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16th June 2014

Home Office minister launches new PASS Proof of Age Card

Norman Baker MP, Minister of State for Crime Prevention, launched the new PASS 18 plus card design today at Tiger Tiger in London’s West End.  He was 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).

Introducing the changes, Robert Humphreys, Chair of PASS said “In future, all PASS cards issued to people over the age of 18 in England and Wales will be of a standard design (see picture) to ease recognition.  This is the most fundamental change to the PASS Proof of Age Scheme since its launch in 2001. During this time over 5 million cards have been issued and the PASS hologram is widely recognised and accepted in both the on and off trade.”

Norman Baker MP, Minister of State at the Home Office, said “Alcohol-fuelled harm costs society around £21billion a year and the coalition government is determined to significantly reduce this.

“The launch of the new Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) 18+ Design Standard is a major step forward in the prevention of alcohol abuse and associated anti-social behaviour by underage drinkers.”

“The new PASS cards will also lead to fewer people losing their passport on a night out, which in turn will reduce offences such as identity theft and fraud.”

“I encourage the security industry and all owners of licensed premises to get behind PASS and ensure the cards are accepted by their staff.”

Adrian Lee, Chief Constable of Northampton and Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) lead on licensing said “Enforcing the law on underage sale is a major policing priority. When I joined the PASS Board last year, I issued a challenge that PASS should adopt a single design for all cards issued to those aged 18 and over in England and Wales. One objective was to make it easier for Door Staff to identify cards outside venues when it is not only busy – but often dark.   I have been enormously impressed with the speed that the industry has responded to this challenge and convinced that this will be a major step forward in preventing under age sales.”

“Lost Passports cause a major problem not only for the owner but for the police should they fall into the hands of criminals.  It makes no sense for young people to take these valuable documents   into town for a night out.  I would like to see PASS become the preferred proof of age for the night time economy”.

Bill Butler, Chief Executive of the Security Industry Authority said “SIA licensed door supervisors have a difficult job to do, often in a challenging environment.   The PASS proof of age card has helped door staff carry out their duties in a responsible and effective way, and the new card design is a massive step forward in making PASS cards easy for door staff to recognise and accept.”



Photograph attached: (Left to right) Bill Butler (Chief Executive of the Security Industry Authority), Norman Baker MP (Minister of State at the Home Office), Robert Humphreys (Chair of the PASS Board) and Adrian Lee (Chief Constable of Northampton and Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) lead on licensing) with the new PASS 18+ proof of age card. 


For hi-res version of the photo, and for further information: Paul Hegarty at  or 07808 096250


Notes to Editors


The Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) is the industry-led national proof of age accreditation scheme, supported by the Home Office, ACPO and the Trading Standards Institute (TSI). PASS works closely with National Pubwatch, Best Bar None & Community Alcohol Partnership.


There are currently five national schemes (plus Young Scot) and ten local schemes which are licensed to issue cards bearing the PASS hologram. Only cards schemes which meet the stringent standards required for PASS accreditation are licensed to apply the PASS hologram to their cards.  Accredited card schemes are audited on a regular basis by Trading Standards Officers to ensure that they comply with PASS requirements covering the verification of age and identity.


The PASS Board would like to thank AB InBev UK Limited, Diageo PLC, Enterprise Inns PLC, Heineken, Poppleston Allen, SABMiller PLC, The Scotch Whisky Association and the Stonegate Pub Company for sponsoring this relaunch and Tiger Tiger/Novus Leisure for generously hosting the launch event.


*Five steps to check a PASS card:

Ø  Step 1. Check the design – does it conform to the new 18+ template or is it an old style card or a Young Scot Card (

Ø  Step 2. Check the hologram – is it genuine?

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

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

Ø  Step 5. Check the person – Are you satisfied?


Home Office advice on keeping your passport safe:


Ø  You should keep your passport in a safe place at home and only carry your passport when it is absolutely necessary.

Ø  Lost and stolen passports can be used to steal your identity, commit fraud and other serious offences including terrorism.

Ø  They are also expensive and will take time to replace.

Ø  Over half of all passports are lost in the UK by young people (51 per cent of 18-30 year olds) using them to prove their age.

Ø  Using a proof of age card would avoid the expense, hassle and potential harm of a lost passport.


For more information about PASS visit


Marc Catchpole

PASS National Director

M: 07921 689026