Here are some of the common ways to identify fraudulent IDs.
There are three basic types of ID fraud: borrowed, fake, and altered. Modern and improved security features have changed the way ID fraud occurs. Borrowed IDs are by far the most common method of identity fraud, followed by fake IDs and less commonly altered IDs. Here are some ways you can spot problems.
Borrowed IDs – the most common form of ID fraud
Borrowed IDs are now the most common form of ID fraud. It is estimated that 95% of all ID scams are due to a borrowed ID. Minors get borrowed IDs from multiple sources: they use an older sibling's ID, an older friend's ID, or they get a stranger's ID through their friends and friend networks.
Here are some suggestions to recognize the borrowed ID card:
- Compare the photo on the ID with the person in front of you and question any discrepancies (the cardholder anticipates a vendor will be too busy to examine the ID closely).
- Review and compare other physical descriptors such as height and weight.
- Watch out for signs of duplicate cards, such as B. the stamp "DUPL".
- Watch out for expired cards.
- Ask questions!
- Ask the cardholder to verify the personal information on the card.
- Get a signature and compare it to the one on the card.
- Ask the cardholder what their middle initial stands for.
- Intentionally mispronounce their name or get their middle first letter wrong to see if the cardholder is instinctively providing the correct information.
- Look for signs of fraud.
- Is the cardholder avoiding eye contact, showing unusual hesitation in responding, acting nervous, trying to intimidate, or gazing up (as if trying to remember or make something up)?
In an effort to keep up with modern security improvements of real IDs, fake ID manufacturers use advanced technology to create very "real" looking fakes. The Internet has become a major source for acquiring these IDs. The best way to spot counterfeiting is to visually and physically examine the ID in question and become familiar with what a genuine ID looks like in your community.
- Oftentimes, fake IDs appear to be issued by a different state than where the ID is being used in hopes that the person verifying the ID is unfamiliar with out-of-state IDs. For example, the presenter will offer a Texas ID to get into a bar in Louisiana. An ID Reference Guide can be purchased which contains images of different versions of IDs from all states, including foreign countries, as well as identifying the key security features to help identify counterfeit IDs.
- Take a feeling test. Real IDs are not layered and are made of durable plastic. As a result, real IDs do not come loose or kink. Fake ID cards are often made and layered with inferior products. Fake IDs buckle or begin to unravel when tampered with. Bending the edge or trying to pull the ID apart can increase the chances of identifying a fake ID.
- Compare security features. Holograms should flash in and out on a real ID card. Look for holograms that stay lit no matter how much light is reflected off the map. This indicates a fake ID. Also, familiarize yourself with the holograms on the Louisiana license. There are four images of the state of Louisiana. Any other hologram on an alleged Louisiana license is proof that it is a fake.
- Check both the front and back of the ID card. Because the maker of the fake ID often doesn't put as much effort into the back, the back should be inspected as carefully as the front.
- Swipe the magnetic stripe. If the ID is genuine, once swiped, the magnetic stripe should reveal information about the presenter's age, date of birth, etc. Most fake IDs, even high quality fake IDs, will not recognize the ID or return a message that the ID cannot be verified when the magnetic stripe is swiped.
How to recognize fake IDs
- Simple ID scanners can detect whether the barcode on an ID card is scannable and/or contains encrypted information. This process is called ID parsing and is the fastest way to identify a spoofed ID.
- In most cases, IDs should have rounded edges all around. If the ID you are presented with has square edges or the edges feel frayed, the ID may have the wrong front.
How to spot a fake military ID
Military ID cards can also be forged and there are many websites offering this service in the name of "Cosplay" or "Hollywood". Still, the resulting IDs are pretty convincing. The Department of Defense recently changed the form and appearance of ID cards issued to military personnel. An example is shown here:
There are multiple validation areas on this map and tampering is more obvious. The penalties for using a fake military ID card are very harsh today, so using them to access drinking facilities is rare. More commonly, the older green and pink military ID cards are modified and used.
