Challenge 25

What the law says about proof of age when buying alcohol.

What can I use to prove me age?
  • A passport.
  • A European photo driving licence.
  • A PASS hologrammed card (Citizen Card, Validate Card)
  • Your Young Scot card!

Challenge 25 is a proof of age policy followed by many places that sell alcohol are starting.

Under the Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Act 2010, it is now the law for anywhere that sells alcohol to have a proof of age policy. Retailers can pick any age as a minimum but it has to be 25 years or older. So if you look like you are under the age of 25 years old and you try to buy alcohol in a shop, bar or restaurant they are required to ask you for proof of age. 

What could this mean for you?

If you look like you are under the age of 25 years old then you may be asked to provide proof of age. If you are unable to provide any proof then you will not be sold the alcohol. So it’s well worth getting hold of proof of age and keeping it in your wallet!

What can you use to prove your age?

If asked to prove your age, the following documents are recommended as acceptable:

  • A passport
  • A European photo card driving licence
  • A PASS hologrammed card (Young Scot Card, Citizen Card and Validate UK card).

Got your Young Scot Card?

Anyone who is aged 11 to 26 in Scotland is entitled to a free Young Scot card. To find out how to get one in the Get your card section of this website.

If you have a Young Scot card already then it’s worth checking to see if it looks like this.

If you received your Young Scot card over 4 years ago then it may be the old version of the Young Scot card. If it doesn't have the PASS logo on it then it might not be accepted as proof of age. You will need to get your card updated.

Will my Young Scot card be accepted as proof of age?

The Young Scot card is part of the accredited national proof of age card scheme PASS.

Young Scot cards are recognised in law as an acceptable form of prove of age and most places will accept the card as proof of age. However, retailers and business do have the right to decide which forms of ID they will and will not accept and can refuse any sale.

Most places will accept the Young Scot card as proof of age however if you have any problems then let us know. We will be able to contact the premises directly and raise the issue with them. Sometimes a business will not accept the Young Scot card simply because they do not know enough about the scheme and we can provide them with the information that they need.

How to report a refusal

Fill in the refusal form or call the Infoline free on 0808 801 0338 (Mon-Fri, 10am til 6pm) providing us with the name of the premises that refused your card and the date of refusal. Please also provide us with a contact telephone number or email if you would like us to let you know the outcome.

Remember: it is illegal to attempt to buy alcohol if you are under the age of 18 years old.