Age Restrictions and ID Requests

Age Restrictions and ID Requests




Who might require to provide proof of age?


Often this is over looked when working, and this can affect all areas of the media, arts and film industry. 
Is it just models and actors who get asked for ID when working within the media, arts and film industry?   It is also worth noting that it is also the fact that even if your not working in these area's just looking at sites related to them might require proof of age.  Many websites are now asking for ID to access their systems, often down to legal requirements to protect minors, but also sometimes is due to financial issues and other security and legal issues, so don't be surprised to be asked to provide proof of age... Please see our Protection Policy for more reasons we ask...


For example...  "I'm a photographer, so why ask for my ID?"   Well if the site as adult content on it, for example 'art nudes' the website might be required by law to check to see of the user who has access to them is allowed to view them, under age restriction laws, within the country they are operating in.   Also if the photographer is taking 'art nudes'  and allowed by law to posting them, let along look at them..?


A word of advice!   Always keep your ID in site when on a job, never let it go out of your site...


Why have age restrictions and also ask for proof of age?  


This is a good question, but sadly we live in a world that has to consider the protection of minors (children and teenagers).  Age restrictions are often legal ones, set by countries or states that are designed to protect agonised the sexual exploitation of minors. Age restrictions can also be used in relation to some health and safety issues, along with issues on access to say, alcohol and gambling establishments etc.  You might also find your asked for ID with regards parental permission requirements, when it comes to privacy rights and payment contracts, so its not just to check your age to protect against sexual exploitation! 


Legal requirements 


Please be aware that at this moment, most countries only require ID to be checked by law for the likes of adult related assignments and in some cases when selling work.  But,,, and this is the big BUT,,, it's important to know that it is not just about child sexual exploitation that you might be asked about your age when working.  In some cases it can also be asked to verify if parental permission should be obtained, or other issues including Health and Safety, licensing and more...



Should age be asked for if I'm taking photos of gymnastic, dance and sporting activities?   Think about the way they are going to be posed... Could the photos be seen as sexually provocative?   Not always, but in some cases,
YES!   Its your own judgement if the pose / clothing is ideal.  But consider the child's body position during the activity, this is particularly relevant in gymnastic, dance and sporting activities, where the body may be in unusual positions.  Ask if the photos in anyway able to be seen as depicting an erotic suggestion?  When taking photos you should always consider this...  In the UK, for example, you can only take images of a under 18 model, if they are fully clothed.  The model/s must not be wearing any see thru clothing etc. and no nudity or sexual suggestion can be in the photo. Any photos that have a minor (a model under 18 years old) posed in such an image can see the photography and anyone with the image, arrested and getting a record. This would be called as Sex Offence against a minor.  But this is not to say you can't photograph children doing these types of activities.


Who is responsible for checking the ID?


Making sure of the models age is not 100% down to you in most cases, but in some countries, not knowing and braking the law can and often does result in arrests.  for example in the UK any images of children, apparently under 18 years old, involved in sexual activity or posed to be sexually provocative and include images depicting erotic posing, with no sexual activity etc. could see you prosecuted under the Sex Offences Act 2003. In the US you can also be affected arrested in connection to both Federal and State Child Welfare Laws.   Its worth noting that red flag clothing items on shoots that might require a proof of age shoot age can include:- swimwear and/or lingerie, even leotards and other similar clothing, might require proof of age.


Access to a location


For example age restrictions can be placed on licensed premises, for example:-



Checking age and keeping records of age is a very important thing.  It affects every level and its not just about the protection of children... Its a lot more.  The important thing to note that if asked always ask why they are asking!  If they have a good and valid reason, even if you have never been asked before, its often to protect you and the people you work with!  But if your in doubt, check before you do any job.  


Other reasons for age restrictions...

Within the modelling industry there is no the right and wrong age to get started. All depends on what type of model you want to be. If you goal is to become a fashion model, the best age to start is approx 14 to 16 years old. The reason why many agents prefer to see so young models is because it usually takes a couple of years to build up a good portfolio and gain experience in modelling industry.  The "peak" for a model is usually between the ages of 18 and 23, although there are many exceptions. Some models have started at 25 and became very famous.

There are also other types of models who work in the fashion industry and who can be well outside those age restrictions. For example, fit models or catalogue models ("commercial fashion" models) can be of nearly any age, certainly well into their 40's, and include children.

Entering competitions and/or for grants and other awards.  This might be for legal issues, but also it might be set to help promote a set age group or help them in some other way, like keeping the level of competition at set level.



ID for proof of age & identity


Nowadays, it becomes a common practice when professional modelling websites request models to provide their ID's. Do not panic, as all that is done for security reasons, as well as, to protect children from being exploited. Websites are forced to comply ever increasing laws throughout the world, related to information being used by advertisement groups and marketing groups.  For example, in America, Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 6501-6508 also known as The Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 312, became effective in April 2000. The primary goal of COPPA was to place parents in control over what information is collected from their young children online. So some websites in the USA use ID collection to prove to government bodies that they are following the COPPA rules.  Also another example is that in the UK, certain types of photography with under 18's is against the law and the photographer could face being arrested and getting a record, so be aware you might require ID on a shoot!  They often now copy ID to provide proof to show they checked your ID.


It is also worth making a note that its also more common now for websites to as all users, no just models for ID, as some sites contain material that the website's host country feels is not safe for children to view.


However, never send your ID to unknown and unverified websites! First of all, check if the website is legitimate and then try to find out the reason why that website needs your ID. You should also pay attention to things like:-



You must also be ready to allow your ID to be copied when on a job.  Again this is more and more common, for example, should the photographer get challenged to provide proof you are not underage, they have that proof.  But we strongly suggest you only allow your ID to be copied once you have don the job and been paid!   Also check to see what ID the client might require, as some shoots might need 2 forms of ID, others just 1. Also drivers licences might not be valid for all jobs, so having a passport ready is a good idea.  Plus how will they store your information and who will have access to it?  Its worth checking that out.  For example, in the UK see if they are registered with the Information Commissioners Office.  If they are handling your personal information they should be registered and governed by the UK's Data Protection Laws, for example re are registered and our enter is ZA091469.  If they are not registered, and you know ID is to be copied, as for more information!  In the UK, if a business, they should be registered in most cases!  It's worth checking before going to any job that requires ID in the UK, as this could indicate problems in other areas of the job.


Sadly you have to now think hard, even in the UK and other European countries, the laws on accessing 'adult' content are very getting tighter, as to are the laws on checking ID to help protect children from exploitation.   So please be aware that you will be asked more and more for ID, so keep your head on and always check websites out fully before rushing into things when online.


It is also a good idea to check websites like:-



If you know other websites that you can find out about online scams, please let us know.  Also check our 'Links Page' out for other useful links.

Rights to work and VISA


Nowadays, it becomes a common practice to be asked to supply a right to work, if your aboard. These are might be working visa and other right of work declarations.  Before going on any shoot outside your country, always check to see what the rules are, even if its just modelling for a photographers for a few nights stay in a hotel.  Please see our VISA and right of work declarations page for more information.  In most cases you will be asked to show proof on the job that you are legally allowed to work.  A copy might also be taken to show that and in some cases you might also be asked before you leave your country to supply to the employer.   Check our 'Links Page' out for other useful links.



Other pages you should look at on

General Ethics  |  Self Employed Safety  |  Protection Policy  | Working Alone


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