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Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority
Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board of Directors
Petition 305
Petition Information
Petition Title Petition to Amend 3VAC5-50-20 of the Regulations of the Virginia ABC Authority
Date Filed 8/21/2019    [Transmittal Sheet]
Petitioner Tom Stein, Deputy General Counsel for CLEAR 
Petitioner's Request

CLEAR asks the Authority to consider amending 3 VAC 5-50-20 (proposed amendment below) of the Regulations of the Authority to recognize that licensed retailers of alcoholic beverages may utilize biometric identification, and specifically the patented processes of CLEAR, to make a determination of the legal age of a purchaser of alcoholic beverages.  In addition to being far more reliable than human checking of identification, use of biometric verification processes is consistent with both the plain language and the spirit of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (the \\\"Act”) in ensuring that individuals under the legal age do not purchase alcohol.


3VAC5-50-20. Determination of Legal Age of Purchaser.

A. In determining whether a licensee, or his employee or agent, has reason to believe that a purchaser is not of legal age, the board will consider, but is not limited to, the following factors:

1. Whether an ordinary and prudent person would have reason to doubt that the purchaser is of legal age based on the general appearance, facial characteristics, behavior and manner of the purchaser; and

2. Whether the seller demanded, was shown and acted in good faith in reliance upon bona fide evidence of legal age, as defined herein, and that evidence contained a photograph and physical description consistent with the appearance of the purchaser; and

3. Whether the seller verified the age of the purchaser through the use of a biometric identity verification device approved by the Authority where the biometric is referenced against a record described in paragraph B.

B. Such bona fide evidence of legal age shall include a valid motor vehicle driver\\\'s license issued by any state of the United States or the District of Columbia, armed forces identification card, United States passport or foreign government visa, valid special identification card issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, or any valid identification issued by any other federal or state government agency, excluding student university and college identification cards, provided such identification shall contain a photograph and signature of the subject, with the subject\\\'s height and date of birth.

C. It shall be incumbent upon the licensee, or his employee or agent, to scrutinize carefully the identification, if presented, and determine it to be authentic and in proper order. Identification which has been altered so as to be apparent to observation or has expired shall be deemed not in proper order.

Agency's Plan


In accordance with Va. Code §2.2-4007.B, the petition has been filed with the Register of Regulations.  The petition will be published in the 36:2 Volume of The Register on September 16, 2019   Public comment will be requested until October 8, 2019.  Comment on the petition may be sent by email, regular mail, or posted on the Virginia Regulatory Townhall at  Following receipt of all comments on the petition to amend the regulation, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will decide whether to make any changes to the regulatory language.  This matter will be considered by the Board when they next convene following the end of the comment period (October 15, 2019).  The Board will issue a written decision on the petition within 90 days of the close of the comment period.

Comment Period Ended 10/8/2019
Agency Decision Pending    

Contact Information
Name / Title: LaTonya D. Hucks-Watkins  / Legal Liaison
Address: 2901 Hermitage Rd.
Richmond, 23220
Email Address:
Telephone: (804)213-4698    FAX: (804)213-4574    TDD: ()-