Can You Use a Passport to Get into a Bar: Age Factor and Ban Explained

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Happy Wayfarer is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Can you use a Passport to get into a Bar? This is a question that many people have, and the answer can be complicated. Passport is a valid form of identification in many countries, and many people assume they can use them to get into a bar or club. 

This article will discuss the age factor and potential bans associated with using a passport to get into a bar. Let’s get started.

Entering a Bar with a Passport

Passports are accepted when entering a bar, but it’s important to note that drinking rules may vary depending on the country you are in. In most cases, your driver’s license or government-issued IDs may be accepted without problems at the bar.

It is important to know the local laws and regulations on underage drinking. Bars and restaurants that let minors purchase alcohol can face fines, legal action, or even lose their liquor license. Ensure you present an ID as proof of age when asked and follow the law.

Can an Expired Passport Be Used to Enter a Bar?

Using an expired passport to enter a bar is not allowed. An expiration date on a passport indicates the last date that the document is valid. Once your passport has expired, it is no longer considered a valid form of identification.

Bars and nightclubs are required by law to verify the age of their patrons before serving them alcohol. If someone tries to use an expired passport as identification to enter a bar, they may be denied entry or service.

Can You Use a Passport to Get into a Bar Main Problems

Main Problems

  • Difficulty in Proving Identification: Entering a bar with an expired passport can be difficult as it may be difficult to prove one’s identity. Without valid identification, the bar may not allow entry.
  • Potential Legal Issues: Depending on the laws in the particular jurisdiction, entering a bar with an expired passport may be considered a form of identity fraud. This could result in a fine or even criminal charges.
  • Difficulty to Purchase Alcohol: Unless you have another form of valid identification, you may be unable to buy alcohol at the bar.


Show a correct ID, passport, or driver’s license when you enter a bar or purchase alcohol. We do not recommend using an expired passport as identification when you want to buy alcohol. Always be aware of the country’s law on identification.

How to Enter Bar or Club Without ID?

Suppose you cannot enter a bar or club because you need a legitimate form of identification. Facilities that serve alcohol have stricter rules to follow the law. There are, however, a few actions you can take and the bartender can decide to serve you.

How to Enter Bar or Club Without ID
  1. Ask an older friend to accompany you

You may bring a friend who is 21 or older with you. This person can act as your legal guardian and provide the bar with convincing identification.

It is crucial to note that some clubs may refuse entry to anyone under the legal drinking age. This can happen even if someone of legal age accompanies the person.

  1. Use a passport

Before using your passport as identification, research the rules and regulations of the country you’re visiting. Furthermore, having a passport is risky because it’s a difficult and expensive document to replace if lost or stolen. Don’t use an expired passport since it’s illegal.

  1. Provide a government-issued identification card

In addition to ID and a passport, you may also try to provide other documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Social security card
  • Proof of residency
  • Driver’s license

Let’s take a look at the details.

Forms of ID that are Acceptable at a Bar

In most cases, when someone goes to a bar, they will be required to present a form of identification to prove that they are of legal age to consume liquor. Several types of identification are generally accepted at bars, including:

Forms of ID are Acceptable at a Bar
  • A national ID: is a government-issued document that contains personal information about the individual. It is typically issued by the country in which the individual resides and is widely accepted in the majority of cases.
  • Driver’s license: A driver’s license generally includes the individual’s name, date of birth, and photograph, which can be used to confirm their age and identity.
  • Military identification: usually includes the individual’s name, photograph, and other identifying information such as rank and service branch.
  • Passport: In most cases, passports can be used as identification at a bar, though this is not always the case across all countries or individual establishments.
  • Student’s ID: If we’re talking about you visiting a local bar, depending on the rules, you might be able to get in with a student ID.
  • State-Issued Identification Card: This type of ID must be issued by the government and should include a picture of the holder, their name, date of birth, and other pertinent information.
  • Proof of Age Card: It may be accepted as a form of identification at some clubs. These cards are typically issued by a state or local government and must be valid and not expired in order to be accepted.
  • Other Forms of ID: In some cases, a bar may agree to other identification documents, such as a birth certificate or Social Security card. However, these are not typically accepted as a primary form of identification and will usually require additional identification documents.

Can I Purchase Alcohol Using a Foreign Passport?

Yes, you can, but it depends on which country you travel to. Generally, if you are an adult, you can use your foreign passport to purchase alcohol legally in most countries. Although there may be some exceptions or stricter rules.

Can I Purchase Alcohol Using a Foreign Passport
Example: In the United States, you must be 21 years old to purchase alcohol, and you must be able to verify your age with an authentic government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. Before you purchase alcohol, you should check local laws.

Do digital IDs Work in Bars?

The acceptance of digital identity as a means to enter a pub and purchase alcohol largely depends on the laws of the country and the discretion of the pub’s management. With the advancement of technology, physical IDs made of paper or plastic are becoming increasingly obsolete. 

While some nations have already adopted digital IDs, it’s not widespread. As such, not all countries or pubs may accept them. However, the following nations are more likely to accept digital IDs for purchasing liquor in pubs:

  • Germany
  • Spain
  • India
  • Israel
  • Chile
  • Peru
  • Uruguay
  • Mauritius

Countries Where Minors Can Drink Alcohol

Alcohol consumption laws for minors vary widely around the world. Some nations ban minors from consuming any amount of alcoholic drink. Others allow it under certain circumstances or with parental permission.