Changed fake IDs
Modern IDs are much more difficult to change than in the past. For example, with the advancement of ID printing processes and the use of special plastic material, it is extremely difficult to alter an ID photo, which is seldom the case with newer forms of ID. The current trend in ID change is to change birth date, under 18 to or under 21 to dates. The most common way to change IDs is to use clear nail polish or super glue and write or print new data on the nail polish or glue. So to detect changed IDs, look for the following:
- Look for small raised spots or small shiny spots above the date of birth or "below to" dates.
- Check if the font or color scheme has changed
- Different fonts on the map
- Smearing or bleeding of colors on the card
- Raised areas or ridges on the maps
Ways to verify IDs
– Check date of birth, expiry date and photo.
– If you have a license outside of a state, check the “ID Checkit Guide” for the style of each state.
– If you have a duplicate ID, ask for a second ID.
– Check eye and hair color, weight and height.
– Check license restrictions. Example: "Minor".
– Check the identification yourself for physical changes or possible tampering. (glue lines,
uneven surface, overlays, etc.)
– If the person wears an object or jewelry with initials, compare the initials with the
– Make sure that other people communicate with the person. You can slip and call
the person with a different name than that on the ID card
– Ask the person about the personal data contained in the ID card. - You should be able to
respond without hesitation if it is their true information.
- Learn and remember the signs of the zodiac. This can be an extremely clever way
discover a fake ID Almost EVERYONE knows their zodiac sign, even if they don't know it
believe in astrology.
Physical inspection of ID card.
- Check the rigidity of the card. A fake ID is often a different weight and/or thickness than a real ID. Gently squeeze the ID to see if the card feels right.
- Check the edges of the card. Almost all ID cards have rounded edges around the entire ID card. If the edges feel square, the card may have an incorrect front.
- Check and touch the front and back of the ID card. Feel for bumps, ridges and irregularities.
- Check the IDs corners. The corners of a real ID card cannot be split or pulled back. If you can peel or split the corners of the ID with your nail, it's probably a fake ID.
- Visual inspection of the ID card.
- Conduct a general visual inspection of overall appearance, fonts and color patterns, and look for known security features that should be present on valid ID cards.
- Don't forget to check the back of the ID card. Fake ID makers take great care to replicate the front of the ID but put less effort into the back.
How to spot fake ID by state
Train your employeesLearn how to spot a fake ID in your state by familiarizing them with your state's ID security features. Here are the main things to look out for:
ID cards have holographic images that become visible when held up to the light. Each state has a specific image and knowing yours will help you spot fake IDs.
- Cheap laminate
States apply a professional grade overlaminate to their ID cards to seal their UV images and protect the ID cards. To see if the ID card you're presented with has professional grade laminate, gently bend the ID card into a "U" shape. Cheap non-professional laminate bubbles when flexed.
ID cards have tiny laser-perforated holes that form images that are invisible to the naked eye until exposed to direct light. The laser perforated images are different for each state.
- laser embossing
Many states use a laser to emboss their ID cards to raise the plastic on the front of their ID cards. The laser embossing does not alter the back of the ID card, but you can feel the ID and see if the embossing is in place/meets standards.
- UV images
While UV images of IDs vary by state, most states include a second, lighter image that only appears when exposed to UV light.
Over the past decade, US states and Canadian provinces have made significant security improvements to their driver's licenses and ID cards. While some of these features are only visible with special equipment (UV light source, magnification), other security features can be detected with the naked eye, by touch, or simply by tilting or holding a card up to a light source. The infographic at the bottom of this webpage shows some of these easily verifiable characteristics of driver's licenses and ID cards.
There is no universal standard for what security features are used on ID cards and where they are located on the ID card.
The SSN as a driver's license number was abolished by federal law. However, some states may still have some of the older DL documents in circulation with an SSN as indicated. The table below shows you the format of driver's license numbers for each state.
STATE ID AND DRIVER LICENSE FORMATS
|Federal State||License format|
The Alabama driver's license shows the state's Capitol Building, which is located in Montgomery. The license has 7 or 8 numbers.
Alaska's official state motto, "North to the Future," appears on the state's license. The tallest peak in Alaska - and North America - Denali, can also be seen in the background. The license has 7 numbers
The Arizona driver's license shows a desert landscape in the background - the state has four different deserts. The license has an alpha and 8 numbers.
The Arkansas driver's license is covered in diamonds representing Crater of Diamonds State Park, where visitors can search for diamonds themselves. The license has 9 numbers or a social security number.
