A NEWLY styled ‘Standard 18+’ proof of age card is being introduced across England and Wales this month.

A voluntary initiative, this is a significant enhancement to ‘PASS’, the UK’s national tried and tested proof of age card scheme which provides proof of entitlement to enter clubs and bars for young people, Since its launch in 2003, PASS – or the proof of age standards scheme – has issued over 5 million cards which have hugely minimised uncertainty and disputes in places of entertainment.

Bearing a ‘PASS’ hologram, they have greatly contributed to young people having a good time safely.

However, the plethora of different card designs bearing the PASS hologram is now causing confusion and provides a barrier to universal acceptance across the night time economy.

The ‘Standard 18+’ proof of age card, applying to all cards issued to young people 18 and over in England and Wales, will cut out duplication and overlap, and Gloucestershire is delighted to adopt the scheme.

Achieving a universal card style, it will make the cards easily identifiable and thereby reduce the chances of forgery.

PC Mark Mansfield, Gloucestershire police night time economy enforcement officer, said: “This is a huge improvement to an already worthwhile initiative to prove status with ID cards. But this one will be a single standardised card that’s easily recognisable and will give confidence to retailers who can accept it as proof of age.

“This step forward will allow people to use this card during the Night Time Economy instead of their valuable documents such as driving licences and passports - if stolen or lost these could be used in fraud and other serious crime, besides causing enormous inconvenience to the victim.

“PASS – 18 PLUS will help drive out forgery, and provide a recognisable national symbol to help retailers selling age-restricted products.”

The PASS – 18 Plus was recently launched by the crime prevention minister, joined by chief constable Adrian Lee, licensing lead for the association of chief police officers (ACPO) and Bill Butler, chief executive of the security industry authority (SIA).

The new card will make it much easier for door and bar staff to identify – and accept – people’s entitlement to come inside.

Not only will this greatly support the police and bring about better management of the night-time economy, it firmly backs ‘Safer Days and Nights’, one of Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner’s priorities.

The initiative has the full support of the Home Office and is backed by ACPO, the Security Industry Authority, the Trading Standards Institute and all the major relevant Trade Associations.

Gloucestershire Police hopes PASS becomes a truly effective means to restrict the sale of alcohol in particular to those under age, but also to help those legally entitled to enter bars and clubs receive a warm welcome.


A rigorous accreditation process including audits by the Trading Standards Institute will protect the integrity of the PASS scheme and underpin the authenticity of cards.

The PASS hologram logo is Trademark registered, making unauthorised use of the hologram on cards a criminal offence. To date no forged card with a PASS hologram has ever been identified.

ACPO and Home Office advice is NOT to carry passports because of a high security risk if lost or stolen. One third of 18 and 19 year olds don’t have either passport or driving licence so the PASS card may be their only form of ID.

Gloucestershire Constabulary licensing/night time economy officers, supported by the central licensing team, are working with the trade in Gloucestershire to promote use of the card within Gloucestershire. The 'Pass - 18 Plus' 5 Point Check: 1. Check the design – if 18+ does it conform to the template? Or is it a YoungScot card?

2. Check the hologram – is it a genuine 3D PASS hologram?

3. Check the photo – does it match the cardholder?

4. Check the card – has it been tampered with?

5. Check the person. Are you satisfied?