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Legal Drinking Age & Photo ID

The legal drinking age in a liquor sales licensed establishment in the province of Ontario is 19 years of age.

  • Serving people who are under 19 years of age is an offence under the Liquor Licence Act.
  • Alcohol cannot be passed from a person of legal drinking age to a person who is under the legal drinking age.

The minimum age to work in a liquor sales licensed establishment depends on whether or not the employee handles alcohol.

  • To work in a licensed establishment and handle alcohol, a person must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Other staff that work at the establishment and don´t handle alcohol may be younger than 18 years of age.

If there is any doubt as to a person´s age, staff should ask for an acceptable form of identification. Valid identification must be current, government-issued and include a photo of the person and the birth date.

Acceptable forms of photo identification include:

  • Ontario Driver´s Licence with a photo of the person to whom the licence is issued
  • A Canadian Passport
  • Canadian Citizenship Card with a photo of the person to whom the card is issued
  • Canadian Armed Forces Identification Card
  • A photo card issued by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), entitled Bring Your ID (BYID)
  • A Secure Indian Status Card issued by the Government of Canada
  • A Permanent Resident Card issued by the Government of Canada
  • A photo card issued under the Photo Card Act, 2008

By law, no one can be required to produce the Ontario Health Card, nor can the health number be collected. You should not ask for the Ontario Health Card as identification, but if offered voluntarily you may accept it at your discretion.

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