Home Office urges young people not to use passports as ID

By Sara Hussein

- Last updated on GMT

ID: the Home Office is urging young people to use alternatives to their passport to prove their age
ID: the Home Office is urging young people to use alternatives to their passport to prove their age

Related tags Young people Identity document

The Home Office has urged students and young people not to use a passport to verify their age in pubs and clubs.

In a national campaign launched yesterday (Wednesday 21 December), the Government and the National Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) have encouraged young people to use an alternative form of ID - such as the PASS card - to avoid losing or having their passport stolen.

The PASS scheme is funded by trade bodies, such as the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

The scheme’s 18+ card, with a PASS hologram, can be used as alternative form of photo ID in pubs and clubs.

Government-backed scheme

The ALMR has welcomed the Government-backed initiative by urging hospitality venues to accept PASS cards instead of passports. 

PASS interim chair and ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The PASS scheme is a fantastic, industry-driven initiative and it is one that we encourage retailers to support.

“The card is very secure with no successful forgeries to date. It is endorsed by the Home Office and we are encouraging venues to accept the card as the best method of ID.”

Nicholls added: “Not only are lost or damaged passports an inconvenience, they are enormously expensive to replace. Half of all lost passports occur when holders take them to pubs, bars or nightclubs.

“There is an opportunity here for the sector to support its customers and to lead a fundamental change in attitudes regarding acceptable forms of ID.”

A ‘great initiative’ 

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Pubs want to give young adults the warmest possible welcome, and PASS cards help us to do just that.

“A huge effort has gone into developing and promoting PASS over the years - not just to young people, but to venues as well, so that door staff know that PASS is recommended as proof-of-age by both the Home Office and the police.

“Carrying your passport around on a night out is not a good idea, PASS cards should be treated just the same by door and bar staff as either passports or driving licences to gain to entry, so this is a great initiative.”

The campaign will include posters, letters to key stakeholders, as well as a social media drive to raise awareness of the issue and the problem of identity fraud. 

Exposed to a ‘high risk’

Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said: “Young people face a higher risk of losing their passport as they often use it as a form of age verification.

“A passport is a highly valuable document. If it gets lost or stolen, not only does it cost the holder money to replace it, but it can fall into the hands of criminals unless it is handed in and cancelled.

“We are working with a number of stakeholders including retailers, licensed premises, police, local authorities and students, to communicate that there are better ways to prove your age, such as the PASS card.”

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