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Do They Ask for an ID to Have a Drink in Latin America?

Published September 22, 2021 in Argentina , Mexico , Personal Stories & Opinions - 0 Comments

When I lived in the US, I remember getting it being stricter on getting a drink.

In college, I remember being at some dorm room party with some friends at a house party and the college interrupted the party asking for IDs.

I think they took the booze away and they had us visit some campus employee to talk about the party.

In short, it didn’t mean shit.

They didn’t do anything or punish us anyway from what I remember.

If I had to guess, it was probably because I was a freshman and my first time ever getting caught with booze before being 21 years old.

Otherwise, by the time I did turn 21, I remember also always being asked for ID whenever I wanted to buy a drink at a bar or restaurant.

The only time where I maybe wasn’t asked for a drink – if I remember right – was when I sat down with my sister and soon-to-be husband at some restaurant in Iowa before their wedding.

I remember having a beer and I don’t think they asked for my ID but I don’t remember clearly.

Otherwise, the only other funny thing about buying booze in the US was one time when I returned to college in senior year after my first few years of traveling around Latin America.

In which we had some anonymous Facebook group for students at this college and some chick named Kelly wrote on there saying she wanted to go on a date with me.

We met up and then she invited me to her sorority party event where chicks would bring a date.

Funny enough, by the time that happened, I remember not being able to find my actual drivers license and just used my passport naturally as my ID.

They accepted it but the bar staff guy did have a funny face on his look when he checked my passport as proof of age.

Since then, having my ID checked has never really been an issue because I live in Mexico now.

But it’s funny the contrast.

Over the last 9 years, I’ve spent about 6 of them more or less outside the US.

In which, for obvious reasons, getting carded has simply almost never been an issue abroad.

But when I do return to the US, it’s an interesting little cultural difference to be reminded that I need proof that I’m over 21.

Something you just completely forget about most of your time abroad but is suddenly a thing again.

Which isn’t to say that I don’t ever get asked for ID down here.

But it basically never happens except maybe once for every 50 bars I go to or whatever really.

And it is funny the contrast because, for one, I spent a good chunk of my 20s abroad anyhow (still in my 20s though).

So it really has been something that I stopped getting accustomed to.

But, on top of that, you occasionally hear funny shit back home about this topic.

Like not too long ago, I was talking with a dude named Jeff who was saying that folks can get carded up until they’re in their 30s.

If they look young enough, I guess.

But down here?

As I said, it doesn’t happen ever really.

Just a few days ago, I went to a nicer club spot in Mexico City and they didn’t check for ID there.

But, being fair, sometimes an ID does get asked for once in a blue moon down here.

I’ll bring up any examples that come to mind below.

Getting Past Argentine Security

The first example that comes to mind was when I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina some odd years ago.

I remember going to some club in the city that turned out to be one of the nicest and fanciest clubs I had seen ever in my life.

If I remember right, I went there with a Brazilian dude named Thalisson and a few of his friends.

When we got there, which was some distance away from their place, we stood in this long line.

That’s when I realized that they were asking for an ID at the front of the line.

I simply didn’t bring it because I had gotten used to people not asking me for an ID down here.

And Thalisson was very concerned for a second that we weren’t going to be let in.

So when it came time for our turn to get checked, I remember either Thalisson or one of his friends standing in front of me getting ID checked first.

And I remember the security guard looking away for a second to our luck as the person in front of me handed me their ID under the dude’s nose.

He should’ve seen the guy pass me his ID but we were just lucky as shit that he didn’t pay attention.

On top of that, we were even extra lucky that the security guard didn’t even give a fuck really about the details on the card.

Even though he assumingly looked at it when the guy in front of me gave it to him, he simply waved me on through without giving it a real glance.

So, in one of the few instances where someone wanted to see my ID, we just got very lucky that no ID was actually needed.

Perro Negro in Mexico City

Next up, I remember visiting this bar pizza place called Perro Negro in Mexico City.

It’s quite popular and the food is very good.

Anyway, I got invited to check the place out with a decent sized group.

When we got there, there was a huge line of people waiting for their turn to be seated.

It was also some dude’s birthday in our group and the bar knew that.

But when it came time to enter, they asked for ID.

Similar to the Argentine example above, I didn’t bring it because I’m just so used to people not asking for an ID down here.

It literally almost never happens.

And the chick at the front of the door was a little bit hesitant to let us in initially.

However, after taking a look at me (and I have tended to look younger than I am in my life), she agrees to letting us in without problem.

But only after asking “how many people will be in our group in total?”

When she did the math as to how much money we’d spend (I guess), she was cool with it.

Is That It?

I guarantee you that I’ve probably been asked for an ID at least two or three other times in my 6 years down here.

At most.

However, I simply can’t remember them.

It could be that those two examples actually are the only examples that come to mind!

In my experience though, I feel fancier clubs that have a lot more clients are more likely to ask for an ID.

At least that’s the trend that I think makes sense here with the two stories above.

I could be wrong though because I simply don’t get carded enough to know for sure but that sounds like a decent theory.

Outside of bars and clubs though, I have never been asked ever for an ID when buying anything at normal stores or restaurants.

If you ever get carded down here, it’s basically only going to be at a bar or club.

And, even then, your chance of getting asked for an ID at a bar or club is like a 1 in a 100 or whatever really.

Nowadays, like with my birthday recently, I do try to bring a copy of my passport before going anywhere just in case.

But I do forget to bring it most of the time honestly because, as I said, it’s such a non-issue that it’s easy to forget to bring.

Anyway, that’s all I got to say on this pretty basic topic.

If you have any comments or questions, drop them below in the comment section.

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Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


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