18 and over
June 11, 2012 11:32 AM   Subscribe

What commonly available products require age verification to purchase?
posted by dkleinst to Shopping (51 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Depending on where you are, spray paint and fireworks.
posted by endless_forms at 11:34 AM on June 11, 2012

Oh, and Plan B.
posted by endless_forms at 11:35 AM on June 11, 2012



Spray paint

Some OTC cold/flu medications
posted by Hanuman1960 at 11:35 AM on June 11, 2012

Things I've noticed, but not universally -- some stores do, some stores have a warning pop up on the screen that they ignore, and some don't at all.

--Model paint
--Canned air dusters
--Certain cough medicines
posted by AzraelBrown at 11:35 AM on June 11, 2012

Lottery and scratch tickets.
posted by pie ninja at 11:37 AM on June 11, 2012

Lottery tickets, knives, many things with sniffable solvents.
posted by Urtylug at 11:38 AM on June 11, 2012

"Tobacco use only" paraphenelia.
Whipped cream chargers.
Sex toys (this is a really broad category only because it gets really complicated.)
posted by griphus at 11:38 AM on June 11, 2012

Rather: poppers.
posted by griphus at 11:39 AM on June 11, 2012

In NYC, at least, I have to show ID to buy Armour Etch hydrofluoric acid cream.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:39 AM on June 11, 2012

Cough syrup with dextromethorphan

One time I got carded buying the super-giant toilet paper package (on the theory I was going to go TPing), but that was clearly a store policy run amok, not a normal thing.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:39 AM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

In some places (and from some stores) one must be 18 to buy air rifles, airsoft guns, paintball guns, and the ammunition for them.

Pornography is another example.
posted by jedicus at 11:40 AM on June 11, 2012

Paint pens and big permanent markers in my city.
posted by mollymayhem at 11:40 AM on June 11, 2012

A bus or train ticket, if you're thinking of 'age verification' going the other way (and qualifying for a youth or student fare).

I've seen Fare Enforcement people demand the IDs of people travelling on 'youth' tickets, to verify that they are indeed under 18. And the people who were older? Got booted off the train and given a warning or citation for Fare Evasion. This was on Sound Transit Light Rail, in Seattle.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:43 AM on June 11, 2012

In the UK, I've been carded when buying:

Eggs (that was a weird local Co-op policy)

I had a friend who got carded buying glue (because they thought he was going to inhale it, apparently)
posted by stillnocturnal at 11:43 AM on June 11, 2012

At least at Wal-Mart, Rated R DVDs, MA rated video games.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:46 AM on June 11, 2012

One time I got carded buying the super-giant toilet paper package (on the theory I was going to go TPing), but that was clearly a store policy run amok, not a normal thing.

Around Halloween, I've seen a bunch of stores carding for toilet paper and eggs (on the pretense, like you said, that they're being bought for throwing).
posted by inigo2 at 11:46 AM on June 11, 2012

posted by trip and a half at 11:47 AM on June 11, 2012

Oh, maybe not?
posted by trip and a half at 11:48 AM on June 11, 2012

Also, a city sidewalk park bench, if you're sitting on it and a cop comes along to do a curfew check.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:49 AM on June 11, 2012

Tickets to R-rated movies, if not accompanied by a parent.
posted by lakeroon at 11:50 AM on June 11, 2012

I've had trouble renting cars because I was under 25.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:50 AM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fifteen years ago, I got carded at a Wal-mart when trying to buy Wite-Out. The lady said kids had been huffing it.
posted by solotoro at 11:52 AM on June 11, 2012

I've seen someone carded for buying dry ice, though I'm not sure if that was a store policy or state law.

Also: non-alcoholic beers.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:58 AM on June 11, 2012

There's always stuff in age-restricted cages in art supply stores, including spray paint, glues, solvents, permanent markers (especially Sharpies), giant bottles of ink, and Xacto knife blades.
posted by mdrew at 12:00 PM on June 11, 2012

Model rocket engines over a certain size (it was size D when and where I was growing up, not that I could ever find a field large enough to utilize an engine that large). Just about everything else in the model shop was fair game, as far as I can remember, including all sorts of nasty chemicals for fabricating and doping model airplanes.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:03 PM on June 11, 2012

Car rentals.
posted by xingcat at 12:04 PM on June 11, 2012

The last few times I bought 5-hour Energy drinks at a self checkout in CVS, I had to have an attendant come over and verify that I was over 18.
posted by Katine at 12:05 PM on June 11, 2012

MA-rated videogames at Target, as well. At least, my son was carded trying to buy Skyrim.
posted by chazlarson at 12:14 PM on June 11, 2012

Sudafed. (War On Drugs, yay!)

I once got carded (at 30-ish) for Henry Weinhard's (completely non-alcoholic) root beer. (Cashier ignorance)

One grocery store here cards for the big 12-dozen cases of eggs. (Vandalism)
posted by xedrik at 12:31 PM on June 11, 2012

kombucha (ferments slightly)
posted by sibboleth at 12:36 PM on June 11, 2012

hunting and fishing licenses
weapons (not just guns, but crossbows, knives, etc.)
lighter fluid, butane, propane and other fuels
posted by carmicha at 12:46 PM on June 11, 2012

Some friends and I once got carded at McDonalds. I was 15. It was during the final exam period at my high school; we were allowed to go off-campus between exams, but the people at McDonalds said we were supposed to be in school and wouldn't serve us.

