Policy paper

New conditions for licensed premises in England and Wales: age verification and smaller measures

This publication was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The 2 remaining new mandatory conditions which came into force on 1 October 2010.



The Licensing Act 2003 (mandatory licensing conditions) order 2010 set out five new conditions that apply to all licensed premises and those with a club premises certificate in England and Wales. The first three of these conditions came into force on 6 April 2010, with the implementation of the remaining two (which relate to premises applying an age verification policy and making available smaller measures of drinks) being delayed for six months to give premises time to prepare before they came into force.

On 1 October 2010, the two remaining new mandatory conditions come into force. Further detail on these conditions is set out below, alongside a model age verification policy and information on further changes made by the legislative reform (licensing) (interim authority notices etc) order 2010.


The premises licence holder or club premises certificate holder must ensure that an age verification policy applies to the premises in relation to the sale or supply of alcohol.

This must as a minimum require individuals who appear to the responsible person  to be under the age of 18 years of age to produce on request (before being served alcohol) identification bearing their photograph, date of birth, and a holographic mark.  Examples of acceptable ID include photo card driving licences, passports or proof of age cards bearing the PASS hologram, although other forms of ID which meet the criteria laid out above are also acceptable.
The premises licence holder or club premises certificate holder must ensure that staff (in particular staff who are involved in the supply of alcohol) are made aware of the existence and content of the age verification policy applied by the premises.   

This condition does not exclude best practice schemes such as Challenge 21 or Challenge 25 which require individuals who appear to be under an age which is greater than 18 to provide ID.

The condition does apply to companies that sell alcohol remotely (eg online or by mail order). Since the condition requires that identification is produced on request, before alcohol is served, photo ID should be shown at the point of delivery.

An example age verification policy is available below.

Please note:

  • the model policy is intended to provide an example of a policy that meets the new mandatory condition. While any premises can fill in this model for their own premises in order to meet the condition, it is also acceptable for a premises to instead use a different age verification policy, as long as it meets the criteria set out in the legislation
  • the responsible person is one of the following: the holder of the premises licence; the designated premises supervisor; a person aged 18 or over who is authorised to allow the sale or supply of alcohol by an under 18; or a member or officer of a club present on the club premises in a capacity which enables him or her to prevent the supply in question

Smaller measures

The responsible person must ensure that the following drinks if sold or supplied on the premises are available in the following measures:

  • beer or cider - half pint
  • gin, rum, vodka or whisky - 25ml or 35ml
  • still wine in a glass - 125ml 

As well as making the drinks available in the above measures, the responsible person must also make customers aware of the availability of these measures - for example, by making their availability clear on menus and price lists, and ensuring that these are displayed in a prominent place in the relevant premises (eg at the bar).  

The above condition does not apply if the drinks in question are sold or supplied having been made up in advance ready for sale or supply in a securely closed container. For example, if beer is only available in pre-sealed bottles the condition to make it available in ½ pints does not apply.

Statutory guidance and the legislative reform order

Statutory guidance under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 will be amended to reflect these conditions and will made be available shortly on this website.

The guidance will also be amended to reflect small changes to the notification and objection periods for:

  • issuing an Interim Authority Notice (following the death, incapacity or insolvency of the licence holder)
  • applying for reinstatement on transfer of a licence
  • notifying a temporary event

The amendments are introduced by the legislative reform (licensing) (interim authority notices etc) order 2010 and come into force on 1 October 2010.

The order:

  • extends the periods for issuing an interim authority notice or applying for reinstatement on transfer of a licence from seven to 28 days
  • extends the period during which an interim authority notice has effect from two months to three months
  • extends the period that the police have to object to a temporary event notice from 48 hours to two working days

You can view the legislative reform order.

Read more about our alcohol policies.