There are different laws and regulations on liquor consumption for minors in different countries. Below are some examples of them. 

Countries With Different Legal Drinking Age

There are some countries with different legal drink ages:

Countries With Different Legal Drinking Age
  • Chad, Dominica, and Luxembourg have a minimum drinking age of 16.
  • Most nations have a minimum drinking limit of 18, including the United Kingdom.
  • In a country like Canada, the minimum drinking age is determined at the provincial level.
  • Some countries have a minimum drinking limit of 21; a good example is the USA.
  • There is no minimum drinking age in some countries, such as Burkina Faso, Cambodia, and the Central African Republic.

Countries That Prohibit Alcohol Consumption

Let’s have a look at these countries:

Countries That Prohibit Alcohol Consumption
  1. Islamic countries

Many countries that are predominantly Islamic have completely prohibited the consumption, talking, and purchase alcohol in some form or another.

The countries that have a total ban on alcoholic drinks include:

  • Afghanistan
  • Brunei
  • Iran
  • Kuwait
  • Libya
  • Mauritania
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen

These countries have a zero-tolerance policy towards alcoholic drinks, and punishments can include fines and imprisonment.

  1. Select countries

In some countries, alcohol consumption is only prohibited in certain areas or among certain people. These countries include:

  • Bahrain,
  • Bangladesh,
  • Indonesia,
  • Maldives
  • Syria.

In Bahrain and Syria, only Muslims can consume and purchase alcohol, while in Indonesia and the Maldives, alcohol consumption is only illegal in certain places, such as religious sites or villages.

  1. Local laws

In some countries, local laws may further restrict or prohibit the consumption of alcoholic drinks. For example:

  • In India, there are some states that have completely banned alcohol, while others may have restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol.

Can I Enter a Bar With a Copy of My Passport?

It is generally not advisable to use a photocopy of a passport as a valid form document for several reasons.

Can I Enter a Bar With a Copy of My Passport
  • Uncertainty of validity: A copy of your passport may not be considered a valid form of identification by the establishment, especially if it is not a certified copy.
  • Bar policy: The bar you are trying to enter may have specific policies in place regarding acceptable forms of identification, and a copy of your passport may not meet their criteria.
  • Security concerns: Bars and other establishments may be hesitant to accept copies of passports due to concerns about fraud and security. They may prefer to see an original document to verify your identity.
  • Avoid potential issues: Carrying an original passport helps avoid potential issues that may arise with copies or alternative forms of identification. This can save time and frustration in situations where alternative forms of ID may not be accepted.

Can I Be Denied Entry to a Pub Despite My Age?

Despite meeting the age criteria, being denied access to a bar can be a frustrating and confusing experience. A few reasons why a bar might decide to deny you access even though you are of legal drinking age include:

  • False identification: In most cases, pubs must verify their customers’ age to ensure they are not serving alcoholic drinks to minors. The bar may deny entry if you use a fake or someone else’s government-issued identification.
  • Intoxication: Clubs are responsible for ensuring that their customers are served appropriately. They may deny entry to anyone who appears to be too drunk.
  • Capacity limitations: Bars must operate within certain capacity limitations. This means they can only allow a certain number of people inside at any time. If the bar reaches its capacity, it may deny you entry.
  • Been Violent: The bar may deny you entry if you happen to violate their rules or cause a disturbance.


Can I use a passport instead of a real ID?

Yes, you can use a passport instead of a real ID. In most cases sometimes considered an alternative to a government-issued identification for certain activities. These activities include one having to purchase alcohol or entering certain venues.

What ID do you use at a pub?

At a pub, you would typically use a valid form of identification such as a government-issued driver’s license or passport. Depending on the location, you may also be able to use other forms such as a student or military ID.

What is the easiest valid ID to get?

The easiest valid ID to get is a postal identification card. This is because the post office issues these cards, often available for free or cheaply.

How can I get a valid ID in one day?

To get an authentic  ID in one day, visit a local DMV branch. Bring the required documents, which include a birth certificate, Social Security card, and proof of residency. The specific documents required will depend on the type of ID you need.

Can I use a photo of my passport as an ID for a bar?

No, using a photo of your passport as an ID for a bar is not recommended and may not be acceptable. Bars and other establishments that serve alcohol typically require a government-issued ID with a picture, such as a driver’s license or a state-issued identification card.


So, can you use a passport to get into a bar? Yes, but only if you are of legal age. In most places, you must be 21 years old to enter a bar. An authentic passport is required, but some establishments may also accept driver’s licenses, state-issued ID cards, or military ID cards.

It is important to check with the specific bar or club ahead of time to determine what form of identification is accepted. Have you ever had an issue using your passport to enter a bar or club? Share your experience in the comments below.

Author - Willa Carson
Happywayfarer author Willa Carson
Hi, I'm Willa Carson, a passionate traveler who has been exploring the world for 7 years. Whether it's trekking through the Himalayas, exploring ancient ruins in South America, or simply savoring a cup of coffee at a local cafe, I believe that travel has the power to enrich our lives in countless ways. So join me on my journey and let's discover the world together!
Read more about me here.

Leave a Comment