PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – If you plan to purchase alcohol at any Fred Meyer or QFC store, prepare to have your ID scanned.
The two grocery chains, both owned by Kroger, implemented a new policy on August 31 that requires all customers – no matter their age – to provide their ID for the purchase of age-restricted items.
A Fred Meyer spokesperson said the change is to “help ensure 100% compliance with state and local requirements.”
The spokesperson said other retailers and delivery providers have already implemented this standard.
In the comments on a recent Fred Meyer Facebook post, several people raised concerns that information from a person’s driver’s license could be stored in a database. Fred Meyer responded to the comments reassuring customers that data will not be stored in any computer systems.
Fred Meyer said the new policy is meant to speed up the checkout process and reduce the number of typos when entering dates of birth. If customers do not feel comfortable with the store scanning their ID, they can request the cashier manually enter their date of birth instead.
Kevin Beckstrom, spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles explained that a driver’s license or ID barcode contains the same information that is on the front of the card.
“When Fred Meyer scans a driver license or ID card for an alcohol purchase, they can only do so to verify the person’s age. That’s it. Under Oregon law, businesses that scan for age verification are prohibited from storing, selling or sharing the information,” he wrote in response to a KOIN inquiry.
One customer who visited a Fred Meyer store recently said the store had trouble scanning his ID because the change of address sticker on it had worn off part of the code.
KOIN asked about this and Beckstrom said the DMV stopped issuing the address change stickers in January 2020. Now, when someone submits a change of address, their information is updated electronically in the DMV database.
Anyone with a new address can obtain a new license, permit or ID card if they apply and pay for a replacement. Replacement address change stickers can also be applied for and purchased, he said.
According to the DMV, the 2-D barcode used on driver’s licenses is based on an industry standard developed by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Oregon law says there are limits on who can swipe a license or ID card for the purpose of reading and collecting the barcode data.
Private, non-governmental entities are not allowed to swipe ID cards except for specific purposes – one of which is to verify age for purchasing age-restricted products.
The information on the front of the card is considered personal identifiable information, but when the owner of the ID presents it to someone, it’s presumed they are giving permission for it to be scanned or verified.
In its statement from a spokesperson, Fred Meyer said the safety of its customers, associates, and the communities it serves is its top priority.