Those:Arkansas State Parks
The California driver's license contains many references to iconic state symbols, such as the California Gold Rush, the California grizzly bear, and the state flower, the California poppy. The license has 1 alpha and 7 numbers.
Those:California State Library
Drivers in Colorado carry a driver's license that bears the Rocky Mountains and Colorado River. The license has 9 numbers.
The Connecticut driver's license shows the Capitol in Hartford. The license has 9 numbers.
Delaware licenses have the state capitol at Dover as well as the state seal. The seal contains a farmer, a soldier, an ox and a ship. The license has between 1 and 7 numbers.
|District of Columbia|
Washington, DC is famous for its cherry blossoms - there's even a festival dedicated to them - which is why they adorn the region's license. The license has 7 numbers.
Florida, the Sunshine State, has a beach scene that honors its thousands of miles of coastline. The license has 1 alpha and 12 numbers.
Georgia's license bears the state's official fruit, the peach. The license has 9 numbers or a social security number.
Hawaii's license has a giant rainbow representing the state's nickname, the Rainbow State. The driver's license has an "H" plus 8 digits.
Idaho is known as the Gem State because "72 different precious and semiprecious stones have been found there." The license has 3 alpha and 6 numbers.
Illinois was home to President Abraham Lincoln for most of his political life, which is why his bust is prominently displayed on his driver's license. The license has 1 alpha and 11 numbers.
The Indiana license shows the Indianapolis Capitol and an Indy 500 race car as of July 2019. The license has 10 numbers.
Drivers in Iowa carry a driver's license, which bears the State Capitol Building in Des Moines, as well as the state's motto, "Our liberties we value and our rights we will uphold." The license has 3 numbers, two alpha and 4 numbers.
The Kansas license pays tribute to its farmers, the Oregon Trail (which ran through Kansas), Native Americans, and its state animal, the American buffalo. The driver's license has a "K" and 8 digits.
The Kentucky driver's license bears the state motto—"United we stand, divided we fall"—and the state seal. The license has 1 alpha and 8 numbers.
The Louisiana driver's license shows the Capitol in Baton Rouge. The license has a zero and 8 numbers.
Those:Visit Baton Rouge
Maine is commonly referred to as the Lighthouse State because there are still 65 historic lighthouses scattered across thousands of miles of shoreline. The license has 7 numbers.
Maryland residents are extremely proud of their flag, which is why it appears on the state's driver's license not once, but twice. There is also a blue crab, another Maryland symbol. The license has 1 alpha and 12 numbers.
The Massachusetts driver's license includes the Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston as well as the state bird, the black-capped chickadee. The driver's license has an "S" and 8 numbers.
The iconic Mackinac Bridge, which connects Michigan's two peninsulas, is featured on the state's licenses. The license has 1 alpha and 12 numbers.
Minnesota licenses show a person canoeing on a lake — which makes sense since the state is known as the land of 10,000 lakes.
The license has 1 alpha and 12 numbers.
The Mississippi driver's license features the state's memorable swirling logo and Capitol in Jackson. The license has 9 numbers.
The Missouri driver's license has the state's official seal showing two grizzly bears in the background. The license has 1 alpha and 9 numbers.
As one of the eight mountain states in the United States, Montana's licenses feature a mountainous landscape. The license has 13 numbers.
The Nebraska driver's license proudly displays the State Capitol Building in the city of Lincoln. The license has 1 alpha and 8 numbers.
Those:Nebraska State Capitol
On your Nevada driver's license you can see the State Capitol Building and the animal of the state: the desert bighorn sheep. The license has 12 numbers.
If you look closely, you can see New Hampshire's state flower, the purple lilac, on the state's driver's license. The license has 3 alpha and 8 numbers after 10/11/2017. Before 10/11/2017 2 numbers, 3 alpha and 5 numbers.
The dome of the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton can be seen on his driver's licenses. The license has 1 alpha and 14 numbers.
New Mexico licenses show the state's desert landscape. The license has 9 numbers.
New York licenses prominently feature the state's official seal with a bald eagle, shield and two women. You can also see the Statue of Liberty. The license has 9 numbers.
