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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Tanning Operators - Checking Identification

It is illegal to sell, offer for sale or provide tanning services to anyone under 18 years of age in Ontario. The Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds), 2013 requires tanning service operators to ask for identification from anyone who appears to be less than 25 years old when selling, offering to sell or providing tanning services or ultraviolet light treatments for tanning.


During a tanning service transaction, employees must:

  • Ask for identification from anyone who appears under 25
  • Calculate the age of the customer from the date of birth listed on the identification
  • Never accept photocopied, altered, invalid or expired identification

Check Identification

If a person appears to be under 25 years old, you must require them to show you identification.


People under 18 years of age may try to use someone else’s identification or may use altered, fake, invalid, lost or stolen identification. Alternatively, they may try to use their own identification, in hopes that the employee will not calculate their actual date of birth.

Acceptable Forms of Identification

Operators may accept any item of identification (PDF 391KB) that includes a photograph, a date of birth, and that reasonably appears to have been issued by a government.

Under the law, you must:

  • be sure a person is at least 18 before selling or offering any tanning service or ultraviolet light treatment for tanning
  • ask for ID if they appear under 25 years old

Tips for checking identification

Please find the following tips and things to remember when checking identification.

Never “glance” at identification

Never just “glance” at identification. Take the time to really look at it to compare the photo and security features.

Prevent errors

Prevent errors while checking identification (PDF 325KB) by reviewing the following information with all employees:

  • Hold the identification card in your hand.
  • Ensure the owner of the identification is the person in front of you.
  • Never accept expired identification as proof of age. Expired identification is never valid.
  • Calculate the date of birth.
    Do not assume that a customer that hands you their identification is over 18 years of age. Have a cheat sheet showing the date of birth that would make an individual 18 years of age or greater.
  • Ask for another piece of identification.
    Generally, people with counterfeit/borrowed identification do not have another piece of identification, whereas most people with legitimate identification will. While you have their identification, ask them their date of birth or address.

If you have any doubt about a person’s age or about their identification being altered, invalid, counterfeit or otherwise suspect, you always have the right to refuse the sale. As a business that falls under the Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds), 2013, you have a legal obligation to ensure you comply.

Date of creation: May 5, 2014
Last modified on: May 17, 2023