Why Does Walmart ID Everyone?

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Walmart, the largest retail corporation in the world, has a policy to ID everyone who appears to be under 40 years old when purchasing age-restricted products such as alcohol and tobacco. The rationale behind this policy is to prevent the sale of these products to underage individuals and to ensure compliance with laws and regulations.


Walmart IDs everyone who appears to be under 40 years old when purchasing age-restricted products to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. This policy prevents the sale of these items to underage individuals, thus avoiding potential legal issues. It applies not only to in-store purchases but also to online orders, which require a valid government-issued photo ID upon pickup or delivery.

The Rationale Behind the Policy

The policy is primarily aimed at ensuring that Walmart does not inadvertently sell age-restricted products to minors. By checking IDs, Walmart can verify the age of the purchaser, thus avoiding potential legal issues or penalties associated with selling these products to underage individuals. The policy is not just for in-store purchases, but also extends to online orders where customers are required to provide a valid government-issued photo ID upon pickup or delivery.

Policy Implementation

The process of implementing this policy involves educating the employees about the policy, changing or creating administrative operations and systems, and monitoring or enforcing the policy as needed. It requires clear leadership, appropriate governance arrangements, stakeholder involvement, coordination of resources and support, feedback mechanisms, and regular monitoring and evaluation.

Comparison to Other Retail Chains

Many other retail stores also ask for ID from anyone who appears to be under a certain age. However, some retail chains have stricter policies. For example, Roundy’s Inc., which operates Pick ‘n Save and Copps food stores in Wisconsin, requires cashiers to check the age of everyone buying cigarettes or alcohol, regardless of how old they appear.

Impact on Business Operations

Walmart’s ID checking policy impacts its business operations by ensuring alignment with its values, promoting transparency, complying with laws and regulations, maintaining ethical standards, and driving growth and shareholder returns.

Walmart’s ID checking policy has not been without its controversies. Although the policy is primarily aimed at preventing the sale of age-restricted products to minors, there have been instances where Walmart employees have checked the IDs of everyone in a group, leading to confusion and inconsistency in the enforcement of the policy.

Future Changes and Adjustments

While there are no known plans for adjustments to this policy at the moment, it is essential for any organization to continually review and assess its policies to ensure they are effective and in line with evolving societal norms and legal requirements.

Enforcement of the Policy

Human resources, department supervisors, and managers are responsible for enforcing this policy. They are tasked with ensuring that the policy is applied fairly and consistently, providing training to supervisors and managers, and ensuring they understand the importance and correct application of these policies.

In conclusion, Walmart’s ID checking policy is a proactive measure aimed at ensuring the company’s compliance with laws and regulations related to the sale of age-restricted products. While it may seem inconvenient to some, it is a necessary step in the company’s commitment to responsible retailing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are age-restricted products?

Age-restricted products refer to items that have a legal age limit set for their purchase. The most common examples include alcohol, tobacco, and certain over-the-counter medications.

Does Walmart ID everyone for all purchases?

No, Walmart does not ID everyone for all purchases. The ID checking policy is specifically for purchases of age-restricted products such as alcohol and tobacco.

What happens if I refuse to show my ID?

If a customer refuses to show their ID when purchasing age-restricted products, Walmart employees are instructed not to complete the transaction. This is in line with the company’s compliance with laws and regulations.

What kind of ID is accepted?

Walmart accepts any government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport, or state ID card.

What if I look older than 40, will I still be asked for ID?

Walmart’s policy is to ID anyone who appears to be under the age of 40. However, it ultimately depends on the judgment of the Walmart employee. If you appear to be older than 40, you may not be asked for ID.

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