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Sell age restricted items in the Square Retail POS app

Who is this article for?
This article is for business owners and team members with checkout permissions who are selling age-restricted items with a Square for Retail Free, Plus, or Premium subscription. Learn more about custom permissions and setting up your team with Square for Retail.

About age-restricted items

With Square for Retail, you can sell age restricted items from the Square Retail POS app. When an age-restricted item is added to the cart, Square offers an age verification feature to prompt for a customer ID check by the employee handling the checkout.

Before you begin

To sell age restricted items, you need access to the Retail POS app. You also need to have age-restricted items set up. Learn how to set age restrictions on items with Square for Retail.

Sellers who offer age-restricted products must follow local regulations regarding age verification whenever a customer purchases one of these items, such as the case with alcohol or tobacco products. Age restrictions are intended to help you comply with local regulations. Block, Inc. is not responsible for the sale of age-restricted items to minors.

With Square for Retail Free, you can receive a prompt to manually verify age. With Square for Retail Plus or Premium, you can scan a US or Canada drivers license or state IDs for age verification using a compatible 2D barcode scanner or camera on an iOS device ― or input birthdates manually.

To scan customer IDs, you need to have a compatible 2D scanner or an iOS device with a camera connected to the Retail POS app.

Not all barcode scanners that are compatible with Square are 2D capable. Common scanners, such as the Zebra LS series, are 1D and only work for scanning standard item barcodes. You will need to check your model number to ensure compatibility with age verification. Cameras used with the Retail POS app on iOS devices meet the 2D scanning requirements.

Test your scanner

Test a barcode scanner for 2D capability by scanning the barcode below and listening for the beep. If the scanner beeps, that means it can read the 2D barcode and is capable of scanning IDs. If it does not beep, it is likely a 1D scanner and cannot be used to scan IDs.

Sell age-restricted items

You can sell age-restricted items in the Retail POS app.

Confirm age without scanning an ID

With Square for Retail Free, you can sell age-restricted items by confirming your customer’s age.

  1. Open the Retail POS app.
  2. Choose an age restricted item, then tap Add to cart.
  3. From the Age verification screen, select Confirm and add or tap X for whether the buyer meets the age restriction.
  4. If an item is confirmed to meet a set age requirement, additional age restricted items are also added to the cart ― if the restriction is equal to or younger than the initial age requirement. If the age requirement is older than a prior requirement, you will be prompted again to confirm if the buyer is old enough. This way, you will not have to re-confirm for the same age requirement multiple times in the same transaction.
  5. Once all items have been added to the cart, tap Charge to complete the transaction.

Manually verify age without scanning an ID

With Square for Retail Plus or Premium, you can sell age-restricted items by manually entering your customer’s age.

  1. Open the Retail POS app.
  2. Choose an age restricted item, then tap Add to cart.
  3. From the Age verification screen, add the buyer’s date of birth in the mm/dd/yyyy format.
  4. Tap Confirm to add the item to the cart.
  5. If the date of birth entered meets the minimum age requirement for the item, the item will be added to the cart.
  6. If additional age restricted items are added to the cart, the date entered for the first age restricted item that is successfully added to the cart will be reused. This way, you will not have to re-enter the same buyer’s date of birth multiple times in the same transaction.
  7. Once all items have been added to the cart, tap Charge to complete the transaction.

Verify age by scanning an ID

With Square for Retail Plus or Premium, you can sell age-restricted items by scanning your customer’s ID to verify age.

  1. Open the Retail POS app.
  2. Choose an age restricted item, then tap Add to cart.
  3. From the Age verification screen, scan the buyer’s ID to add the item to the cart with a compatible 2D barcode scanner or camera.
  4. If the date of birth scanned off of the ID scan or manually entered meets the minimum age requirement for the item, the item will be added to the cart.
  5. If additional age restricted items are added to the cart, the date used for the first age restricted item that is successfully added to the cart will be reused. This way, you will not have to re-enter the same buyer’s date of birth multiple times in the same transaction.
  6. Once all items have been added to the cart, tap Charge to complete the transaction.
When selling age-restricted items, there are a few possible reasons an age verification may fail. You may receive an error message with one of the following:

    • Invalid DOB entered
    • ID has expired
    • DOB does not meet age restriction
    • ID barcode unable to be scanned

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