Do Bars Accept Paper IDs?

Bars Accept Paper ID

Most bars will accept paper IDs as long as a photo ID accompanies the temporary paper document. Temporary licenses help mark the occasion when a young person reaches their 21st birthday, becoming a legal adult, giving them privileges denied to this point. One of these is enjoying a beer, glass of wine, or even a cocktail with dinner.

Receiving the official ID can take some time to arrive, but until then, there is the option of accepting the temporary paper ID, and it is legal. There are still rules that apply even with this official document. That means doing your research to ensure you know all the rules and laws that apply before visiting your first adult beverage store.

These laws will vary for each state. It is up to the seller and service personnel to ask for ID, and they will continue to protect themselves from what they fear would be potential legal action if they don’t make every effort to confirm your legal age. It’s essential always to be respectful and understanding in these situations and be aware of the rules before going into an establishment.

Consider the logistics behind what temporary licenses are, the ability to make purchases with them, and what repercussions you might face if you violate your state’s laws. Let’s learn.

The Logistics Of A Temporary License

Bars Accept Paper ID

A temporary license is a paper document, generally in black type, serving as an interim ID card for those who have reached the legal age of 21 and can now be served and buy alcohol. The permanent official government ID will follow sometime in the future. 

The paper ID is carried by those who want to prove they will soon receive the permanent ID but are of legal adult age. These will accompany a photo ID. The paper ID is valid for a short term, roughly 90 days, and is not meant to be used in a long-term capacity. The permanent ID should arrive before the paper ID expires.

Using the temporary license after expiration will result in legal repercussions. Alcohol retailers and servers will check IDs for the legal age to avoid penalties. The temporary ID consists of the individual’s:

  • Photo
  • Name/address
  • Issuing agency details
  • Expiration 
  • Limits/restrictions with the permit
  • Links to track the status of the application
  • Depending on the state, there could be an ID or barcode to identify the member

Many people choose to obtain a temporary license until the permanent one comes in to prove their legal age or if they have a permanent ID that was lost or stolen.

How Purchasing Alcohol With A Temporary ID Works

Bars Accept Paper ID

Buying alcohol with a temporary license is comparable to making a purchase with a permanent government-issued ID. Make sure to become familiar with the regulations and laws that pertain to your state and the establishment you’ll be visiting. 

There’s no need to be self-conscious, but every reason to be confident in your position as a legal adult; just make sure the ID is not expired and wait patiently for the permanent card. If there’s a delay, keep in contact with the issuing agency. When you want to buy alcohol, follow these steps.

Check the status of your paper ID

Before going out with friends to a bar, restaurant, or store to make a purchase of alcoholic beverages, it’s essential to check the validity of your card. If you attempt to use a card that has expired, it will mean legal consequences for you. The seller or server will be obliged to report the incident, or they could face repercussions.

Many people don’t pay attention to this aspect of the card, considering it the least important component. The belief is that it will remain active until the permanent card comes, so most don’t bother giving it much thought. 

The problem is that the government-issued ID is often delayed in arriving, leaving the paper ID invalid a while before it comes. It’s essential to keep your eye on the date and stay in contact with the issuing agency.

Remember to bring the paper ID

The seller or server will need to see the paper ID before they can serve or allow you to buy alcohol. It would be best if you always carried it with you. It’s wise to keep it in a wallet or bag that you have with you at all times. This way, it can be presented to whoever needs to validate your age.

Underage drinking is a problem in the US

Avoid drinking until you become of legal age and are mature enough to handle alcohol responsibly. Many teens make it a habit to drink excessively, creating health concerns and the potential for severe injuries. A retailer or server cannot sell alcohol to an underage person without facing severe penalties.

The law explicitly stipulates 21 as the legal drinking age, with those who reach this age being required to have proof of the status, including a temporary paper ID or a permanent government-issued ID.

Attempting to drink or buy alcohol underage or not producing a valid ID can result in hefty penalties.

Pay attention to the laws of the establishment

Within some states, you can buy alcohol and enjoy the beverages anywhere you prefer. Still, some states require the drinks to be consumed within the confines of the establishment. To follow the guidelines, check the rules of the places you’ll visit before going.


In order to be positive that there are no repercussions from your paper ID, always carry that with another form of ID showing that you’re of legal drinking age. A driving license in your state is ideal to coincide with your temporary ID. Extra proof helps sellers and servers who are strictly prohibited from selling to underage individuals. 

A priority, even though you are now of the drinking age, is that you do so responsibly. Always remember not to get behind the wheel after having alcohol and consume reasonably.

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