How to add age verification to checkout in Shopify

Selling age restricted products requires verification of the customer's age before purchase, and increasingly this is becoming mandated by law at the state and federal levels.

Age gating, which relies on the self reported age of the customer, is not compliant for most cases. A brick and mortar merchant couldn't blindly sell age restricted products without the customer's Drivers License or Passport, this same common sense rule is now applied to eCommerce merchants as well.

Thankfully it's now simple to add this verification step to your Shopify store's checkout, before or after the order has been placed - and without code.

How it works

Real ID will add A.I. powered ID verification to your store that securely captures an image of your customer's Drivers Licenses and Passports, verifies them, and then automatically applies your age restriction policy for your store.

The Real ID system will use the Date of Birth field as the date to consider the customer's age. Real ID also handles the syncing of the order and customer's ID verification status within Shopify, as well as store the photos on your behalf for reference or audit.

You don't need any coding skills to add ID verification before or after checkout to your Shopify store, we'll show you how to start verifying your customer's true ages step by step with the Real ID app.

Getting Started

First, you'll need to download the Real ID app to your Shopify store. You can use this link to login to your Shopify account and install the app.

Click Accept on the permissions prompt screen, so the app can read and write to your orders, customers and online store.

That's it, the app should not be installed on your store. Next let's customize it with your brand and theme so your customers recognize the ID check is for your store.

Adding your brand and theme

To change the theme of the customer's ID checks, open the Settings page of the app and click the Appearance tab in the top menu of the page.

Setting the appearance of your ID checks

Here you can design the visuals for the ID checks including:

Once your theme is set to match your store, you're ready to enable age verification for your ID checks.

Enable Age Verification

From this same Settings page, open the Rules tab at the top of the page.

This area contains all of the additional rules that define if an ID check is passed or not. Here is where you can enable age verification and set a minimum age.

Scroll down to the Age Requirements section of this page, and select 18, 21, or Other age for a custom age.

Setting the age requirements for your ID checks

Note: Tobacco and Vapor merchants, you can use the Canadian and U.S. Smoking Ages option to enable age verification for these countries automatically. Canada for example has different ages depending on the province. Real ID will automatically check to make sure the age of the customer matches the province of the order.

After choosing the minimum age for customers IDs, click the Save button in the top right to apply the setting.

That's it! Any new IDs will be required to meet at least the minimum age you've defined. Now is the time to activate the plugin to automatically prompt ID verification.

Require ID verification before or after checkout

By default, Real ID will not automatically send ID checks or prevent checkout without a valid ID. You'll need to choose between prompting for ID verification before checkout or after checkout.

You can also switch between these options at any time, so if you'd like to start with verifying IDs after checkout to start you can always switch to age verification before checkout, without code.

To view this setting, open the Automations tab in the Settings page.

First, click Enabled automated ID checks, then you'll be prompted to pick one of the available flows.

Choosing the location of your ID check

We'll go over each option below, feel free to skip to the Requiring ID verification before checkout if you'd like to start with that flow instead.

Requiring ID verification after checkout

With the Enabled automated ID checks checkbox ticked, click Require ID verification after checkout. Real ID will now require ID verification for your customers after they've placed an order.

You'll now need to set one or more triggers that decides which orders require ID verification. If you only sell age restricted products, then you can go ahead and enable Require ID verification for all orders.

However, if you only require ID verification for a set collection of items, then you can also trigger ID verification based on if the order contains one or more products from that collection.

Also, specific U.S. states are also supported. If only some states require ID verification for orders, then you can specify which orders be verified based on the order's shipping address.

And that's it, Real ID will automatically show the ID verification prompt within the order status page for new orders, as well as email the customer and send them an SMS message.

Once customers complete ID checks, you'll be able to view them within the Real ID app. Real ID will also sync tags to orders & customers as ID checks are required, in progress and have passed or failed verification.

After setting up the after checkout flow, we also recommend taking the following steps for the highest completion rates:

  1. Use your own email address for sending ID checks
  2. Automatically remind customers to finish ID checks

Requiring ID verification before checkout

You can also require ID verification before the customer can place an order. Real ID will automatically replace the Checkout buttons on your storefront with a Verify your ID button.

When an unverified customer clicks on the Verify your ID button, they'll be prompted to capture a photo of their Drivers License or Passport, and Real ID will instantly verify and make sure the customer is of age for the purchase.

Then they will be able to complete their checkout.

To enable this option, select the Verify IDs before checkout option under the Automations tab.

By default, it will automatically require ID verification for all customers. But you can filter out only specific products or collections to require ID verification instead.

Note if you're not seeing the Verify your ID button on your store after enabling this flow, please make sure you're not already verified by opening up another browser window in incognito mode, and logging out of your account.

If you still are having issues with the checkout buttons still visible for unverified customers, please contact us. Some custom themes have non-standard checkout button structures and our team can quickly add support if this is an issue.

After customers verify their ID and place their order, the ID verification tags will also apply to their new Shopify accounts and orders.

All Shopify tags for orders with ID verification

Go Live

By default Real ID is in a test mode which allows you to sample the customer ID verification experience end to end.

Turn on live ID checks with this option

Still have questions?

Please contact us if you have any questions about this process or are having issues getting set up on your store. We're happy to help!