Passport cards: secure enough to cross a border, but not to buy a beer

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Grace, Feb 11, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Grace
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    Grace Silver Member

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    I'm at the PHX airport. I order a beer in one of the HMS Host restaurants which of course means ID must be presented. I present my passport card which was good enough to get me through TSA and has been good enough on many occasions to get me to/from Canada. The lady asks me if I have my passport. I say no. She says it's a state law, she can't accept a passport card...and her company is more strict. Really? I'm sure I've used my passport card to purchase alcohol in other HMS Host establishments. I'm sure AZ doesn't really give a crap about HMS Host's Identity stealing "must card everyone at all costs" policy.
    I presented my NC DL which at one point in time could have been acquired by anyone with 2 hours to kill at a DMV...much more secure than a federal document. [​IMG]

    Anyone else have any experience using a passport card in AZ for alcohol? Bars in Charlotte have no issue letting me into a bar. I could understand bouncers at bars might not want to accept it, but in an airport a passport card (although not valid for CBP) should be more common and accepted.
     
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  2. amejr999
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    amejr999 Silver Member

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    I dunno about alcohol, but I used mine at CVS to buy Sudafed. It confused the cashier but she figured it out eventually. :)
     
  3. ande777emt
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    ande777emt Gold Member

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    Some bars in MN don't accept passports or passport cards as ID's.
     
  4. Grace
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    Grace Silver Member

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    What do they do for foreign nationals?
     
  5. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    It's considered a legal ID so I'm surprised, I wonder if they would accept a standard passport?
     
  6. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    I wonder what happens to international guests, they are turned away?

    That is a dumb law.
     
  7. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    It is Arizona, so they probably don't acknowledge the existence of passport cards.
     
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  8. Grace
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    Grace Silver Member

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    She asked if I had my regular passport on me. I didn't since I wasn't actually leaving the country.
    As someone who was broken into last year during travel I prefer not to show anything with my physical address unless I have to (such as rental cars) hence my preference to show my passport card.
     
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  9. ande777emt
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    ande777emt Gold Member

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    Not necessarily a law, just policies of some bars. Int'l guests go to different bars.
     
  10. Grace
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    Grace Silver Member

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    A lot of it was just the way the server handled it.
    I order beer and hand over passport card.
    Server: (flips it over a couple times) Do you have a passport.
    Me: no
    Server: do you have a passport?
    Me: (point to birth date) the birthdate is right there
    server: I need to see a passport
    Me: I don't have my passport. My birthday is right there.
    Server: it's a state law. I can't accept this, only a passport...and even if it wasn't a state law, my company probably has policies against this.
    Me: F*ing HMS Host (hand over DL)
    Server: yeah

    So...she couldn't just come out and state "i can't accept this, I need some other form of ID" she kept asking for my passport book which was just really confusing since she kept looking at the passport card, but insisting on the need for a passport book. If she couldn't accept it, why wouldn't she just hand it right back instead of staring at it for about a minute?

    It's times like that when I wish my concealed carry permit had a picture. That would have been my next choice.
     
  11. MSY-MSP
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    MSY-MSP Silver Member

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    Well there are certainly some interesting issues presented here.

    First of all the lady at HMS Host is incorrect. The Passport Card is a passport. It is a passport that has limited validity (land and sea travel from the US, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and the carribean). In instances where they have challenged the passport card I have politely informed them that it is a passport. It usually works with them. The problem is in training and not state law. most states say "passport" and not "passport book", and given the relative newness of the passport card the guidebooks issued to the bars show pictures of a passport book, and don't have a picture of the passport card. If they don't relent, i will switch to my passport book. They never see an ID with and address on it.

    With regards to the MN issue that actually comes from some of the laws and regulations on what is an acceptable ID. To avoid a detailed analysis of the issue, the liquor laws basically state that to purchase alcohol a person must present a state issued ID. It says that a non-US citizen may present a passport to purchase alcohol. So in MN they have specifically excluded the passport for US citizens as being acceptable ID (for booze). In the places that follow the letter of the law they will not accept a military ID. (e.g. the old bars in the MOA) Frustrating, but that is the way they wrote the laws. Generally it only is an issue if the cops have busted the place recently or are on an ID kick. I have seen instances where one person comes in on the DL and another comes in on the passport. The folks at the door or the bartenders never think "hey didn't i just see that name a minute ago"
     
  12. Chamonix
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    Chamonix Silver Member

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    Arizona law details what is acceptable ID, and a passport card is definitely valid for such use.

    http://www.azliquor.gov/faq.html

    " a valid passport or border crossing identification card issued by a government, or voter card issued by the government of Mexico which contains a photograph of the person and date of birth. ALL MUST BE UNEXPIRED. [A.R.S. 4-241(A)(1 - 4)]"
     
  13. techgirl
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    Semi on-topic - I got denied entrance to a hotel bar in Las Vegas with my passport. They said they could ONLY accept a drivers license or other state-issued ID. They would not accept anything Federal.

    Minor annoyance - when I'm carrying a small purse, I prefer to carry my passport over my DL. DL is small and can slip out too easily. Passport I can feel if it starts to slide around. Plus DL stays in the window compartment of my wallet (which is not tiny) and it annoys me to have to dig it out of there.

    Hmph.
     

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