An Introduction to Licensing Law (page 4)

Conditions for licensed/club premises in England and Wales – age verification and smaller measures

The Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licensing Conditions) Order 2010 set out five new conditions that apply to all licensed premises and those with a club premises certificate in England and Wales. The first three of these conditions came into force on 6 April 2010, with the implementation of the remaining two (which relate to premises applying an age verification policy and making available smaller measures of drinks) being delayed for six months to give premises time to prepare before they came into force.

On 1 October 2010, the two remaining new mandatory conditions come into force. Further detail on these conditions is set out below, alongside a model age verification policy and information on further changes made by the Legislative Reform (Licensing) (Interim Authority Notices etc) Order 2010.


The premises licence holder or club premises certificate holder must ensure that an age verification policy applies to the premises in relation to the sale or supply of alcohol.

This must, as a minimum, require individuals who appear to the responsible person  to be under the age of 18 years of age to produce on request (before being served alcohol) identification bearing their photograph, date of birth, and a holographic mark.  Examples of acceptable ID include photo card driving licences, passports or proof of age cards bearing the PASS hologram, although other forms of ID which meet the criteria laid out above are also acceptable.

The premises licence holder or club premises certificate holder must ensure that staff (in particular staff who are involved in the supply of alcohol) are made aware of the existence and content of the age verification policy applied by the premises.

This condition does not exclude best practice schemes such as Challenge 21 or Challenge 25 which require individuals who appear to be under an age which is greater than 18 to provide ID.

Please note:

  • the model policy is intended to provide an example of a policy that meets the new mandatory condition. While any premises can fill in this model for their own premises in order to meet the condition, it is also acceptable for a premises to instead use a different age verification policy, as long as it meets the criteria set out in the legislation
  • the responsible person is one of the following: the holder of the premises licence; the designated premises supervisor; a person aged 18 or over who is authorised to allow the sale or supply of alcohol by an under 18; or a member or officer of a club present on the club premises in a capacity which enables him or her to prevent the supply in question

Smaller measures

The responsible person must ensure that the following drinks if sold or supplied on the premises are available in the following measures:

  • beer or cider – half pint
  • gin, rum, vodka or whisky – 25ml or 35ml
  • still wine in a glass – 125ml

As well as making the drinks available in the above measures, the responsible person must also make customers aware of the availability of these measures – for example, by making their availability clear on menus and price lists, and ensuring that these are displayed in a prominent place in the relevant premises (e.g. at the bar).

The above condition does not apply if the drinks in question are sold or supplied having been made up in advance ready for sale or supply in a securely closed container. For example, if beer is only available in pre-sealed bottles the condition to make it available in ½ pints does not apply.

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