Some experts skeptical about ID scanner requirement for Charleston bars


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- As City of Charleston leaders continue to gather input from Central Business District bar owners about requiring ID scanners to be used, one expert says that some scanners don’t do their job.

National identity verification expert Bryan Lewis says that some scanners validate IDs that were made to a standard that no real IDs in any state are made from.

“(The fake IDs) are following a standard put out by the Association of North American Motor Vehicle Administrations that not a single state or Canadian province follows,” said Lewis.

According to Lewis, an ID scanner that does spot a fake ID looks for unique details on a license’s barcode.

“They need to able to tell with one hundred percent certainty that the barcode they’re reading matches that state from that date of issuance. If you can’t do that you’ll let in fakes,” said Lewis.

The City of Charleston talked to several bar owners about requiring ID scanners at open houses in October.

“That was one of the elements that was put into the proposed ordinance to kind of generate some conversation,” said Robert Summerfield, Charleston’s Director of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability.

Bar owners like Chris DiMattia of Recovery Room are in favor of requiring ID scanners.

“I’m pro any device that will help keep underage out of Recovery Room,” said DiMattia. “We’re happy to purchase them here at Recovery Room. Anything we can do to help keep underage out we will support the city.”

If the City of Charleston does move forward with an ID scanner requirement, it will not be until next year.

Summerfield also says that if there is an ordinance, technology that actually spots fake IDs will be addressed.

“When the operators go out to find the machine that will work for them they’ll need to make sure that their vendor meets those specifications,” said Summerfield.

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