What You Do and Don’t Need to Show Your ID For


headlineImage.adapt.1460.high.VoterID_020916.1455131298273Things you have to show your ID to buy:

1. Tobacco, pornography & alcohol

You won’t always be asked for an ID if you look old enough, or if the cashier remembers you are over the legal age.

2. Firearms

There is nothing in the Second Amendment that says you have to be over a certain age to exercise your right to defend yourself from assailants and government tyranny. Obviously, the photo ID requirement is for the background check you must undergo to receive a license to own firearms … but there is nothing in the Second Amendment about having to pass a background check.

3. Allergy and cold medicine containing certain compounds that could be used to make meth

You will always be carded when buying these items, no matter how old you look, or if a pharmacist and/or cashier knows your age and/or health issues. Pollen season be damned, don’t buy these items too often as your driver’s license number is recorded and the frequency of purchases is on file and you’ll be flagged.

These items all fall under two categories: self-harm (or regarding pornography, the antiquated term of self-abuse), and somebody of legal age and/or clean background buying an item for someone who is ineligible to make purchases themselves. Obviously, firearms are used for homicides, but firearms can be obtained without showing your ID to anyone. Criminals who want guns will not be deterred by a photo ID requirement. And most gun deaths in the United States are suicides, not homicides. The state seems interested in protecting its citizens from themselves, but when you take into consideration injuries and deaths that occur during the prosecution of the War on Drugs and other raids by the DEA, ATF, FBI or any other alphabet soup agency, the correlation of justification for the state’s ID rules withers and collapses.

Things you don’t have to show ID to buy:

1. Gasoline and other flammable liquids, lighters and matches, bleach, and fertilizer

You can make explosives using fertilizer, as well as feed your plants

2. Knives, hand tools that can be used to kill or cause injury, like hammers or saws, and power tools

No photo ID is required to buy a lawnmower, weedwacker or chainsaw; basically, you don’t have to prove your age or withstand a criminal background check to buy anything with spinning blades or some other cutting implements.

3. Car batteries and jumper cables

These can be used to torture people. I don’t know how, but I’ve seen movies.

The state trusts its citizens to buy many, many items that could be used for violence, yet has faith in us to use these particular commodities for peaceful and productive purposes.


You don’t have to show a photo ID to pick up prescriptions. Sure, the prescription serves as authorization to buy, but as long as you give the name of the person who has a prescription waiting, you give the pharmacist the co-pay, and sign for it, you can walk out of the pharmacy with somebody else’s narcotics.

You don’t need a photo ID to buy a plane ticket, book a hotel or rent a car online, but you have to have one to use those purchases.

You can’t use a recently expired driver’s license as proof of identity to renew your license. The DMV does not believe you are who you say you are if you use a DMV-issued photo ID that has just expired. Veracity is dictated by the calendar. If you don’t have a valid photo ID to renew your photo ID, you have to use your birth certificate, which does not display a photo.

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Dillon Eliassen is a former Managing Editor of Being Libertarian. Dillon works in the sales department of a privately owned small company. He holds a BA in Journalism & Creative Writing from Lyndon State College, and needs only to complete his thesis for his Master’s of English from Montclair State University (something which his accomplished and beautiful wife, Alice, is continually pestering him about). He is the author of The Apathetic, available at Amazon.com. He is a self-described Thoreauvian Minarchist.

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