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Home Office Age Verification Sandbox

The AVPA worked closely with the UK Home Office, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) Expert Panel on Age Verification, AV providers, retailers and the hospitality sector on a series of trials of innovative age verification technology.

Humans are notoriously bad at estimating age.  We are not much better at spotting fake ID, or noticing if someone has borrowed it from an older sibling, or altered a date of birth.

Technology offers the opportunity to improve significantly levels of compliance with the law on underage sales, to reduce the number of situations where staff fall into conflict with customers by asking for proof of age, and to make it quicker for customers to buy age-restricted goods.

Pilots took place during the first half of 2022. Independent evaluations are being finalised and will be published in the Autumn.

This initiative is in parallel with our work on interoperability for the digital presentaton (on a smartphone) of Proof of Age Standards Scheme cards.

In combination, we are confident that the pilots and interoperability will demonstrate that it is possible to rely on a universally accepted form of digital proof of age for all age-restricted sales and access to licensed premises.