Walmart Alcohol Policy [Self-Checkout, ID Requirements & More]

What is Walmart's alcohol policy in this day and age? Can you self-checkout alcohol at Walmart? Here are all the answers you need.

Knowing the different requirements and restrictions when buying alcohol and other beverages at stores like Walmart can be confusing at times.

However, since it is illegal to buy certain items if you are under a certain age set by the law, it can be easy to mix up the different age limits.

That’s why we have taken a look at the Walmart alcohol policy. That way, you can easily get the answer to any question you are looking for when it comes to buying alcohol at Walmart.

Read on to learn more below.

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Walmart Alcohol Policy In 2023

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To buy alcohol at Walmart and on, you need to be at least 21 years old as of 2023. If you have a minor with you, you can still buy the alcohol as long as you can present a government-issued photo ID along with your purchase.

As long as you have an ID with you, you can buy alcoholic beverages at self-checkout registers, employee registers, kiosks, and if you are receiving home delivery.

When Does Walmart Check ID For Alcohol?

While different states in the U.S. have different laws, a Walmart employee has every right to ask for an ID if they have the smallest suspicion that you are under the age of 35 years old.

While you only need to be 21 years old to buy alcohol at Walmart, any Walmart employee needs to verify your age if you look under 35 years old, just to rule out any elder-looking people under 21 years that try to buy alcohol.

Why Does Walmart Need To Check ID?

liquor bottles

Walmart needs to check your ID when purchasing alcohol because the company itself as well as the Walmart employee who failed to check the ID can otherwise receive huge fines and other penalties for selling alcohol to minors.

When Can Walmart Refuse To Sell Alcohol To You?

On top of needing a government-issued photo ID when buying alcohol at Walmart, you also need to make sure that you don’t:

  • Appear to have consumed a large amount of alcohol prior to your purchase
  • Appear to be purchasing alcohol for an individual that is not of a legal age
  • Attempt to purchase alcohol outside of the legal hours, which are typically determined by the state you live in

Besides those, Walmart cannot refuse to sell you alcohol based on your race, nationality, sexual orientation, or religious belief.

While the above applies to in-store purchases, the same goes for online grocery shopping through the Walmart website.

Can You Buy Alcohol With Someone Under 21 At Walmart?

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Yes, as long as you meet the requirements above, you are fully eligible to buy alcohol at Walmart.

However, if a Walmart employee suspects that you are purchasing on behalf of someone under 21 years old, the Walmart employee has the right to refuse the sale.

On top of that, if you appear to be buying alcohol with other people that look around the legal drinking age, the Walmart employee may ask all parties that are present to show ID, as it could otherwise go against the law of selling alcohol to someone who is intending to give it to minors.

Can You Buy Alcohol At Walmart Self-Checkout?

Yes, you can buy alcohol at self-checkout at most Walmart stores, however, it is important to note that some states have regulations preventing you from buying alcohol at self-checkout scans.

An example of a state that doesn’t allow alcohol purchase in self-checkout is California, which banned it back in 2013 as a way to reduce the chances of selling alcoholic beverages to minors and intoxicated people.

If you don’t live in California, you can go to the self-checkout when buying alcohol, but you would need to bring along a photo ID in case a Walmart employee requires you to verify your age before you can finalize your purchase.

Is ID Needed When Receiving Alcohol From A Walmart Delivery?

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Yes, just like you would need to verify your age when shopping at Walmart stores, you would also have to verify your age when receiving a Walmart Grocery Delivery purchase at home with alcoholic beverages among the other items.

That means that, if you are expecting a Walmart Grocery delivery with alcohol among the other grocery items, the Walmart delivery person cannot let people that look under the legal drinking age receive the delivery without proof of age.

So, make sure to be home if you are expecting a delivery if you don’t have anybody else above 21 years old in the house.

What IDs Are Accepted At Walmart When Buying Alcohol?

As mentioned before, a government-issued photo ID is the only type of ID accepted at Walmart when purchasing alcohol. This includes IDs such as;

  • Driver’s License
  • Passports
  • Military ID Cards
  • Immigration Cards
  • And similar government-issued photo IDs

Can You Return Alcohol To Walmart?

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No, you cannot return alcohol to Walmart for a refund or exchange if it is opened or partially consumed.

However, you can usually return unopened and sealed bottles of alcoholic beverages that you bought at Walmart to your usual returns center within 90 days since the purchase was made.

The only exception would be if you live in California and the alcohol is considered wine because of its alcoholic content; in this case, you can’t return any wines purchased at Walmart, even if they were never opened and not expired.

If you want to find out about returning an alcoholic beverage that was opened or partially consumed to another store, we recommend calling the customer service for your local Walmart store as each store has its own regarding item returns.

How To Return Alcohol At Walmart

Returning items at Walmart is usually a hassle-free experience, however, if you need to return alcoholic beverages at Walmart, there are a couple of things to be aware of.

First off, you can only return alcoholic beverages to the exact store it was bought from. On top of that, only the person who made the initial purchase is able to return it. Therefore, it is important to remember both your ID and your receipt.

If you don’t have the receipt, the Walmart service desk may be able to help you find the receipt in the system if you paid by card. You can read more on that on this blog.

Conclusion – Walmart Alcohol Policy And Requirements

Walmart store exterior

If you need to buy alcohol at Walmart, you need to bring a valid government-issued photo ID. Walmart may ask you to verify your age if they suspect that you look under 35 years of age.

On top of that, Walmart employees reserve every right to refuse a sale if they suspect that you are buying alcohol on behalf of a minor, if you can’t verify your age with a government-issued photo ID, or if you seem to be intoxicated at the time of your purchase.

When it comes to returning alcohol, each Walmart store has its own policy. However, in most cases, you will be able to return unopened and sealed bottles of alcohol that you bought at Walmart within 90 days since the purchase was made. Just make sure to have your ID ready in case a Walmart employee needs to verify your age before giving back the refund.

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Arthur Beringer

Arthur graduated in 2002 with a Master's in Business Administration from LSU Alexandria. After working in the retail industry for almost 20 years, he decided to quit and write full-time to help readers who are searching online for consumer-related answers.