Can a business ask my date of birth to purchase cigarettes when I am well over 50?

UPDATED: Jan 17, 2011

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Can a business ask my date of birth to purchase cigarettes when I am well over 50?

My question above is what happened. The clerk stated she had to put my DOB in the computer in order to sell them to me. She did not want my ID just DOB. I wouldn’t of minded except for the 4 people behind me; it was none of their business. Isn’t there a civil or privacy law that stops this?

Asked on January 17, 2011 under Business Law, Illinois


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This is obviously a policy of the store.  It may not be the best policy but it is not against the law to ask for your date of birth as long a they are not using it in a discriminatory way, and it does not appear that they are.  Yes, it may be embarrassing to some.  In that case then maybe you should have offered to show them your license with your date of birth on it and explained that you preferred to advise them that way. Smetimes you have to take control of the situation and put your own spin on things in compliance with the law and the policies.  Good luck to you. 

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