When was the last time you were ID'd when you went to buy alcohol? Or cigarettes? Or Whipped Cream? What form of identification is legal for you to show in New York State?

Did you even know that you are limited to very specific forms of identification? For example, your work ID or even your pistol permit is not eligible to be used to buy alcohol in New York State.

So which forms of identification are legal to buy alcohol with in New York State?


First, you cannot use an expired ID to buy alcohol in New York State. Yep, you can be over 21, and look like you are over 21, but if that ID has expired, you can not use it to buy alcohol, and the clerk can actually refuse your sale.

I was behind a person, who if I were to guess was probably in their late 30s, who was so angry that they were not able to buy alcohol and was taking it out on the cashier. Hey, it's not their fault, it's your fault, right?

So what can you use to buy alcohol in New York State?


Here are the four forms of Identification that New York State says, it is ok to use to purchase alcohol:

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  • Your New York State Driver's license or Non-Driver ID, but it cannot be expired. You can also use a non-expired driver's license from any other state in the US or Canada.
  • Your United States Passport, or passport from any other country, as long as it is not expired.
  • A Military ID Card, as long as it too is not expired.

If you try to show anything other than one of the four things above, the retail outlet does not have to accept it as proof of age for an alcohol purchase. Keep that identification valid, don't let it expire.

Here are a few places across New York State that allegedly sold alcohol to minors, were they using fake IDs? 

6 From New York Allegedly Sold Alcohol to Hudson Valley Minors

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