In the state of Alabama, the use of ID scanners is not only permitted but also encouraged, especially for businesses that sell age-sensitive products such as alcohol. This practice is particularly relevant for hotels, which often have bars or sell alcohol to their guests.
The REAL ID Act of 2005 is a federal law that establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. The Act prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.
In Alabama, licenses or identification cards issued on or after April 25, 2022, that are not compliant with the REAL ID Act will display “Not for Federal Identification” across the top of the credential. This means that starting May 7, 2025, travelers 18 years of age or older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card to pass through airport security checkpoints for domestic air travel.
Alabama allows the use of digital driver’s licenses, which are a valid form of identification. These digital licenses can be displayed through the ALEA approved mobile application and can be stored in Apple Wallet on iPhones.
Importantly, if a licensee displays a digital driver license or identification card through the ALEA approved mobile application, the person is not implicitly consenting to allow access or to search other contents of the wireless communication or electronic device. This means that while a hotel can scan a guest’s digital ID to verify their identity or age, they cannot use this as an opportunity to access or search other contents of the guest’s phone.
For hotels in Alabama, particularly those that sell alcohol to their guests, the use of ID scanners is a valuable tool for verifying a guest’s age and preventing the sale of alcohol to minors. However, it’s important to note that there is no law that says a hotel must scan a driver’s license. The decision to use an ID scanner is at the discretion of the hotel.
When using an ID scanner, hotels must ensure that they are not violating their guests’ privacy rights. As mentioned earlier, a guest displaying a digital driver license or identification card is not implicitly consenting to allow access or to search other contents of their device.
Please note that this information is intended to provide a general overview and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult with a legal professional for advice specific to your situation
Yes, hotels in Alabama can scan IDs. However, there is no law that requires them to do so.
The primary purpose of ID scanning in hotels is to verify a guest's age, especially when selling age-sensitive products such as alcohol. It can also be used to establish a guest's identity.
Yes, a digital driver's license is a valid form of identification in Alabama.
This means that the ID is not compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005 and cannot be used for federal identification purposes, such as boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.
No, displaying a digital ID does not implicitly consent to allow access or to search other contents of your device.
A digital driver's license can be stored in Apple Wallet on iPhones.