Does Everyone Have to Show ID When Buying Alcohol at Walmart?

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When it comes to purchasing alcohol, many retailers have strict policies in place to ensure they comply with the law. Walmart, one of the largest retail giants in the world, is no exception. But does everyone have to show ID when buying alcohol at Walmart? The answer to this question can be somewhat complex, but we’ll explore it in-depth in this article.


Yes, everyone who appears to be under 40 years old has to show ID when buying alcohol at Walmart as per the company’s policy. However, exceptions can be made for customers who are clearly over the age limit and can verify this with a valid ID, but this is at the discretion of the employee.

Walmart’s Alcohol ID Policy

Walmart’s policy on checking ID for alcohol purchases is straightforward. Customers cannot purchase alcohol if they are underage, have no acceptable proof of ID, or are intoxicated. Walmart employees are required to check the ID of customers who don’t look at least 40 years old. Acceptable forms of ID for purchasing alcohol at Walmart include a driver’s license, military ID card, or other government-issued photo ID recognized within your state.

For states that allow customers to purchase alcohol at self-checkout, a Walmart employee must verify the customer’s valid photo ID for age verification before the transaction can proceed. Similarly, customers purchasing alcohol through Walmart Grocery Delivery or in-store pickup must show a valid photo ID when picking up their order or receiving the delivery.

Exceptions to the Rule

While Walmart’s policy requires ID verification for customers who don’t look at least 40 years old, there are some exceptions. For example, if a customer is clearly over the age limit and can verify this with a valid ID, they may not need to show ID every time they make a purchase. However, this can vary by store and is at the discretion of the employee.

Employee Training at Walmart

To ensure that this policy is enforced correctly, Walmart provides comprehensive training to its employees. This training includes a combination of in-person and online programs, including the Walmart Academy, which provides employees with advanced retail skills and knowledge. Walmart also uses virtual reality technology to improve the employee training experience and assess workers’ skills.

Comparisons to Other Retail Giants

Like Walmart, other retail giants such as Target, Kroger, CVS, and Costco also have policies in place for checking IDs during alcohol purchases. While the specifics may vary, the primary focus is always on ensuring that the customer is of the legal drinking age and can provide valid ID.

Failure to enforce these policies can result in serious legal consequences for Walmart, including financial penalties, reputational damage, and potential termination of business relationships with suppliers. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of the company and its employees to ensure these policies are enforced consistently.


In conclusion, not everyone has to show ID when buying alcohol at Walmart. However, the company has a strict policy in place to ensure that anyone who appears to be under 40 years of age can provide valid ID. This policy is crucial for Walmart’s continued compliance with the law and its commitment to responsible retailing.

Whether you’re a customer or an employee, understanding these policies can help ensure a smoother shopping experience and contribute to a safer community overall.

Frequently Asked Questions

Even if you’re clearly over the legal drinking age, Walmart’s policy requires a valid ID for any customer who doesn’t look at least 40 years old. If you forget your ID, you may not be able to purchase alcohol.

Are there any penalties for customers who try to purchase alcohol without a valid ID?

Customers who attempt to purchase alcohol without a valid ID are not penalized, but they will be unable to complete their purchase. It’s always best to bring your ID when planning to buy alcohol.

Can a friend or family member show their ID for me?

No, the person making the purchase must provide their own valid ID. Using someone else’s ID is not permitted and can lead to legal consequences.

Are there specific times when ID checks are more stringent?

Walmart’s policy does not specify certain times for more stringent ID checks. However, it’s always best to have your ID on hand whenever you plan to purchase alcohol.

What happens if a Walmart employee fails to ask for ID when selling alcohol?

If an employee fails to ask for ID when required, it could result in serious consequences for the company, including financial penalties and reputational damage. It could also lead to disciplinary action against the employee, up to and including termination.

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