. “AGE 19” banner will only appear on cards issued for individuals aged 16 to 18.
  5. The machine-readable barcode contains licensee-related data.

For more information, please contact AGCO Customer Service at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876 (toll-free in Ontario)