North Carolina's State Capitol Building is located in Raleigh and is listed on the state's driver's license. The license has 12 numbers.
In North Dakota, driver's licenses feature the Nokota horse, the state's honorary horse. The license has 3 alpha and 6 numbers.
Those:North Dakota Studies
Ohio's licenses bear the state seal depicting the Scioto River and fields of wheat. The license has two alpha and 6 numbers.
On the Oklahoma licenses you can read: "The land we belong to is great", which are lyrics from the musical "Oklahoma!". The license has 1 alpha and 9 numbers.
Those:State symbols USA
Oregon's licenses include the state capitol, located in the city of Salem. The license has 1 alpha and 6 or 7 numbers.
Those:Oregon State Legislature
Pennsylvania licenses show the state coat of arms depicting two horses. The license has 8 numbers.
The Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge in Jamestown can be seen in the background of the Rhode Island licenses. The license has 7 numbers or a "V" and 6 numbers.
Those:Journal of Providence
South Carolina licenses include the Statehouse in Columbia. The license has 6-11 numbers.
South Dakota's licenses include the state's most popular landmark: Mount Rushmore. The license has 8 numbers or a social security number.
Tennessee highlights the Nashville skyline and Capitol on its licenses. The license has 9 numbers. Old licenses have 7-8 numbers.
Those:Tennessee State Museum
On the Texas licenses you can see the state capitol located in Austin. The license has 9 numbers.
The Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City is pictured in the background of its licenses. The license has 4-10 numbers.
The Vermont driver's license has shimmering butterflies on it when you expose the card to ultraviolet light. The license has 8 numbers or 7 numbers and the letter "A".
If you look closely you can see the pillars of the Virginia Capitol on the state licenses. The license has 1 alpha and 8 numbers.
At the end of Washington's licenses is a small depiction of the state's tree, the western hemlock. The license has 7 letters, 3 numbers and 2 letters.
West Virginia is considered one of the most scenic states in the US, and as such boasts scenic scenery on its license. The license has 7 digits, 1-2 alpha and 5-6 digits.
Those:United States today
The Wisconsin driver's license features the Capitol and the state flag side by side. The license has 1 alpha and 13 numbers.
Those:Capitol of Wisconsin
Wyoming's official symbol is a depiction of a bucking horse and rider. You can find this symbol on state licenses. The license has 9 numbers.
Legal forms of identification in Louisiana:
Louisiana law permits only the following (5) forms of identification
“legal” proof of age:
Valid and current:
(1) Louisiana driver's license that includes a photo of the same person presenting it
(2) Driver's license from another state that contains a photograph of the same person
show the ID.
(3) Special identification card issued by the State of Louisiana with a photo of the
Person showing ID.
(4) A passport or visa issued by the federal government or another country that contains
a permanent photograph and date of birth of the presenting person
(5) Military or federal identity card issued by the federal government with a
Photograph and date of birth of the person presenting the ID.
When in doubt, it's a good idea to get a second opinion from a colleague or manager. In case of doubt, entry can be refused. It is not recommended to confiscate or keep the fake ID and/or arrest the person presenting it. Check your local laws as they affect your responsibilities in reporting these activities to law enforcement.
