Alcohol licensing conditions

If your premises sells or supplies alcohol, you must now hold an age verification policy and ensure you offer smaller serving measures to your customers.

In April this year we announced the first three conditions of the Licensing Act 2003 (mandatory licensing conditions) order 2010. They apply to all licensed premises and those with a club premises certificate in England and Wales. They were:

  • a ban on irresponsible promotions
  • a ban on dispensing alcohol directly into customers’ mouths
  • mandatory provision of free tap water

On 1 October, the remaining two conditions came into force. They are:

  • age verification policy
  • smaller measures

These were delayed for six months to give premises time to prepare.

Age verification policy

If your premises (your pub, bar or club for example) sells or supplies alcohol, you must hold an age verification policy.

View an example of what an age verification policy could look like.

How does it work?

As a minimum, the premises must have a policy that requires people who appear to be under the age of 18 to be asked, before being served alcohol, to produce identification showing their:

  • photograph 
  • date of birth 
  • a holographic mark

Examples of acceptable ID include:

  • photo card driving licences 
  • passports or proof of age cards bearing the PASS hologram 
  • other forms of ID which meet the criteria laid out above are also acceptable

Staff who work in these venues must be made aware of the existence and content of the age verification policy.

Read more about the age verification policy, including any exclusions.

Smaller measures

If you’re responsible for serving alcohol, you now must make sure that the following drinks (if sold in your 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 

You must also make sure your customers are aware of the availability of these measures.

Read more about the rules on smaller measures, including any exclusions.

Statutory guidance and the legislative reform order

Statutory guidance under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 has been amended to reflect these conditions.

Read the full details of the amendment to the statutory guidance.

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