Verify: Will Montgomery Co. track alcohol purchases by scanning ID cards?

Beginning July 1, clerks will scan ID cards at Montgomery County liquor stores when customers are checking out. But are they keeping customers' information and tracking purchases?

QUESTION:

What happens when your ID gets scanned to buy alcohol in Montgomery County, Md.?

ANSWER:

We can verify the county will begin scanning IDs to make sure the cards are valid. They will not track your purchases, nor will they ping the MVA.

SOURCES:

Robert Dorfman, Director for Montgomery County’s Department of Liquor Control

Montgomery Co. Department of Liquor Control

PROCESS:

Beginning July 1, clerks will scan ID cards at Montgomery County liquor stores when customers are checking out.

The barcode on the back is an electronic version of the text on the front. Liquor stores use the scanners to make sure the two match.

“It will do two things. It will, number one, verify age and, number two, it will validate whether that ID is a valid ID,” Dorfman explained.

The machines don’t track your purchases at the store.

Another concern is whether scanning the cards will ping a server at the Motor Vehicle Administration. We can verify this is not the case.

"The only information that is taken is a person's first name, street name and date of birth," the MVA’s Buel Young said in a statement to WUSA9. “The purpose for that is primarily to validate the IDs. We do not keep nor do we use any other information than that."

If you still have reservations about letting someone scan the barcode on your ID—that’s okay, Dorfman said.

“If somebody said ‘I don’t want my ID scanned,’ even though we’re not collecting anything, we’re gonna have to then use the best of our abilities to determine, based on the ID they present to us, whether or not they meet that age requirement,” he explained.

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© 2017 WUSA-TV


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