No signature or incorrect signature (2). Since fake IDs are created in a hurry, they usually have spelling mistakes and incorrect flag images (3). Feel the surface of the license by running your thumb over the card. Fake IDs are often bumpy.Is it hard to spot a fake ID? ›
Even though fake IDs are now harder to spot than ever before, there are several ways you can tell whether an ID is real or a forgery. The majority of the time, by feeling the card, scanning the barcode, and searching for misspellings or missing pieces of information, you can spot a fake.How do bouncers spot a fake ID? ›
Many times, bartenders and bouncers will bend the card and inspect the edges. That's because real IDs have smooth, uniform edges. Fake IDs are not printed in the same uniform way as real IDs are, and may have rough edges, have edges with differing smoothness, or even be so flimsy that they come apart.What is the most common form of false ID used? ›
False / Illegal IDs fall in into three categories: borrowed, fake (fraudulent), and altered. The most common form of illegal ID in use today is the borrowed ID. Persons under 21 will often borrow identification from those who can legally drink.What pops up when you scan a fake ID? ›
If the fake ID scans, which most modern, sophisticated fakes do, the following information will be available, and may be displayed when the fake ID is scanned: First Name. Last Name. Date of Birth (most ID scanning software will use this to calculate your age)Do fake IDs have bumps? ›
Feel for bumps, ridges and irregularities. Check the IDs corners. A real IDs corners cannot be split or peeled back. If you can peel back or split the IDs corners with your nail, it is likely a fake ID.How often do fake IDs work? ›
More than three-quarters of fake ID users reported that their false identification worked at least one time, an extremely high success rate. No matter how effective a fake ID is, eventually everyone does stop using them at some point.How much do most fake IDs cost? ›
Another way people use fake IDs is getting one forged. There are numerous illicit services that make fake IDs for a fee, usually $50 to $100.Can a fake ID pass a scan? ›
Counterfeit IDs sold through the most popular online platforms will all return as valid when scanned. The majority of ID scanners used today rely solely on these tests alone, most fake IDs in circulation are passing as true when scanned.What happens if a bouncer sees a fake ID? ›
Here's what they said: Bouncers may confiscate your fake ID and hand it off to the police. Yes, really. Our previous interviews with bouncers and liquor store employees suggest this isn't a common thing, but it definitely happens.
Whether the ID is real or not, bouncers will often ask questions to confirm. Knowing all the basic information on your ID is always best—name, address, date of birth.What is a ghost image on an ID? ›
Essentially, a ghost image is a smaller version of the original photo image on an ID Card and is generally printed semi-translucent. These ghost images are made possible by using a software that will allow for the ghost image to be added to the plastic card during the printing process.What percent of people have a fake ID? ›
How Many Fake IDs Are Out There? While exact numbers are unclear, one study found that 12.5% of high school students admitted to possession of fake ID, and 32.2% college students under the age of 21 admitted to possession as well.Does a UV light work on fake IDs? ›
Step 1. Look for the holograms. State identification cards have a holographic covering that usually features the state's seal or a similar symbol. Low-quality fake IDs do not have the covering and shining a black light on the card will show nothing and reveal it as a fake.What do cashiers see when they scan your ID? ›
According to the Georgia Department of Drivers Services, the barcode on the back of your driver's license - the one that retailers swipe - contains all the information that's on the front of your ID: name, address, age, and your physical description.What happens if you accept a fake ID? ›
Laws vary by state, but the most common consequences for having a fake ID are getting charged with a misdemeanor (a felony in some states), losing your driver's license, paying a hefty fine, or even serving some time in jail.Can a bouncer take your ID? ›
No they cannot take your drivers license from you. They can ask to see your drivers license in order to verify your age if you are entering a licensed venue but they cannot take it from you. As mentioned previously, the only instance where this would be viable is if the individual is providing fake ID.Why do bouncers take fake IDs? ›
"Confiscating IDs is a way to make more money, and it's easy since fake IDs are obviously illegal... Rarely will a bouncer ever take an ID and actually refuse to give it back. They are just looking for a bribe." This doesn't universally apply to all bouncers, though.How many college kids have fake IDs? ›
Estimates suggest that 15% of pre-college teens and 32.2% of college students have confessed to owning a fake ID. In Ohio, a similar survey uncovered that 69% of college students had either used or owned a fake ID during some part of their college experience.How do criminals make fake IDs? ›
Criminals will often use Credit Profile Numbers (CPN) to help create their fake identities, which they use to deceive creditors to borrow money and open accounts. These “phantom borrowers” will then become untraceable after committing the crime and disappearing.
The annual income from online sales can exceed $1,000,000 for a single operator, and some fake ID sites report receiving over 10,000 inquiries on a single day.Can a bouncer take your ID off you? ›
No they cannot take your drivers license from you. They can ask to see your drivers license in order to verify your age if you are entering a licensed venue but they cannot take it from you. As mentioned previously, the only instance where this would be viable is if the individual is providing fake ID.Why did the bouncer scan my ID? ›
To confirm that they are real. Real government-issued IDs have various safeguards built into them that forgeries do not have. By scanning the ID or running it through a card reader, the bar owners can ensure that the ID is real and not a fake ID being used by an underage drinker.