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The Daily Illini

The hassle of having a paper ID on campus

By The Daily Illini Editorial Board

You’ve been there, or seen it happen. You walk up to a campus bar without your ID. But it’s okay, because you have a paper copy while your new and improved ID is on its way. Just like any other night, you confidently pull out your identification, hand it to the bouncer and await a monotone, “Have a good night.”

But that’s not how it goes. Instead of the unemotional well wishes, all you receive is blunt, “We don’t take paper IDs.” Tragic.

It makes no sense. You have a government document in your hand. How could they turn you away? You may even have that old, trusty vertical ID with a hole punched in. And still, it’s a no go at The Clybourne tonight.

So why don’t bars take paper IDs?

The newly implemented Illinois driver’s license is actually for your benefit. Illinois is complying with a federal mandate and issuing new identification forms as a way to lessen the possibility and impact of fraud and identity theft because they contain new security features. The temporary paper identification cards that are now given when you go into the DMV to renew your license is necessary so that your old information can be evaluated —to make sure you really are who you say you are.

For all extensive purposes, including driving and boarding a plane, these temporary paper IDs are acceptable. According to the Illinois Secretary of State office, the Secretary of State has even contacted businesses in Illinois that regularly check identification, and informed them of the changes in the renewal process for IDs and why they must be made.

Yet still,  some bars off campus do not accept these temporary IDs as a means of identification.

It is up to the management of each establishment to decide whether or not they take paper IDs. The reason behind not accepting them, as claims the infamous Red Lion carders, is because paper IDs are much easier to fake.

Of course, as mere student journalists, we cannot demand that these bars take paper IDs. However, we can provide students with a list of bars that do not accept paper IDs and those bars that do. The Cochrane owned bars, The Red Lion, The Clybourne and Firehaus are the most notoriously known for not accepting a temporary ID. These are the same bars that were also known in the past not to accept international IDs.

However, we have it on good account that Legends and Joe’s Brewery will accept a temporary ID. It’s always a good idea to bring various forms of identification, especially if you are feeling nervous about your paper ID.

If you have state ID, just bring that and save yourself a whole night of hassling.

We can moan and groan all we want, but arguing with the carders will likely not prove your case, even if they are being ridiculous and you’ve shown them multiple forms of ID.

On a night when you just want to go out and enjoy a nice legal drink after your birthday, you might want to pick a bar where you’ll have a better chance of getting in.

2 Comments

  • bazzers

    Good , informative piece, but please tell the copy editor: “all extents and purposes” not “all extensive purposes”.

    • SCB

      It is “for all intents and purposes” — and it is a cliche, best avoided.