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CT Regulatory News: On Lottery Terminals and Age Validation


From the Office of John Suchy
Division Director of Liquor Control

February 6, 2015


It has come to our attention that some liquor retailers have been utilizing the *UPC/QR scan device located on lottery terminals as a means to verify the validity of presented identification.

We recommend that you discontinue this use of the lotto machines as a form for determining the age of someone for a liquor purchase or as proof of identity relating to the service and/or sale of alcoholic liquor.

To be clear, the scan device located on a lottery terminal translates the Data Matrix Code located on the reverse of a driver’s license or state identity card from a computer language to a readable text. In other words, this is not a link to a state data base, but simply translation of a code.

Most of these terminals will indicate that the cardholder is at least 18 years of age, the legal age for someone to purchase lotto tickets, not the age to possess or be served alcoholic liquor (21).

The problem at hand is not that the *QR code is incorrect, but that it reflects whatever information is on the front of the ID, such as a modified date of birth.

However, there is a mechanism you can use in your efforts to deter underage liquor service and/or sales.

Sec. 30-86b. Photographing a person whose age is in doubt, or photocopying such person’s driver’s license or identity card. Use of photograph or photocopy. Regulations. Affirmative defense.

(A) A permittee or an agent or employee of such permittee may require any person whose age is in question to have such person’s photograph be taken by, and a photocopy of such person’s driver’s license or identity card issued in accordance with the provisions of section 1-1h, be made by, such permittee, agent or employee as a condition of selling or delivering alcoholic liquor to such person.

Sec. 30-6a-A42. Photographic equipment and format of photograph for a person whose age is in question.

A permittee or agent or employee of a permittee may present a photograph of a person whose age is in question, along with a photocopy of such person’s driver’s license or identity card, as an affirmative defense to a prosecution for selling alcoholic liquor to a minor in violation of subsection (b) of section 30-86 of the Connecticut General Statutes, only when all the following requirements are met:

(1) The photograph shall:
(A) Be taken with a digital camera or film-camera that has a built-in date and time stamp in working condition;
(B) have a date and time stamp as part of the actual photograph and the date and time stamp shall be accurate and true;
(C) be in color;
(D) be taken with the person holding the driver’s license or identity card provided to the permittee or the permittee’s agent or employee as proof of age;
(E) be 5 by 7 inches in size;
(F) be a clear and actual depiction of the way the person presented themselves at the time the person provided proof of age; and
(G) be in a format, or be taken against a background, that accurately depicts the height of the person being photographed.

(2) The photocopy of the person’s driver’s license or identity card shall:
(A) Be placed on a piece of paper 8 ½ by 11 inches, depicting the license or card as 5 by 7 inches in size;
(B) depict the front and back of such driver’s license or identity card;
(C) be clear and easily readable, including all identification letters and numbers;
(D) provide the actual dimensions of the length and width of the person’s driver’s license or identity card; and
(E) contain the printed name and signature of the permittee, agent or employee who took the photograph and photocopy, and an attestation that the same person examined the front and the back of such driver’s license or identity card.

If you have questions please feel to contact the Liquor Control Division at or speak to a liquor control agent at 860-713-6210.


*UPC (Universal Product Codes) is a specific type of barcode) that is widely used in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and in other countries for tracking trade items in stores.

*QR code (Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode. A barcode is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached.

John J. Suchy, Director of the Liquor Control Division

The Department of Consumer Protection, through the State Liquor Control Commission, oversees all sales of liquor in the State of Connecticut.

165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut 06106-1630
TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf): (860) 713-7240
An Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer

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