(We went across the street to 7-11; they were fine with serving us. McDonald's was in the city of Philadelphia and 7-11 was not - the street was the dividing line - and I kind of suspect that some Philadelphia law was being enforced.)
posted by madcaptenor at 12:50 PM on June 11, 2012

I did a double take at the local sporting goods giant the other day: SKATEBOARD had a big "must be 18 to purchase" sticker on it. Can't grasp the logic.
posted by cosmicbandito at 12:51 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

When I was in high school I got "Yer an Adult Now" gifts for my friends that turned 18 after me.

They included

a porn mag
a lottery ticket
a voter registration card

If I'd had a car, I'd have driven to Wisconsin to pick them up some fireworks, too.
posted by Elly Vortex at 1:07 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, in one UK supermarket, accidentally, teaspoons.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 1:27 PM on June 11, 2012

In some places, energy shots (like RipIt or Five Hour Energy). I've been carded for these at Dollar Tree.
posted by cp311 at 1:56 PM on June 11, 2012

I was once carded while buying drink mixers (tonic water, club soda, Red Bull, cranberry juice, etc.). I asked which item in particular triggered the ID check and wasn't given a good answer.

I think that it was less a store policy than just a result of some of those items (probably the tonic water?) being included in the "liquor" department of the grocery store.

It annoyed me greatly, not because I was underage but because it meant a human had to come over and interfere with my otherwise well-rehearsed self-checkout procedure.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:16 PM on June 11, 2012

Nicotine replacements (patches, gum, lozenges)
posted by Houstonian at 2:16 PM on June 11, 2012

Nicotine patches. Heaven forbid some teenager attempt to quit.
posted by piedmont at 2:17 PM on June 11, 2012

Rental cars, as mentioned above. Some companies have a strict no-rent limit of 24/25, some charge you more if you're under that age, some only do 21+, etc. Depends on the agency.

For instance, when I came back from Iraq on R&R in 2004, I was 21 and needed to rent a car to get to my parents house (they had misinterpreted my arrival time as 12PM instead of the midnight I actually arrived at). I'm standing at the desk of the only open agency in my DCUs, only 22, and they didn't want to rent to me because I was under 25. I finally guilt tripped the clerk (no manager around) into renting to me, with no extra fee. Then he asked if I had killed anyone and if I liked it, which was real nice.
posted by Evilspork at 2:18 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Sudafed (you have to show ID in the US because they track the purchases; I'm not sure if there is also an age minimum.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:43 PM on June 11, 2012

I thought this was a BS local thing, but some stores/states require photo ID/18 and up to buy things like drain cleaner.

I've also seen the "show ID to clerk" thing pop up when buying toilet cleaner at Kroger while using the self-checkout line, possibly for the same reason (this is in Texas).
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:52 PM on June 11, 2012

I was recently carded not for gasoline, but just for an empty gas can. Also for a canister of compressed air.
posted by dorque at 4:43 PM on June 11, 2012

Lighters and matches (at least anecdotally in Alberta) required that you be 18. We were trying to buy a lighter for reasons unrelated to tobacco or arson and eventually used the self check-out at the grocery store, looking mighty suspicious I'm sure.
posted by lookoutbelow at 5:19 PM on June 11, 2012

Claratin-D, which is SUPPOSEDLY a legal over-the-counter drug available to all here in sunny Virginia, but in actual practice is limited only to adults who give lots of personal info and show their IDs while hoping the pharmacist is in a good mood as they enter the sale into state records of how often you dared to buy the stuff......
posted by easily confused at 6:29 PM on June 11, 2012

I have also been carded for buying a lighter (this was hilarious to me, as I was well over any age they might have been carding for) in California; I think this was an overzealous clerk, though.

This overzealous carding thing has also happened ("You must be over 18 to buy this!"), as above, with compressed air.

Also, hotel rooms: a lot of hotels have a 21-up policy for renting rooms (this caused problems one time when I was checking in a newlywed couple whose parents had gotten them a suite for their honeymoon; they had to have one of their parents come in and check in for them!).
posted by librarylis at 7:10 PM on June 11, 2012

Claratin-D...show their IDs
The D means there's pseudoephedrine in it, aka Sudafed. And yeah, it's a pain in the ass. Every time.
posted by piedmont at 8:13 PM on June 11, 2012

Box cutters are restricted in some major metros- Teens were using them as weapons.
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:50 PM on June 11, 2012

Weight-loss pills (Alli, Stacker, etc.)
posted by Papagayo at 3:33 AM on June 12, 2012

Where I live, you have to be 18 to buy "realistic" type dildos/ vibrators, but you can buy the "oh no it's just a massager!" type at any age.
posted by Why hello, I am a sock puppet at 7:20 AM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

The other day I was carded for Ibuprofen and (I swear) floss at Sainsbury's.
posted by Partario at 3:38 PM on June 12, 2012

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