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Proof of Age Card 28 July 2004

The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading, in partnership with the Chief Minister's Drug and Alcohol Committee, the Isle of Man Constabulary and DHSS Health Promotion is to introduce a new 18+ Proof of Age Card to aid retailers and licensees in the prevention of under age sales.

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 new Proof of Age card will help them comply with the law. It will allow anyone of 18 years or more to buy the goods they want hassle-free. Under 18s will be deterred from trying to buy, if they see the Proof of Age card is required.

Every application for a Proof of Age card must be authorised by a professionally qualified adult, e.g. doctor, teacher, police officer, magistrate etc, and every application is vetted to check that the applicant is 18 or over. Security measures are built into the card to ensure that it cannot be counterfeited.

Application forms 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, (another security measure). The cost of the card is £5.

Local trade organisations, the Licensed Victuallers Association and the Manx Off-licence initiative (Moli) are urging licensees to support the use of the card by displaying an advertising poster, having the application forms available on their premises and training staff to always ask young people for the card. The more often young people are asked for it the more likely they are to obtain one.

The card design was created by Alan Quirk and Craig Watterson, two students from the Isle of Man College. Alan and Craig have created a lively and eye catching design which clearly shows the information which retailers and licensees require.

The cards will first be shown to the public at the Southern and Royal Agricultural Shows where application forms will be available and any questions answered by Office staff. Members of the public can apply for the cards from 1st September 2004 when the Scheme comes into operation.

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