Does Instacart Check ID? (Can You Get Alcohol?)

When Instacart began delivering alcohol with delivery orders (or on its own), the people in 13 states and Washington, D.C. rejoiced.

It is more convenient than ever if you live in any of these states to get alcohol brought right to your front door – but is it easier for minors?

Does Instacart check ID for alcohol orders? How stringent are they, and how likely is it that a minor could obtain alcohol through these means? I have the answer below.

Does Instacart Check ID In [currentyear]?

Instacart shoppers are trained to ask for ID at the door no matter what age the customer appears to be. Deliveries with alcohol will not be left unattended; they must always be age verified and handed to the customer. Shoppers will both sight-verify and scan the customer’s valid ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.).

There is a lot more information to cover, including where alcohol delivery through Instacart is permitted, how you can expect to your Instacart shopper to check ID, if fake IDs work and what else Instacart will need to see your ID for. Keep going!

Where Can You Get Alcohol Delivered With Instacart?

First thing’s first: not everyone in Instacart’s coverage area (which is wide and far) has access to alcohol delivery.

So actually, for the vast majority of customers, having your ID checked at the door isn’t going to be an issue – because Instacart doesn’t bring alcohol to your door.

But for 13 states and the District of Columbia, it is something about which customers should know the rules and regulations.

Those states are:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington (state)
  • Washington, D.C.

One thing I have noticed, too, is that each state allows different types of alcohol to be sold and delivered through Instacart.

For example, in California, you can purchase beer, wine and spirits; while in Ohio, it seems to be limited just to beer and wine.

You’ll have to check the Instacart app for what is available in your area. You can narrow the search field at the top of the app, on the main page.

There is a little logo with the word “Alcohol”; press it, and the app will isolate all the vendors who sell booze.

There are rules you and the shopper must follow for alcohol sales via Instacart.

First and foremost – in case you didn’t get the memo – alcohol sales are restricted to those age 21 and over (or 19 in Canada).

It does appear that the person who ordered the alcohol needn’t necessarily be the one who accepts it.

Instacart’s alcohol compliance document states, “A person who is legally permitted to purchase alcohol can accept the order.”

And finally, the alcohol cannot be handed over to a person who appears to be visibly intoxicated.

One other thing, too – there is no adding on alcohol to an order after the order has been placed; and you also can’t ask your shopper, mid-shop, to pick up a six-pack for you, either.

How Does Instacart Verify Age For Alcohol?

How Does Instacart Verify Age For Alcohol?

Instacart actually age-verifies two different ways for one order.

First, if your order contains alcohol, you will enter your birthdate at check-out.

This can be used later when your shopper brings the order to your door.

They will ask to see your ID and when you produce it, they can cross-reference the DOB on the card or passport with what you entered at check-out.

They’ll also scan it. Fake IDs aren’t likely going to pass the scan test, so it’s really not worth trying.

However, say you are post-college and have roommates.

If you purchase alcohol via Instacart but can’t be home, it does appear that any of your over-21 roommates can receive it for you.

They would have to show their valid IDs and be subject to an ID scan.

It’s just the same for partners living together or a parent purchasing alcohol with a 21+ son or daughter at home, too.

Instacart shoppers are trained not to leave alcohol unattended; you cannot click the button that says, “Leave at door if not around.”

Enterprising under-21s might also try leaving a message in the Delivery Instructions like, “Please leave order on my porch and don’t knock!”

That will not fly. Look at the awesome response this Instacart shopper left for a similar message (about 5:05).

“Uh, no. Please have your ID ready when I arrive in about 15 minutes, see you soon!,” she responds.

It’s perfect – friendly but firm and no-nonsense.

Remember, customers: if these shoppers slip up with an alcohol delivery, they’re risking more than losing their gigs.

They could face harsh penalties, like hefty fines or even jailtime. The laws differ by state, but in many, jail sentences could range from a few days to months.

The drinking age in the U.S. is federal law, after all.

Do Fake IDs Work On Instacart?

The likelihood of a fake ID working on an Instacart shopper is pretty small. It might be possible, but the probability is minute.

This is because most fake IDs can’t withstand the scrutiny of a scan, and Instacart shoppers are trained to scan, no matter how hold the customer might look.

Do Instacart Shoppers Have To Be 21 To Deliver Alcohol?

According to Instacart, shoppers must simply be 18 to work for the company.

It makes sense; there are plenty of 18-year-olds in the service industry, in restaurants especially, where alcohol is served.

They can serve it, but they obviously cannot consume it.

But no one under the age of 18 is eligible to work for Instacart, especially now that they delivery alcohol in some states.

What Does Instacart Check ID For?

Alcohol isn’t the only thing Instacart shoppers are required to see ID for.

If you are able to get your prescriptions delivered through Instacart, you must also show ID at the door to prove the Rxs are going to the correct person.

This could apply to you if you use the pharmacies at Rite Aid, Costco or Wegmans.

To know more, you can also read our posts on whether or not Instacart delivers on Sundays, Instacart scam, and Instacart shop only orders.


Instacart most certainly checks IDs for all orders that contain alcohol. They not only ensure that the faces match up, the IDs are scanned, front and back, for authenticity.

Don’t give your shopper a hard time; just have your ID ready and don’t schedule your order for a time you might not be home.

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Cara Suppa

Cara Suppa has been freelance writing for over a decade and holds a BA in English and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. Outside of work, she is an avid cook, gardener, and discount shopper.

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