“Do you have ID?”

Maybe it’s just in Scotland, or maybe it’s the whole of Britain, but they ask for ID all the time. Not just for normal, or at least understandable things like buying alcohol or going into a club. No, here in Scotland they ask for proof of age for the weirdest things, in addition to asking for ID every single time you buy alcohol. Even when I had just turned 18, I was only asked for ID occasionally when I was home in Norway and now, a few years later, it hardly ever happens at home. In Scotland on the other hand, I have no carry my passport with me anytime I think I might, maybe, possibly need it.

Buying alcohol

Ok, this is normal enough, it’s just that they ask every single time, almost no matter how old you are. One of my friends from last semester is 26, and doesn’t look particularly young, but even her they asked all the time.  Sometimes you will even be asked both when you enter a pub, and when you actually buy alcohol there. Overkill I say.


For big scary knives I can understand why you would want to check if the person buying it is old enough, but when it’sVeeeery scary knife... the type of knife you use to spread butter on your bread? The thing isn’t even sharp, and I doubt you could cut yourself with it even if you tried. Most people have several of them at home anyway, it’s not like it’s hard to get hold of one. Still, if you want to buy a new one, you have to show proof that you’re old enough.


These might be sharper than those knives, but still, most people have these in their house when they grow up, or even use them in school. It’s not like it’s hard to get hold of one if you really want to. Why it’s so much more of a bigger deal when you buy one in a store is beyond me. But still, to buy a scissor, you have to show ID.


Glue is such a horrible thing, of course you can’t buy one unless you are old enough, because it’s sooo dangerous.. It’s ridiculous, sure you can technically sniff glue and slowly kill your brain in the process, but yet again, it’s a common thing to have in many houses.  It’s not hard to get it anyway, and you don’t have to show ID to use it no, just to actually buy it. My friend needed some to fix her shoe, but she had to go home empty handed because she didn’t happen to bring her ID, even though she’s clearly older than 18. Great logic.

Dangerous and hard to obtain item.Teaspoons

Yes, teaspoons, you actually have to show ID to buy teaspoons. Why? Because you could theoretically use them to do drugs. Yeah right, because it’s so very,very difficult to get hold of a spoon if you really need it for that purpose. I’m suuure asking for ID when you buy teaspoons in a store stops so many people from doing drugs…

I also experienced not being allowed to sit in a pub drinking a can of coke in the middle of the day while waiting for a movie to start, because we couldn’t prove that we were over 18. Fun times.

All these things I or my friends here experienced during the past 8 months, some of them happened several times. What is a bit strange is that I’m pretty sure I was able to buy razor blades without showing ID. Razor blades are clearly a lot less dangerous to let young people use, compared to things like teaspoons.

Of course I know that most of these rules are there just to protect the places from being sued if these items are used in bad ways. What’s really sad is that there is actually a chance of a lawsuit like that winning if it wasn’t for these rules.  I sincerely hope it will never like this in Norway, because it’s way past the border of ridiculous and unnecessary.

Do you have any similar stories of being asked for ID at strange places or for strange things, or is it just me?


3 responses to ““Do you have ID?”

  1. I’m shocked by this – teaspoons?! Really? I’ve only ever been asked for ID when buying alcohol, which was a massive ego boost recently just before I turned 40! I can understand the alcohol thing because Scotland does have a big problem with under age drinking, but everything else you mention is new to me.

    • Yup..really. I didn’t experience that particular one myself, and I’m sure they don’t ask for ID for that everywhere, but at least they did at that particular store. All the other strange ones (knives, glue, scissors) were all at the same supermarket where I usually go buy food, and two of them happened to me. Perhaps it’s just that particular chain that does it…either way it’s rather strange.

      And yes, I understand the alcohol one as well, and I’ve seen some of the underage drinking..or at least drunk people who are underage. But then, it seems like there is a lot of focus on drinking and getting wasted here in general, regardless of age, so it’s not surprising.

  2. Pingback: Two weeks until departure – the end of an adventure | Idun in Scotland

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