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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney
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I own a bar in NYS. I get potential customers from overseas

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I own a bar in NYS.
I get potential customers from overseas - UK, France etc. They live locally and work as camp counselors for the summer; and produce Copies of Passports (with photo's) as ID. Is a "copy" of Passport acceptable ? (they are over 21). They fear loosing the original.
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to answer your question.

Unfortunately, a copy of an ID would not be acceptable for the purposes of verifying patrons legal age, as the copies can be easily altered to show incorrect information.

I wish you the best of luck and please let me know if you have any related follow up questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The Passports are kept in the camp so they cannot flee or overstay; and assured by the main guy that only legal age counselors are allowed out. The NYS ABC law dosen't address this issue.


Thank you for your follow up.

First of all, it is absolutely illegal for the camp to hold anyone's passport, as a matter of fact it would be violation of federal civil rights and a federal crime, so I doubt that this is actually true and if it is, it need to be reported to the authorities.

It is not responsibility of the camp to keep the foreign exchange students from fleeing or overstaying, but it is up to the Immigration and Customs Service to enforce immigration laws.

So, with that said, you would be taking a big risk if you serve alcohol to any young foreigners who do not have an actual original of their official passport and relying on a copy of a passport would not be a defense to any potential allegation of serving alcohol to a minor and is simply a risk that is not worth taking, as it is your state liquor license that could be on the line.

I wish you the best of luck!
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