YAKIMA, WA - If you are 21 or older, a vertical I.D. is valid in the state, but it's entirely up to the business whether they accept or deny it.
"They might lose some customers over it, but I mean, they can lose their license," said a Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board enforcement captain, Tom Dixon.
Most businesses deny vertical I.D.s, even on birthdays, because they want to ensure they don't break the law and serve alcohol to a minor.
But you must be 21 to even apply for a horizontal license. You can request a horizontal I.D. on your 21st birthday, but of course, it takes a few weeks for it to come in the mail.
Dixon said some businesses accept a processing receipt for a horizontal I.D. if you also bring in the vertical one.
Or they may turn you away altogether.
"We just ask that you respect the business when they refuse that sale because they're just trying to do the right thing," said Dixon.
Before you hit your favorite restaurant to celebrate, call ahead and make sure they accept vertical I.D.s, said Dixon.
Restaurants and businesses can get fined and ultimately lose their license if they're not careful. Dixon said if they get four violations in two years, their license is canceled.
"They're entrusting a lot of responsibility to those employees to make sure that they're checking those IDs," said Dixon.
The board purposely sends minors to restaurants and businesses to see if they are checking I.D.s before giving out alcohol, said Dixon.
The board gave more Administrative Violation Notices or fines for selling to minors than before the pandemic, said Dixon. He said that could be because a lot of businesses have fewer and newer staff.
The Liquor and Cannabis board is HIRING 20 enforcement officers throughout the state. Apply online here.