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18 + Proof of Age Card achieves PASS accreditation 21 February 2007

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been granted PASS accreditation for the Isle of Man Government 18+ Proof of Age Card.

PASS is a UK national guarantee scheme for proof-of-age cards. To obtain accreditation the Island’s card scheme had to pass a stringent audit, carried out by PASS appointed card scheme auditors to ensure that the card and the processes used to produce it are secure and can be relied upon.

The accreditation means that the cards will now carry an additional hologram bearing the PASS logo. The PASS logo on a card is recognised throughout the UK as a secure method of proving age and the new card will be of particular benefit to those young Manx people who are in higher education in the UK or who need to use their card to buy age-restricted goods whilst there on holiday.

The sale of cigarettes and tobacco products, alcohol, fireworks, solvents, videos and petrol are all controlled by laws which restrict the age at which they can be bought. Retailers and licensees can find it difficult to assess the age of young people wishing to buy these goods. The 18+ Proof of Age card was introduced to help them comply with the law. It allows anyone of 18 years or more to buy the goods they want hassle-free. We have found that under 18s have been deterred from trying to buy when they see the Proof of Age card is required.

Application forms for the cards can be obtained from the Office of Fair Trading (or its website www.gov.im/oft) or from certain retailers and the completed form must be brought to the Office in person with the necessary supporting documentation which is identified on the application form. The cost of the card is £5.

Although local retailers and licensees have been advised to continue to accept the non-PASS 18+ card, anyone who wishes to exchange their existing card for one with the PASS hologram may do so free of charge. They should contact the Office to arrange this.

Chairman of the OFT Quintin Gill MHK commented “I am delighted that the card scheme has received PASS accreditation. It confirms that the systems that we have put in place are sound and can be trusted to provide secure and reliable proof of age for retailers and licensees.”

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